Tag Archives: nafarroa

Basque Fact of the Week: Zazpiak Bat, the Basque Coat of Arms

The phrase Zazpiak Bat – the seven [are] one – signifies the unity of the seven Basque provinces – four in Spain and three in France. It is also the nickname of the Basque coat of arms – the Euskal Harmarriak. But wait, there are only six panels in the coat of arms! Hold on… […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Fire and Flame in Basque Culture

Perhaps one of the most defining things that separate humans from the rest of the animal world is our command of fire. Fire is essential to who we are and how we have developed as a species. Indeed, it has been suggested that our taming of fire, and our development of cooking, is what let […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Saint Francis Xavier

Saint Ignatius isn’t the only Catholic Saint born in the Basque Country. His fellow Jesuit, Saint Francis Xavier, was also born in the Basque Country. However, unlike Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier spent much of his adult life traveling and proselytizing to the peoples of India and Japan, amongst others. He was known for trying […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Hilarriak, the Dead-Stones of the Basque Country

During my first visit to the Basque Country, my cousin took me to Elorrio, not far from his hometown of Durango in Bizkaia. He took me and a friend to Argiñeta, which was simply amazing. They’ve collected a number of hilarriak, or funeral steles, there. These are large stone grave markers that are carved with […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Quality of the Basque Government is High

For about a decade now, the Quality of Government Institute, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, has been evaluating the quality of government of the various regions in Europe. By measuring impartiality, corruption, and quality, they generate a so-called European Quality of Government Index (EQI), a number that describes the overall quality of government […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Sanchos of Pamplona

If there ever was a single political entity that encompassed all of what we now think of as the Basque Country — Euskal Herria with its seven provinces — it was the Kingdom of Nafarroa, originally known as the Kingdom of Pamplona. On the border of what later became France and Spain, it enjoyed great […]

Fighting Basques: The Two Burials of the Sailor Peter Paul Parisena Mendionde

Pierre “Peter” Paul Parisena Mendionde was born on March 3, 1925 in the French town of Bordeaux, to parents from Nafarroa Beherea. His father, Jean “John” Santiago Parisena Maya, a veteran of the French Army during the Great War, was born in Banka in 1902, while his mother Catherine Mendionde Antchagno was born in Urepele in […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Peppers

I hate peppers. They smell nasty when they are cooking and they taste vile. My dad had literally hundreds of pepper plants in his garden. He would always give me a hard time when I ate his homemade chorizo, which I loved, saying how could I like those when they had peppers in them? When […]

What are you waiting for? An Interview with Esther Ciganda

Esther Ciganda doesn’t wait. She doesn’t ask what if. Instead, she makes things happen. Whether that is being Team Leader for Team USA Basque Pelota or fulfilling life-long dreams of moving to the Basque Country and learning Euskara, Esther makes her dreams come true. And, now, she wants to help others do the same by […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Summer Solstice

The summer solstice, being the longest day of the year, is an important event in many cultures, marking the changing of seasons. Because of its importance, elaborate rituals and rites have arisen around this date all around around the globe, and the Basque Country is no exception. Many of the pre-Christian elements have been confused […]