Category: korrika

Korrika 2017, Reno Style!

A couple of weeks ago, on Sunday, April 9, the Center for Basque Studies and the Jon Bilbao Basque Library, alongside friends and family, organized our own Korrika here in Reno and we had a blast. As most of you know from our previous posts, the Korrika is a community run to raise awareness of the Basque language. Besides myself, even though I’m working hard on it, all of the participants spoke Basque and speak it daily. It’s wonderful to see the language endure in a place like Reno. Our run coincided with the last day in the Basque Country, which ended in Iruñea-Pamplona after 2,000 kilometers of non-stop running starting in Otxandio on March 30. We’re glad to have participated and thank Iñaki Arrieta-Baro, Amaia Iraizoz, and Irati Urkitza for putting it together. Here are a few pics and video from the event. We hope to see you there next year!

The start of the run at Rancho San Rafael

Passing the baton

What a beautiful day to run!

Running with the Basque Sheepherder Monument in the background


The group


Join us next year! We’ll be sure to keep on supporting euskara!

Korrika 2017: Route and details announced!

The route and details of the 20th edition of the Korrika have just been announced. This is a biannual sponsored run that winds its way all over the Basque Country aiming to raise awareness of the reality of the Basque language as well as funding for adult learning centers for learning Basque. The non-stop 24-hour run is divided up into individual kilometers, with a special baton being passed on from participant to participant along the way.  Come rain or shine (quite often the former … it is the Basque Country, in spring, after all) the run goes on, night and day, until it reaches its chosen destination, where a previously secret message is taken from the baton and read to the amassed crowd.


The 2017 route, from the Korrika website (click on image to enlarge).

This year’s edition will cover 2000 kilometers (approximately 1,243 miles) in eleven hectic days between March 30 and April 9. The slogan for the event this year is “Batzuk” (some) as a play on words between bat (one) and zuk (you), as a symbol of how the Basque language can bring everyone together as one. The event kicks off in Otxandio (Bizkaia) and winds up in Iruñea-Pamplona and thousands are expected to attend and participate. Funds are raised by people “purchasing” individual kilometers, buying merchandise, or just making one-off donations.

This is a great celebration of the Basque language and what it means to be Basque in which anyone and everyone, whether they speak Basque or not, is encouraged to come along, either physically or in spirit, virtually, via the web. We at the Center encourage everyone, wherever you are, to get involved. Why not even organize your own Korrika?

Information and merchandise is available from the 2017 Korrika website here.  And don’t forget to check back in regularly between now and March for updates and further news!

And for a great explanation of the history and meaning of the Korrika, see Teresa del Valle’s Korrika: Basque Ritual for Ethnic Identity.


Korrika 2015 Is Here!

korrika 2015

Korrika engages Basques of all ages and around the world in support of Euskara! An image from today’s beginning of the Korrika from




The Route for the Nineteenth Edition of the Korrika, 2015 (

March 19 sees the start of the biannual Korrika, a fun-run that seeks to raise awareness about Euskara (Basque)  and raise funds for schools aimed specifically at adult learners of the language. This year’s nineteenth edition of the relay, in which multiple runners take part at any one time, is a nonstop run crisscrossing the whole Basque Country over the course of eleven days and over 1000 miles. Designated runners pass on a baton, carrying a secret message inside that is only revealed and read out at the end of the run. This year’s event starts in Urepele and finishes in Bilbao on March 29, but multiple parallel celebrations have been and will also be held all over the world, from Boise to Berlin, Montreal to Montevideo, and Shanghai to Sydney.


Worldwide celebrations being held for Korrika 2015 (

For an appreciation of the history and cultural significance of the event, see Teresa del Valle’s Korrika: Basque Ritual for Ethnic Identity.

If you’re interested in learning more about Basque, one of the few tongues in Europe to predate the arrival of Indo-European-speaking peoples six thousand years ago, check out the following books:

Koldo Mitxelena: Selected Writings of a Basque Scholar, compiled and with an introduction by Pello Salaburu, a selection of texts on the history and structure of the Basque language by the most renowned scholar of Euskara.

The Dialects of Basque by Koldo Zuazo, which explores the fascinating dialectical variety of the language and is the first study of its kind in English, including in-depth case studies of particular dialects.

The Challenge of a Bilingual Society in the Basque Country, edited by Pello Salaburu and Xabier Alberdi, a collection of texts by experts in the field of Basque that explores the current bilingual situation in the Basque Country and the challenges Euskara faces looking toward the future.

Language Rights and Cultural Diversity, edited by Xabier Irujo and Viola Miglio, the collected papers of a conference exploring the many facets of language rights and language protection from a variety of theoretical, legal, and academic perspectives.