All posts by buber

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Funerary Customs

During one of my visits to the Basque Country, we visited the hilerria, or cemetery, in Munitibar. I wasn’t clear what was going on, until they started digging up one of the graves. It seems that it was time to move my dad’s grandmother’s body. They dug up her grave — her son, my great-uncle, […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 77

A couple of hours later, long after the sun had set and the night sky had filled with stars, they pulled into Javi’s driveway in Santa Barbara. Kepa had woken up just as Maite had pulled the car onto Javi’s street, the speedbumps jostling him awake. As they pulled in, the front door of the […]

Fighting Basques: Basques in the US Merchant Marine in World War II

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on December 25, 2019. Discussion of the Basque participation in the Merchant Marines of the Allied countries and more specifically in the United States during the Second World War (WWII), despite some non trivial efforts, have certainly been tangential, perhaps due to the immense scope of […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Was the Mathematician Pierre de Fermat Basque?

Pierre de Fermat was one of the most recognized mathematicians of his time, and perhaps in all of history. He was infamous for making claims of mathematical proofs in the margins of documents without actually giving the proof. Ever since, mathematicians have struggled to prove his theorems. His Last Theorem, which relates to number theory, […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 76

“We should get going,” said Maite, her head resting on Kepa’s chest as they both lay on the dusty floor of the Noriega’s bar. She listened as his heart beat normally, and wondered if the effects of the bullet were really completely erased. “Bai,” replied Kepa. “Javi’s still expecting us tonight.” He paused. “It’s so […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basque City of Eibar

When I lived in the Basque Country, feebly trying to learn Euskara, I spent a lot of time in Ermua, Bizkaia, where my aunt and her family lives. Just across the border, in Gipuzkoa, lies Eibar. As a relatively young kid, I never gave Eibar much thought — it was just a town that the […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 75

Kepa felt a sudden stab of pain shoot through his chest. Panic rose as he felt another as something slammed into his chest. Were more bullets ripping through his body? Again, he felt something smash against his chest. Was Donny standing over him, emptying his gun into Kepa’s mangled body? He opened his eyes. Maite […]

Fighting Basques: The Basques and Navarrese of the Other ‘D’ Day: Saipan and the Pacific Front

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on October 23, 2019. In contrast to the public commemorations of D-Day in Normandy, the Mariana island of Saipan attracts little or no institutional or media attention, despite its strategic importance in the Pacific Ocean theater of operations and the significance it had in the becoming […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Tug of War or Sokatira

Get some kids together and throw in a rope and it won’t be long before they are trying to pull each other from one side to another. Tug of war is one of the most basic and raw competitions you can imagine and is a fixture at Basque festivals across the western United States. But, […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 74

Donny slowly slid off his saddle, his boots stirring up a small cloud of dust when they hit the dry ground. His horse was panting hard and frothing at the mouth, but Donny paid it no heed. His attention was focused on Kepa and Maite, who stood just behind him. “I admit,” said Donny as […]