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Ask a Basque Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Josu, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Josu

    Josu King

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    Hi:

    Peter Grimes user sent my a notification some days ago asking for an Ask a Basque thread, so here we are.

    First of all, please consider that English is not my native language, so probably I will have dificulties to answer some questions :sad:

    If anyone does not know yet what a basque is, there is a lot of stuff in wikipedia and here is a brief explanation.

    We are a ethnic or cultural minority in north of spain and south of France. If we consither that ethnic minorities must have racial diferences, we probably will have to say that we are just a cultural minority. There are thousands of Basque descendants among USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and the whole America continent. There are a lot of Basques in Philiphines as well.

    We have our own language, Basque, which is spoken by about one million people, although it is considered about 600,000 native speakers and allmost all of us speak Spanish or French as well. In Spain we are spread in the region of Basque country and region of Navarre, and in Navarre in the region of French Basque Country, in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques

    Basque people have never had our own state, however some historians consider that in Kingdom of Navarre there was a mayority of Basque speaking people. Nowadays there is some kind of controversy with this issue as, some people in the region of Navarre don't consider themself as basques, I would like to avoid this kind of controversy in the Thread, in fact, in Basque Language (Euskera or Euskara), the word for Basque People is Euskaldun, which literally means owner of basque languaje. And it is a fact that in Navarre Basque language is in minority.

    Nowadays, surely, most people who have heard about us it is unfortunatelly because of the independence movement and because of E.T.A. (I absolutely blame E.T.A.). Please consider that political and terrorism questions may result controversial.

    Any question will be wellcome, I will try to answer all of them, however I wont answer questions mixing the concept of E.T.A. with basque people or pacific independence movemets.
     
  2. ArneHD

    ArneHD Just a little bit mad

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    Getting the obvious questions away with first, why are there Basques in the Philippines? Is it a holdover from when it was a Spanish colony? What is the general attitude among the Basques towards ETA? And finally, what is a threath?
     
  3. Josu

    Josu King

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    Yes, it is a holdover of being Spanish colony. There is a plus. Some centuries ago, when a Basque family was having more than one son, first one was inheriting the family house and lands, second one was becaming religious, and if they were more, they should became soldier o emigrate if he wanted to have his own live.

    Nowadays, ETA's support from Basques is almost ended.
    There was a big support while Francisco Franco's regime.
    When democracy arrived, there was few people who really supported them, HB (or Batasuna) who was considered by some people the political arm, had more than a 5% of votes, but not all of the voters supported ETA


    It is spelling fail, I meant thread ;) thread = post right?

    Any admin, change the title please!!
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    How does it feel to speak a tongue that is completely unrelated to any other European language? :)
     
  5. AL_DA_GREAT

    AL_DA_GREAT amour absinthe révolution

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    What do Basque nationalists and Catalonian nationalists think of eachother? I have good contacts with nationalists in Catalonian but I haven't asked them about this.

    To what extent do Basques live in the mountains?
     
  6. Josu

    Josu King

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    The sensation I have is that there is a good relationship between Basque and Catalonian nationalist. I think that while having same objective (independence from spain) there is a kind of complicity between both sides. Furthermore in European Parliament PNV (Basque nationalist & right) and CiU (Catalonian nationalist & right) are in coalition and EA (Basque nationalist & left) is in coalition with ERC (catalonian nationalist & left)

    Uhmmm, basque country is full of hills and small mountains in consquence lot of small towns are located in them. However nowadays most of people live in big cities & surroundings. In Bilbao metropolitan area lives a bit less than one million people, while Basque country, including Navarre has about 2 Million people
     
  7. muhtesem insan

    muhtesem insan Amateur Revolutionary

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    I guess this percentage is for all spain. what's Batasuna's percentage in Basque region. What is ETA's political position. Is it a fully nationalist movement or has left tendencies like IRA and PKK? (I am not really informed about them)
    What about "Athletic Bilbao" how do you feel about them? (I am refering to their only basque policy)
     
  8. Josu

    Josu King

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    Batasuna's percentage for all region is around 20%, however I don't think that every single person who votes Batasuna/HB or nowadays Amaiur, supports ETA.
    I do know that most of Amaiur voters wants ETA to disappear.

    They are supposed to have left tendencies, their motto is Independence & Socialism


    I completely support the policy. The aim of the policy is that every single player and supporter has bigger motivation because of defending Athletic Club. Furthermore, I like supporting a team whose players may be a kid that may have grown up in my neiborhood.
     
