Last Saturday, the 23rd of September, we celebrated the annual Basque Ladies Luncheon at the restaurant, Louis Basque Corner. It is an essential event for all the Basque ladies in Reno and its surrounding areas. A unique occasion to gather together, and when there’s food on the table of a good restaurant, it is even better!
The event began at 11.30am, and the restaurant was pretty full when we arrived. The ladies, with their Lauburu necklaces -in all sizes and colors- were conversing, laughing, and loving each other’s company, some of them, the bravest ones, were drinking Picon Punch. The talented ladies Judy Mendeguia and Joanie Test shared their beautiful handmade horseshoes and crosses with us, such beautiful and exceptional artwork made with so much love and passion. The Center for Basque Studies didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to show and share our latest publications with the ladies. The reception of our books was incredible, thank you so much!
Around noon we began having lunch, and the menu was delicious. The traditional Basque family-style lunch included soup of the day, French bread, Basque beans, salad, French fries, an entree, and a complimentary glass of house wine or a soft drink, and coffee. They set up an area for us and they treated us phenomenally.
Unfortunately, this lunch wasn’t the same without our beloved, Florence Larraneta Frye who was unable to attend. She is an amazing Basque woman who made the endeavor of the Basque Ladies Luncheon a reality, a dream come true. It is also worth thanking Kate Camino for maintaining the spirit and us ladies together.
Till the next time!
Prof. Dr. Joseba Achotegui
Last Monday, September 11, we welcomed the author of the “Ulysses Syndrome,” Prof. Dr. Joseba Achotegui from the University of Barcelona to the Center for Basque Studies. He is the General Secretary of the Transcultural Section at the World Psychiatric Association, a psychiatrist, and tenured professor. He has also been the Director of SAPPIR (Psychopathological and Psychosocial Support Service for Immigrants and Refugees) at the Hospital of Sant Pere Claver in Barcelona, and Director of the online postgraduate course”Mental health, cultural processes and psychological interventions with immigrants, minorities, and the socially excluded” at the University of Barcelona since 1997. The purpose of his visit was to explain the “Ulysses Syndrome,” its consequences and possible solutions.
The Ulysses Syndrome has become more common in the 21st century with the increase in the migration of individuals. He explained how migrating today is becoming a process that is so intense and stressful for millions of people that they are unable to overcome these difficulties. Because of this inability to adapt to their new countries, these individuals are the candidates for the Ulysses Syndrome (with reference to the Greek hero who suffered countless adversities and dangers far from his loved ones). He argued that even though Ulysses was a demigod, he barely survived the terrible adversities and dangers of his journey. Extrapolating The Odyssey to those individuals who enter new surroundings and suffer the difficulties of integration, Achotegui has set out a diagnosis for mental health problems that are not pathological.
The set of symptoms that make up this syndrome are now an emerging mental health problem in the host countries of immigrants. He described the most important stressors as: the forced separation of loved ones, a rupture in the attachment instinct, the feeling of hopelessness due to the failure of the migration project and the lack of opportunities, and the struggle for survival. He mentioned different steps and ways to help these migrants who go through Ulysses Syndrome, such as breathing and relaxation techniques, physical exercise, eating habits and positive thinking. All these thing can help in their adaptation process.
Prof. Dr. Achotegui at the Center for Basque Studies by Inaki Arrieta Baro, Jon Bilbao Basque Library.
It was a very interesting presentation for many of us who immigrated to the United States. Thankfully, the CBS and its team make the transition as comfortable as possible, however, there will always be challenges when facing new situations. It definitely gave a perspective of how previous and current immigrants struggle for survival and integration in their new host countries.
The group Delorean, from Zarautz (Gipuzkoa), recently reinterpreted the music of Mikel Laboa with an electronic touch at a one-off concert in Bilbao’s Arriaga Theater. Check out this teaser.
According to the band’s Facebook page, while this was just a one-off gig, it is considering doing a whole album covering Laboa songs at some time in the future.
If you’re interested in popular music, check out Jon Eskisabel Urtuzaga’s Basque Songwriting: Pop, Rock, Folk, available free to download here, courtesy of the Etxepare Basque Institute.
The Basque illustrator Adur Larrea, has created a graphic novel about the life of Gabriel Aresti (1933-1975), one of the most influential Basque writers and poets: Gabriel Aresti, BioGrafikoa (Gabriel Aresti: A BioGraphic), published by the Erroa press.
Adur Larrea. Photo from uriola.eus
The comic has 90 pages spanning a period between the 1930s and the 1970s that chart the life of the great writer. Adur combines both Spanish and Basque to offer a natural portrait of Bilbao, Aresti’s home town.
