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From my corner

Madonna, the Etxepare, Misiones, Pehuajó and Tolosa

One of the topics of conversation last week, which continues, is Madonna’s World tour that will cover 32 countries, with its continuous media coverage, as well as the fact that one of her songs to be performed is the Basque version of the classic Aldapeko sagarraren puntan (or Sagarra jo) by the Basque trio Kalakan that accompanies the artist on other songs as well.  In my case, I am not a fan of Madonna, but I am a fan of Kalakan. The group performed, remember, on the last day of the V. World Congress of Basque Collectivities last November in Donostia.  Some know them as well from visits to Basque clubs such as to Montreal’s Euskaldunak of Quebec Basque club on the occasion of its 15 anniversary and NABO meeting that they hosted last September.  Zorionak to Kalakan and to Madonna for her good taste.  :-)

I need to congratulate the Etxepare Institute that will celebrate two years since Aizpea Goenaga was appointed as its director.  With the addition of Marijose Olaziregi later as her second aboard, these two have managed this organization which has brought a breath of fresh air to the international Basque cultural world.  It has provided a well-deserved boost to the work done by Basque artists, at the international level, and in this way, to the diffusion of Basque culture in general, supporting their presence in many forums and the contributions made by Basques in different artistic disciplines.  We will publish an interview with the heads of Etxepare soon. 

As in many other initiatives, Etxepare was involved in some more good news regarding our culture at the international level, supporting the election of the Basque city of Tolosa as the site for the World Congress and Puppet Festival in 2016, the year of the European Cultural Capital in Donostia-San Sebastian.  The candidacy of Tolosa-Donostia won in Chengdu, the Chinese city that hosts this celebration this year, beating the Russian city of Ekaterimburgo, the other candidate to host this quadrennial event organized by the International Association of Puppets, UNIMA.  Tolosa which has an international center dedicated to this art will organize an entire week that year, that will warm up with other activities and parallel programming starting in 2013.

To conclude with the congratulations, I would like to thank all of you who wrote us from Argentina, on the occasion of yesterday’s celebration, in this southern country, of the Journalist’s Day. Mila esker with a wish on my part, that the number of activities in the Diaspora and of Basque culture in the world continue to grow and in that growth strengthen also the commitment of the Basque community and their representative bodies to publicite and disseminate their day to day contributions: the large and bigger ones, and also the modest ones, that are there and are relevant for many Basque clubs and communities and sum and build up the real picture of the Basque diaspora. 

I’d like to point out that elections will take place in Iparralde, and all of France, this Sunday.  Polls indicate that the Left may advance and that one or more of the three seats in the Basque Country may change its sign, in line with the results of the presidential elections where those in Iparralde voted for Socialist Hollande and not for the incumbent Sarkozy. 

At a local level, the Basque club in Pehuajó, Argentina, tells us that they will celebrate Members’ Day this Sunday, an event that they would like to repeat every year in their program of activities.  In the US, Winnemucca, NV will host its annual Basque festival this weekend; and many other activities will take place around the world, some of which appear in our Worlwide Basque Agenda.  Izan asteburu On!  (Have a good weekend!) 

PS: It is clear that’s resources are limited and so we are not able to report on all the initiatives, calls, and happenings we know or we are informed about, even though we try.  From Posadas and San Ignacio, in the province of Misiones in Argentina, the Eusko Etxea Basque club let us know that they continue preparations for the Big Basque Festival that will take place on July 27-29 in San Ignacio amid the beautiful landscapes including that of the ruins of the Jesuit mission.   They would like to reiterate the invitation to both members and friends of the Basque clubs from anywhere (including dancers, musicians, drummers, sportspeople…), as well as to people in general who would like to attend.  For more information on lodging, or for questions about the area, the program etc. email or call (54) (0)3764495057 or 0376 15 4707521 (cell).