  9. Josu

    Josu King

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    Sorry, I did not see this:)

    I don't have an special feelling because of that, It may result intersting and nice the fact that I speak a language which is a piece of museum, that it is supposed to be one of Europe's oldest language alive, which sometimes make me feel proud. Some other times, I remember that we have a hugh resposability on keeping language alive. We have a expression in basque that says:"Hizkuntza bat ez da galtzen ez dakienak ez duelako ikasten, ez dakienak ez duelako egiten baizik" This means, that a tongue does not die because people does not learn it, but it dies because people who know it, does not speak it.

    I'm bilingual, I speak both, spanish and basque fluently. I have a little mix in my brain. At work I speak Spanish and English because I have to speak daily with people in Madrid and India. With my family I use to speak basque with my father before he passed away in case of my mother was not present, and Spanish with my mother (She is not basque speaker), with my brothers and sisters I speak basque or spanish, depending on who is present. And with my friends I speak basque if they know it, and everybody who is present speaks it.
     
  10. muhtesem insan

    muhtesem insan Amateur Revolutionary

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    Are there any discrimination against basque people, or all problems (or at least other than a few isolated incident) are solved?
    If there are is it mostly in government level or public?
    How strong will for independence in basque people?
     
  11. mayor

    mayor Heart & Mind

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    Als ik dit lees dan heb ik het idee dat ik iets Oost-Europees lees
    Wait.... I typed that in Dutch :crazyeye: :lol:
    anyway, what I was saying:

    When I read that I feel like reading something from Eastern-Europe
     
  12. Josu

    Josu King

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    No, there are not many discrimination against Basques per se. What we have is many people linking deliverately whole basque people with ETA, mainly because of ignorance.


    It is a difficult answer, as PNV (strongest party) is moderate nationalist. If we consider they have will for independence I would say that about a 55% of people want it.
     
  13. Josu

    Josu King

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    I fact, some years ago, there were some linguist and historians, that looked for links between Basque and Georgian (From Georgia in former CCCP)
     
  14. mayor

    mayor Heart & Mind

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    Do you know what they concluded? (if they were able to that is :))
     
  15. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    Thanks for starting this thread!

    I've been very curious about Basque history / culture / language when I learned in college that Basque may be the only known indigenous languages remaining after the indo-european influx in prehistoric europe.

    Then I heard that Basque fishermen may have been sailing to North America even before Eric the Red. Are there any Basque stories or poems that discuss these fishing trips?
     
  16. Josu

    Josu King

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    No, this has been proven to be innacurate
    Basque sailors arriving at Terranova or Saint Pierre and Miquelon is dated about 1500 AD, after columbus. There are no previous evidences.
    I can not remember any story regarding this right know, but I am pretty sure that there is at least one, the basque written literature started very late, so we use to like to tell them, and we have a rich oral tradition.

    Edit: I have just remembered one fact about this sailors. There use to be a kind of whale in the bay of biscay. And sailors use to fish them. This kind of whale migrated to the area to terranova, so basque sailors arrive there following whales!!

    There is another curious story about seaman. There is an island in bay of Biscay which is called Izaro. It was in dispute between two small towns. Both towns decided who was the owner in a watercraft rowing race. Nowadays we remember this race with a festival in one of the towns (the one that won)
     
  17. Josu

    Josu King

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    There was no conclusion :lol:

    As our language is quite old, there are lot of studies about where is it comming.
    We have theories linking with georgian, bereber, phoenician, ancient iberian and so on. During history we can find as well tubalism (We came from babel tower) or the theory that belives that first humans in Europe, were basque and it is first language in europe. There are no based on facts, so I would say that this two theories are weird
     
  18. muhtesem insan

    muhtesem insan Amateur Revolutionary

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    1930's Turkey solved this problem. :cool:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Language_Theory
     
  19. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    Is school in the Basque country taught in Basque or in Spanish? Both?

    What are the local opinions of the Basque living in France?
     
  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The origins of the Basque people are largely unknown, right? But do you guys have legends that attempt to explain where you came from? In Poland we have such a story - with 3 brothers (1 Czech, 1 Polish, one Russian)

    I also wonder how easy it is to learn Spanish if you only speak Basque.. or the other way around. I suppose that probably never happens, right? You learn both languages as you're growing up? Must be tough since the languages are not related at all.
     

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