In brief

Seizing lockdown time to speak Basque “more, with more people and on more occasions”

Euskaraldia’s initiative proposes videos and messages to reflect on the language and promote its use from home

A new proposal in the Basque Country is encouraging people confined to their homes to reflect on the use of the Basque language while suggesting ways to increase it. Etxealditik Euskaraldira promoters are releasing videos and messages from 21 April to 3 May that are available on Euskaraldia’s Facebook page and also on its Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Organisers are asking participants to hang a coloured dot on their balconies or windows as a sign of their participation in the proposal.

Euskaraldia, a “social exercise”

The Etxealdik Euskaraldira proposal is a part of a wider initiative, Euskaraldia, which has been promoted since 2018 by several Basque associations and government bodies. Euskaraldia is defined as a “social exercise” aimed at increasing the social use of Basque —to speak it “more, with more people and on more occasions”, according to its slogan— through a change in linguistic habits. The initiative seeks to encourage individual reflection on those habits and, starting from there, to facilitate the integration of new practices that will eventually lead to a wider use of Basque.

The first, offline Euskaraldia event took place during 11 days in the months of November and December in 2018. Some 200,000 people and 85 associations from more than 400 municipalities of the seven Basque territories took part in it.

The second event is scheduled to be held in autumn 2020, provided that the evolution of the covid-19 pandemic allows it.