Some Basque Lessons

Super interesting and personal, as I live a (relatively) short drive west from Boise. My mom went to Bend Senior Highschool (as did I) in the 60’s with Basque students who would bus all the way in from eastern Oregon every day. There was a lovely Basque flag on the ceiling of the Pub on Inis Oírr today, and the Basque flag has often flown next to the Cascadian flag (and others) at our local haunt in Bend, OR. So here I am looking out on Galway Bay, becoming a Gael….hoping to be reading ‘Cith is Dealán’ on the Oregon coast this summer and understand all I’m reading.
After meeting SO MANY people in Ireland who mention their families in Butte, Montana sending money home (often returning themselves after a generation) I am kicking myself for still never having made it to the largest St. Paddy’s day festival in the world that happens there every year. (some friends from Butte go every year) Butte, Boise, and Bend; all in the same watershed, all Cascadian….and Irish….and Basque. Can’t wait to visit Boise again when I get home!!

An Sionnach Fionn

Celebrating at Jaialdi 2010 on Boise’s Basque Block (Íomhá: The Blue Review)

This article on the resilience of the indigenous language of the historic Basque nation in north-eastern Spain and neighbouring France is filled with the sort of optimism that one rarely hears in relation to the Irish language. From The Blue Review, a publication of Boise State University in the United States:

“Steve Mendive is a history/government teacher who spends his summer breaks in the Basque Country (Euskadi) and enjoys the literary challenge of reading Voltaire’s Candide in Euskara. He has informally studied the Basque language for many years, first speaking with his family and progressing to advanced language coursework in the Basque Country. For Mendive, learning Basque is personal. “I am an Euskaldun (Basque speaker). Before, I was just Basque. There is a big difference.””

A point of view that many an Irish-speaker in Ireland, be they native…

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