The Basque language — Euskara — became standardized in the 1970s. The Basque Language Academy (the Euskaltzaindia) felt that a standard was needed to give the language a better chance of survival against the pressures of languages like French and Spanish. This unified Basque, Euskara Batua, was based on a dialect of Basque from Gipuzkoa.
There are at least 5 dialects of Basque, subdivided into 11 subdialects and 24 minor variants. I’ve heard it said that every valley — indeed every baserri — has its own dialect. My dad, a Bizkaian, would say he couldn’t understand the Basque of the French side.
In comparison, the Royal Spanish Academy, founded in 1713 to ensure the stability of Spanish, published its first grammar in 1771, though the first Spanish grammar was published back in 1492.
Euskara Batua is now an official language in Spain, but not in France.
Bilbao, founded in 1300, gained strength through a series of charters that, amongst other things, forced an important trade route to go through Bilbao.
From about 1040 to 1876, Bizkaia was ruled by the Lord of Bizkaia. One legend says that the first mythical Lord of Bizkaia, Çuria (in other tellings, Jaun Zuria — the White Lord), was the son of the god Sugaar and a foreign (typically Scottish) princess and was born in the village of Mundaka (now famous for surfing).
Étienne Pellot Aspikoeta (1765-1856), known as the Basque Fox (le Renard Basque in French), was the last known French corsair. He was imprisoned at least twice by the British, though much of his later activity was centered off the coast of Galicia. He was born and died in Hendaia.
The Song of Roland, one of the oldest major works in French, describes how Charlemagne’s nephew, Roland, takes the rear guard of Charlemagne’s army back through the pass of Roncevaux, where they are ambushed and slaughtered by the Muslims. In reality, it was the Basques that attacked Roland.
While The Song of Roland was written between 1040 and 1115, the Battle of Roncevaux, or Orreaga in Basque, Pass occurred in 778.
The Basques attacked in retaliation for the prior destruction of the walls of Pamplona. Some accounts say that the whole city was destroyed.
The Basque force was essentially a guerrilla army. “A typical Basque mountain warrior was armed with two short spears and a knife or short sword as his main weapons, and bows or javelins for missile weapons. He would not normally wear armour.” (from Wikipedia)
Benoit Etcheverry, creator of the 8 Probintziak radio program and now Export Manager at Hitza Hitz, sent me an email announcing they are looking for a Commercial Agent or Distributor in the USA. In particular:
HITZA HITZ is looking for a commercial agent or distributor in the USA
HITZA HITZ is the « given word » of the Basques, a motto, a code of honour. And it is the name of a brand of ready-to-wear apparel inspired by the Basque country. It’s also the first Jeans Brand from the Basque Country.
It is appropriate for women and men, for Basques and their friends, the locals, the visitors, from those who love the mountains to those who prefer the ocean.
What do we offer? An attractive commission on the sales
Represent and be the face of the Storefront to all our clients and brands
Manage key, significant projects
Qualify clients’ specific needs and suggest the best spaces for these needs
Monitor the ongoing communication and deals in your portfolio
Lead deals toward success; be a deal closer and never let a customer be unsatisfied
Help develop our customer acquisition strategy
Active outbound prospecting through cold calling, created campaigns, and events
Target specific and strategic brands
Provide education to your prospective clients to lead them on the platform
Have experience in Sales or Account management
Interest in the Retail and Fashion industry
Possess excellent communication skills
Result-oriented and a valuable team player
Quick thinker; you thrive in a fast-paced and challenging environment
Organizational skills are a strength
Relevant graduate degree
Must be in USA Full-time
Experience in managing high-frequency pipeline is a plus
Knowing the Basque culture is a plus
Have the opportunity to directly shape the company’s strategic direction
Work in a fun, collaborative, and stimulating environment (We’re looking for your personality as well!)
An insanely supportive, hardworking team, building something truly transformative
What to Expect Next
Interview with our Chief Business Development Officer and Export Responsable.
You’ll also meet a few of our other teammates and business leaders!
La Tamborrada is a 24-hour festival taking place every January 20, the feast day of the city’s patron Saint Sebastian, in Donostia. Over 100 different bands dressed as soldiers and cooks march through the city throughout the 24 hours of the day, starting at midnight.
The celebration is said to have originated with people (either kids or women) banging on buckets, barrels and cans to mock the soldiers parading through the streets. The soliders may have been an occupying force of Napoleon’s, stationed in the city after burning a large chunk of it to the ground.