Members of the Rhode Island Basque Club, in the US East coast, gathered for 'Txitxiburduntzi' 2011
Members of the Rhode Island Basque Club gathered last May to celebrate 'Txitxiburduntzi', a Basque ritual celebrated on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The Rhode Island Basque Club is the newest addition to the North American family of Basque Clubs. The Club was admitted to NABO during the Salt Lake City annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah and is made up by a group of Basque people who had been meeting since the 90’s in the Newport fronton, north of New York. The club was officially formed back in 2003 and registered as a non-profit organization in 2010. EuskalKultura.com talked with Roberto Guerenabarrena, the club’s president, about this year’s 'Txitxiburduntzi' celebration.
Providence, RI, USA. Members of the Rhode Island Basque Club gathered last May to celebrate Txitxiburduntzi, a Basque ritual celebrated on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Roberto Guerenabarrena explains that on this day, friends in the Basque Country would go to the mountains and enjoy all the products from a fresh pig. While the Lenten season is long past, Riki Lasa --president of the Pelotari’s Union-- hosted this Txitxiburduntzi style celebration at his home in Connecticut. Roberto explains that although this was not an event organized by the club, virtually every member showed up to celebrate.
Riki Lasa has been organizing this event for many years now. Once again, last may everyone gathered at Riki’s house to have chorizo and sausages, in addition to an entire pig roasted by Riki People traveled from all over Rhode Island and Connecticut to attend. Traditional Basque sports were played including aizkolariak (wood chopping) and txingaeruten (heavy weight carrying) contests.
Roberto adds that the Rhode Island Basque Club has 62 members at the moment. His goal is to increase the number to 100 for their Annual member's meeting, on August 28th. The club is also in the process of registering officially with the Basque Government. For now, they are present on the Internet, in their web and on Facebook.