Spanish Basque Country: A Unique Culture Explained with David Hosking

Spanish Basque Country: A Unique Culture Explained with David Hosking


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Europe has many nations within nations, and the Basque Country is one of the best known. What is it that gives the people of this part of northern Spain and southwest France a feeling of being different from those around them? This seminar looks at language, history, culture, art, sport, and food to arrive at some of the answers to this intriguing question.

What gives the Basques their particular character? The key to this question is language: Euskera, or Basque, believed by some scholars to be Europe’s oldest. We will look at the language and talk about its place today among Basques: held in high regard, even when not spoken. The Basque language is an important feature of this region, present in the names of places, foods, and people, even in areas where the language is used only by a minority.

The historical autonomy of the Basque provinces is another important characteristic. We will sort out counties, kingdoms, and lordships, visiting the old parliament house standing in the town of Guernica, as well as the modern regional governments in Vitoria and Pamplona.

Other prominent Basque characteristics also have a role: the Basque physiognomy, sports and also food, folk traditions, and symbols all play their part in giving modern Basques their own particular identity.

Led by an expert on the Basque Country, David Hosking, this interactive seminar about Basque identity is designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of this varied and curious part of the world.

David, originally from Scotland, has been living and guiding in Bilbao and northern Spain for many years. David is a published art historian, professional art educator and translator (he translated into English one of the standard guides to the architecture of Bilbao). He has a particular interest in the way the architecture of a city can tell its story, and has a passion for this endlessly curious part of the world.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
25%
(2)
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
M
M.A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.T.

I was very disappointed with this seminar because I have been interested in Basque Country for many years, and I don't feel it added to my knowledge. Although David lives in this area of Spain, the presentation seemed superficial; it often felt like a collection of random facts rather than an organized whole. I am especially interested in the Basque language but learned nothing about the language itself during that section of the presentation. David repeatedly said that the language was "different." But how is it different? Vocabulary, obviously, but what about word order and sentence structure? Grammar? How has this ancient language managed to be kept alive all these years? How has the language influenced the culture? I didn't expect a linguistics lesson, but a few examples beyond a word or two (or the fact that more people in one region speak the language than in the other region) would have been good. I felt that the section on Politics was also lacking in substance. Since many people only know about the Basque area because of the separatist movement and its violence, it seemed strange that this wasn't discussed until a couple of people asked questions. The Culture portion of the presentation didn't cohere for me at all -- it really seemed to be a collection of random facts.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.
Boring

Not much information that could not have been obtained from Wikipedia. Very little insight except for statistics. I had expected something more personal and insightful.

j
j.m.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
25%
(2)
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
M
M.A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.T.

I was very disappointed with this seminar because I have been interested in Basque Country for many years, and I don't feel it added to my knowledge. Although David lives in this area of Spain, the presentation seemed superficial; it often felt like a collection of random facts rather than an organized whole. I am especially interested in the Basque language but learned nothing about the language itself during that section of the presentation. David repeatedly said that the language was "different." But how is it different? Vocabulary, obviously, but what about word order and sentence structure? Grammar? How has this ancient language managed to be kept alive all these years? How has the language influenced the culture? I didn't expect a linguistics lesson, but a few examples beyond a word or two (or the fact that more people in one region speak the language than in the other region) would have been good. I felt that the section on Politics was also lacking in substance. Since many people only know about the Basque area because of the separatist movement and its violence, it seemed strange that this wasn't discussed until a couple of people asked questions. The Culture portion of the presentation didn't cohere for me at all -- it really seemed to be a collection of random facts.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.
Boring

Not much information that could not have been obtained from Wikipedia. Very little insight except for statistics. I had expected something more personal and insightful.

j
j.m.

Guest did not leave comment