All posts by buber

Basque Fact of the Week: The Irrintzi, the Basque Cry

In an atmosphere full of wonderful sites and sounds, perhaps one of the more unusual sounds heard at Basque festivals is the high-pitched wavering cry known as the Irrintzi. In the mountains and valleys of the Basque Country, the Irrintzi can echo for countless miles, so originally it was a means of communication. Today, it […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juanita “Jay” Uberuaga Hormaechea

When going to Basque festivals or summer dinners, we often forget the effort and dedication that goes on behind the scenes. Even the most cherished traditions – such as the Oinkari Basque Dancers – had to start somewhere and sometimes those ideas are met with resistance. It’s so important to have those individuals that not […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Democratic Biltzar of Lapurdi

The Basques have a long association with democracy. John Adams noted their unique government and how they had preserved a voice of the people within it. Adams mostly saw Hegoalde. But Lapurdi, in Iparralde, also had its own unique institutions that represented the people, where every town had a vote in the decisions of the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Lehendakari José Antonio Ardanza

When I lived in the Basque Country, during the years 1991-1992, Jose Antonio Ardanza was the face of the nation. Being a young kid who knew little about the politics of Euskadi, I didn’t really appreciate all of the intricacies and nuances of regional politics, but Ardanza somehow was this presence that sort of served […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 185

The next morning, Maite awoke to find Kepa already wide awake, his goofy smile beaming at her as he lay next to her. She would have been less annoyed by the sun blasting her directly in the face. “How can you be so awake so early,” she grumbled as she flipped over and buried her […]

Basque Fact of the Week: La Gabarra, A Victory Parade Like No Other

On Saturday, April 6, 2024, after 40 years which saw the team make it to the finals 6 times – 3 in the last 10 years – only to lose, Athletic Club of Bilbao was once again on top of the Spanish soccer world, winning the Copa del Rey final against Mallorca. With a slogan […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Proto-Basque, the Basque of 2000 Years Ago

A few weeks ago, I introduced Koldo Mitxelena, who was the chief architect of the reconstruction of Proto-Basque, the Basque that was spoken some 2000 years ago. So, what is Proto-Basque, exactly, and how do people like Mitxelena reconstruct a form of a language that is 2000 years old when there are no, or at […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Korrika, The Race in Support of the Basque Language

Earlier this month, the Basque Country witnessed what has become an amazing spectacle in support of the Basque language. Starting on March 14 in Irun and ending in Baiona after 11 days and more than 2,700 kilometers, thousands upon thousands of people ran across the Basque Country in support of Euskara. It is an event […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Koldo Mitxelena, the Greatest Scholar of Basque

It is sometimes amazing that, despite the long history of the Basque language, we know so little about it. Since it wasn’t a written language for so long and other languages like French and Spanish dominated the regions, Basque didn’t receive much attention from scholars. At least, not until relatively recently. It was people like […]