A Basque in Boise

About eighty people gathered in sunny downtown Boise today to celebrate Korrika

This year Korrika will begin on March 14th in Andoain (Gipuzkoa) and will last 11 days non-stop, covering 2000 km throughout the Basque Country. As in previous editions, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and fitness levels will be taking part.

A hollow baton is carried during the race and exchanges hands at each change of kilometre. Inside there is a message which will not be made public until Korrika ends on March 24th in Baiona, when a well-known Basque personality will read it out loud.

This year Korrika will begin on March 14, in Andoain (Gipuzkoa), and will last 11 days non-stop, covering 2000 km throughout the Basque Country. A hollow baton is carried during the race and exchanges hands at each change of kilometer. Inside there is a message which will not be made public until Korrika ends on March 24th in Baiona, when a well-known Basque personality will read it out loud.

Boise’s Basque Run/Walk Korrika, 2013

However, before arriving to the Old Country, the Korrika made a stop in Boise, as it did last year and the year before, to give those of us in the Diaspora the opportunity to contribute as well to preserving the Basque language. About 80 people gathered in sunny downtown Boise this morning at the Basque Block to walk or run the two mile course. Participants started and ended the raise at Boise’s Basque Center and helped raise $1,000 to send our students to the Basque Country so they can practice their Basque and become language teachers in our Basque Centers.

Before the race, PJ Mansisidor, former Oinkari dancer, performed the Aurresku for the crowd, after which Boise State’s Professor John Bieter gave a short speech on why it is important to keep the Basque language alive. Then, it was finally time to run. The little kids lead the way, their faces featuring colorful ikurriñas and lauburus thanks to Boiseko Ikastola’s Director’s good work, Mara Davis, and the adults followed immediately after.

Nine year-old Andoni, second generation Basque-American from Boise (and my son!) was the winner of this year’s edition of the Korrika and received a copy of the book by Professor of Contemporary History Manuel Montero’s Euskadi Basque Country, written in Basque, Spanish and English.

After the award, people sat down to enjoy a potluck and talos prepared by chef Jesús Alcelay with Steve Mendibe‘s help and served by Professor Nere Lete, before moving the party over to The Basque Market for some sangría and txakolí.

A big thanks to the 2013 Korrika organizers, NABO Basque language coordinator Izaskun Kortazar and Basque language instructor Itxaso Cayero, plus a long list of volunteers who made the third edition of the run in Boise a complete success, like music group Txantxangorriak and students from Boise State University.

I leave you guys with some pictures and videos from today’s event. I hope you enjoy them!

Boiseko Korrika, 2013

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