The book goes on sale today, November 19, and if you want to taste a little bit of this work click here.
The Center for Basque Studies has an interesting selection of books in its Basque Literature and Graphic Novels sections.
Images from http://www.bizkaie.biz/
Amerikanuak (1975), by William A. Douglas and Jon Bilbao, is a cornerstone in studies of Basque emigration and diaspora. Although in the last four decades a lot of research has been carried out on this topic, this book is still essential today.
From October 14 and until December 9, different universities in the Basque Country are honoring this landmark work by holding inter-university seminars on topics related to the book titled “The Basque Country and the Americas: Atlantic Links and Relations.”
October 14: at the University of Navarre, Iruñea-Pamplona: “Navarre and the Americas.”
October 15-16: at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz: “Recovering the North: Companies, Capitals, and Atlantic Projects in the Imperial Hispanic Economy.”
October 23: the University of Pau, in conjunction with Eusko Ikaskuntza (the Basque Studies Society), at the Basque Museum of Baiona: “Research on Basque emigration.”
December 9 at Mondragon University, Arrasate: “The Image and Representation of Basques.”
William Douglass will be in the Basque Country collaborating in these inter-university seminars. For more information about these seminars (in Spanish) click here.
The Center for Basque Studies has more books written and edited by William A. Douglass that you may find interesting, such as: Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean, Death after Life: Tales of Nevada, (edited with Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika) The Basque Diaspora, Global Vasconia, Essays in Basque Social Anthropology and History, and (with Joseba Zulaika) Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives (free to download here).
There is even a candid and vivid biography by Miel A. Elustondo, William A. Douglass: Mr. Basque, which will be of interest to anyone who has followed Bill’s work over the years.
Photo taken from the Eitb website.
Aitaren etxea (The father’s house) is a TV show set in the 50s in a small coastal Basque town that goes by the fictitious name of Etxegi. The idea behind the show is to portray how hard life was in the Basque Country after the Spanish Civil War. The impossible love story between the mayor’s daughter, Irene, and Martin, a country boy, will reflect the open wounds that still exist after the fratricidal civil war between the “winners” and the “losers” in the conflict.
If you want to see the first episode (in Basque and some Spanish) click here.
On a related theme, War, Exile, Justice, and Everyday Life, 1936-1946, edited by Sandra Ott, explores the impact of war over a decade in Europe (including the Basque Country) in the 1930s and 1940s.
Sheep graze along the Humboldt River in this historical photo
Northeastern Nevada Museum
Iker Saitua, PhD student at the Center for Basque Studies, recently published another amazing story in the Elko Daily Free Press. A terrific article combining history, family stories, and his own personal experience. The main protagonist of the article are the Humboldt brothers. Because, did you know that the state of Nevada was almost called Humboldt? Click here to read it!
You may also find the following book interesting: Selected Basque Writings: The Basques and Announcement of a Publication
Photo from the official website of the film http://www.loreakfilm.com/es/
Loreak (Flowers), a Basque-language film directed by Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga, has been selected to represent Spain at next year’s Oscars. But before being finally selected for the Oscars, the film must still pass two more shortlists. We will follow its progress closely.
Ane’s life takes a turn when, week after week, she starts getting a bouquet of flowers at home. Always at the same hour. And always anonymously. The life of Lourdes and Tere is also affected by some mysterious flowers. Every week someone deposits a bouquet in memory of someone who was important in their lives. This is the story of three women, three lives altered by the mere presence of a few bouquets. Flowers will sprout in them feelings that seemed forgotten … But after all, are nothing but flowers.
If you want to know more about the Basque Cinema, click here.
See also this article at the Guardian.
Last week the students and professors of the Center for Basque Studies once again started the Basque Lecture Series. This tradition, which began some years ago, is one of the most entertaining events during the fall semester.
With these lectures the students learn confidence and skills for future conferences and symposiums. The feedback between the professors and students make these lectures something genuine.
Through the last Thursday in November, every Thursday at 5.15 pm in the Center for Basque Studies (Basque Conference Room, 305, Third Floor), students and professors will give a lecture on a topic that they are researching.
You are all invited!
Last year’s flyer, designed by Iker Saitua
Saturday, September 26, witnessed the grand finale of the 50th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Bilbao. Relive the event here.
Video taken for YouTube
If you want to know more about Bilbao or the Guggenheim Museum, check out That Old Bilbao Moon: The Passion and Resurrection of a City, Building Time: The Relatus in Frank Gehry’s Architecture, and Learning from the Bilbao Guggenheim, available free to download here. In relation to the event itself, see also Playing Fields: Power, Practice, and Passion in Sport.