The festivals in Euskadi are crazy, I’ve written about them before and I’ll share more of them (and other travels) as I dig deeper into my hard-drive. Over the past few months I’ve realized that I have a lot of material that I haven’t shared yet, so over the course of the these next few months, I will be posting more articles on the places I’ve been to.
In Ea, friends of mine wrote and practiced music they would perform in their own village for a fiesta. These people are very prideful of their heritage, so naturally they sang in Basque, instead of Spanish. Last year I posted a video of them practicing, and I guess it’s time that I share the video of them performing.
The Basque people are beautiful because the pride they have for their people. They’re connected to their roots and understand the traditions of the people who came before them. Fifty years ago, speaking or writing Basque was illegal under Spanish law. Books and other Basque material were destroyed by these unfair rules. Its people maintained the language and kept the culture alive.
During WWII, Spain’s ruler bombed its own innocent population (see Picasso’s “Guernica“) in the city of Gernika. If you go there today, you’ll see that the entire city is new – that’s because it was destroyed almost 80 years ago. Everything was rebuilt since then, and the city stands once again.
The city grows as a testament that the Basque people are both resilient and strong. Many people don’t know about the attack during WWII or the persecution of Basques. That is why it is amazing to visit them. Their sense of pride and heritage is so different from the US.
The first country I traveled alone to was Basque Country, and I will never forget the hospitality they had for me. Going to Ea I had no idea that I would come back again, nor did I ever realize the impact it would have on my life.
I think another traveler I met summed up Basque Country pretty well; “You never have to worry about violence at the parties here. They’re kind and you’ll never see a bar fight. In fact, when they’re drunk, you’re more likely to get kissed by a Basque than punched in the face.”
This fiesta lasted all day and consisted of an entire village of people dancing in the center of town. At night, my friends sang while everyone and their brother came out to watch. They all got together to celebrate life and where they came from.
Everywhere you go, you experience a different culture and a new set of people. When I went to Basque Country, I experienced a sense of community and passion for heritage. I learned of the trials of their people and the celebrations they have to honor their history. In short; we drank, we danced to ska, we ran around the town in our underwear, and I learned the joys of community.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Basque Country, go!