Barcelona, Catalonia. The Barcelona Euskal Etxea is celebrating this month the 2012 edition of Literaldia, its Basque literature festival, and as every year was present last Monday at Las Ramblas among publishers and local cultural associations, celebrating “The Day of the Book.” The writer Juan Carlos Etxegoien, known as Xamar, was at their stand this year autographing copies of his work Orhipean translated into Catalan [Mount Orhi is the highest of the Basque Country so Orhipean, under Mount Orhi, is a different way to refer to the Basque Country).
This edition is one of the most noteworthy projects of Barcelona’s Basque club this year, who has acquired a great tool for its mission of spreading the Basque culture in Catalonia. The Euskal Etxea supported the books translation into Catalan by Ainara Munt, and appears as the books co-editor along with Pamiela. Catalan musician Quimi Portet authored the book’s prologue. He explains to the readers that this edition has given him “the opportunity to fall in love with the Basque Country and its people.”
A dozen editions
Orhipean, Gure Herria ezagutzen was published for the first time in 1992, in Basque by the Navarrese publisher Pamiela. It is a careful done informative work on Basque and the Basque culture which is comprehensive but very readable at the same time. It is divided into 30 chapters spanning themes such as prehistory, literature, the Basque language, the Basque house, mythology, beliefs, the sea, agriculture, pilota, bertsolaris and the Diaspora among others. Additionally, the book is complete with numerous photographs and illustrations by Xamar himself.
The work was very well received from the beginning, and during the last few years, it has been converted into one of the most widely used introductory book on the Basque culture, by foreigners and many locals alike. It is available in Basque, English, French, Spanish and now in Catalan.
-The book is available for purchase online on Pamiela’s website