Donostia-San Sebastian . The celebration of the Day of the Basque Diaspora in Donostia began at noon with some 50 individuals attending, in a gathering organized by EuskalKultura.com. In this first edition, the best format and simplest, was gathering everyone for lunch so that people from different countries in the Basque Diaspora could meet and share a fun day in festive vindication of the reality of our Diaspora.
Out of the 50 who attended 35 stayed for lunch. Among the countries represented were Argentina, the United States, Venezuela, France, Spain, and even Panama with a resident of Panama City also joining in the event, in the spirit of Diaspora that presided the gathering. Attendees were of all ages, and included families with children.
The event also included entertainment by two singers: Mariana Domine Irigoyen, the voice of the group Maral from Argentina, who sang in Basque, as well as a tango and received very warm applause; and a singer from Oiartzun Gorka Zabaleta who at an event bringing together Euskal Herria with the Diaspora also made his contribution. The entertainment concluded with both singers singing a final song together.
Along with them, the author, journalist and diffusor of Basque culture, Marita Echave was also present. The founder of the Gure Zainak Basque Club in Coronel Moldes, in the Argentine Province of Cordoba, Marita plays an important role in the diffusion of the Basque culture through popular rural cooking. She came to the event with her book Basque Rural Cooking under her arm. This was another luxury that the day enjoyed.
Just after noon, all joined in singing ”Agur Jaunak” to begin the day that can be described as a family gathering. An exhibit of posters form the Basque Diaspora adorned the main hall of the Hotel Heredad de Unanue, a farmhouse in the Donostia neighborhood of Añorga that will open its doors next week. Despite its not being officially open, the Unanue couldn’t let the celebration of the Day of the Basque Diaspora pass without notice, since one of its main goals is, to become a meeting place for the Basque Diaspora and the Basque Country itself. It plans to host talks, exhibits, recitals and initiatives to disseminate the contribution and reality of the Diaspora throughout the year.
While enjoying a drink and a snack, the people who were arriving had the chance to alternate, in a conversation facilitated by identifiers that included where each was from. Friends form the Venezuelan Diaspora that hadn’t seen each other in years reconnected and people living in Madrid, who came the night before for the event, talked for example with Nere and Alberto, she from Lasarte and former resident of Reno, and he Italian, who made a huge effort to attend. From Donibane Garaze came Mixel and from Garazi-Iruñea were Bixente and Daniel, father and son, linked to the US Diaspora. Argentina, the country in the world with the largest number of Basque clubs was especially represented. There were also Basques who traveled from Bilbao and Gasteiz who are also friends of the Diaspora. There were even some who had attended the event in the morning at the Lehendakaritza who didn’t want to miss the Unanue event.
Following is a photo gallery of the event. To everyone who participated, Mila Esker Handi Bat, and Zorionak to all Basques especially those in the Diaspora on this Euskal Diasporaren Eguna – Day of the Basque Diaspora that will now be celebrated annually on September 8th.