Why Study Basque?
I felt that studying Basque was important to not only learn about my own identity and culture, but to better understand the Basque culture in general. So much of the Basque identity is related to the language that I feel without some sort of basic knowledge of it, I would always be missing something.
Studying Basque was important for me to be fully immersed in my culture. It was a part of the puzzle that I wasn’t able to complete until I started at Boise State University. Once I began, I didn’t want to stop, so my sister and I were given the opportunity to attend a barnategi (Basque language immersion school) in Lazkao, in the Basque Country for a few weeks to continue learning and improving our Euskara skills. It was an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful for every day.
I am currently the Executive Director of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center in Boise, and I use Basque almost daily. Visitors want to hear a word or two to understand what we mean when we say “Basque is a very unique language”. I also get the opportunity to work with many people in the Basque Country, and so being able to use some Euskara helps me connect with them on another level, even if we switch to Spanish or English later.