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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi-<br><br>
I was born and raised in the Basque Country and moved to the US when I was 24. Just had a baby boy 9 months ago and I am trying to raise him speaking basque. DH is american so he speaks English to him.<br><br>
I know my son is now an american citizen but I'd like him to understand he is also 50% basque (I'm very proud of my heritage).<br><br>
So are there any mamas out there who have basque ancestors and have been brought up in a basque family?<br><br>
Eskerrik asko!
 

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Wow. I never thought that I would see such a post on MDC. While I know that there are many a Basque Mama out there, it's not common to hear from one. I certainly don't have the same experience that you do, being a direct immigrant from the Basque Country, but I do have experience with the culture and understand the desire for your son to be proud of his heritage. I try to explain how proud Basques are of their culture to others, but they don't quite "get it."<br><br>
I was raised in Bakersfield, California, where there is a large population of Basque immigrants from the early and mid 20th Century. Their offspring are just as proud of their "Homeland" as their parents are. My maternal grandparents came to the U.S. in the late 1930's. Unfortunately, they were from a generation where speaking a foreign language was not considered an advantage. They wanted their children to learn English so as to assimilate better into American culture and to be successful in their careers. As a result, my mother only knows simple greetings and the scolding phrases her mother used when she was angry with her or her brothers.<br><br>
My mother did her best to instill a sense of pride and knowledge of our ancestry. Her parents died when she was a teen, so we never knew them directly. We were members of the Kern County Basque Club and I danced with the youth dance group for a decade or so. I don't know if you have looked into the North American Basque Organization (NABO). They have great programs that are geared toward American-Born children of the Basque Country. Their summer Music Camps are what taught me the little Euskara that I know, as well as how to play Mus and the txistu. As part of the Dance troups, your kids will take part in the many festivals around the western U.S. States, meeting other Basque youths. I highly recommend it. What state do you live in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow... what a great surprise! I really didn't think that anybody would reply to my post. Like you said, I know that there are many people out there with Basque grandparents but not very many Basques come to the US anymore.<br><br>
I do know of NABO and I have visited their website. I live in Palm Beach County Florida. There a few Basque pelota players down in miami but they are only temporary residents and even most of them have moved back to euskadi since jai alai is not such a big sport anymore over here.<br><br>
I speak to my son Jon mostly in Euskera although I mix it up with English when we are around others. Eventually Spanish will also come into the picture but I want to make sure Euskera is first.<br><br>
Do you know where your grandparents were from? Have you ever been to Euskal Herria?
 

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My family history is a bit sketchy, due to their death when my mother was so young. We don't know a lot of details. I am not really sure of their origins, but I do know that they are French Basque and lived for a time in St. Etienne de Bourgaray (sp?). I have been to France but not to Euskal Herria. One day, I really hope to go there with my mother. I think that it would be a very special trip for her. I think that it is awesome that you are teaching your son Euskera. It will keep you in practice as well. The only down side is that he will have so few others to speak with in Florida. Where I grew up, all you have to do is go to one of the dozen Basque Restaurants/hotels and hang out by the bar for some pecan punch to shoot the breeze. Here in San Francisco is the Basque Cultural Center where many Basques of several generations gather to keep up the language as well. You are one of the few new Basque immigrants and I really wish you well. Coming from a descendent, I highly encourage you to be vigilant in teaching your son the language and his heritage. I only wish that I could have had the same experience. Where were you living before? How are you adjusting to your new life? Do you miss your family/home ridiculously? How often do you get to go back?
 

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I think I hardly count, but wanted to chime in. I'm many generations removed now from any purely Basque ancestors, but did live for a summer with a basque family in San Sebastian to find out more about being Basque, I guess. It was a wonderful experience. My Basque Ama there was wonderful at telling me lots of mythology and history... which, since it was nearly 10 years ago now (!!!!) I've mostly forgotten. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I wish, wish, wish I understood any of the language. I'd love to feel more part of the culture!<br><br>
But I wanted to at least chime in and say, "don't let your child end up with these sorts of regrets!" good for you, mama!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Goodness, I love these replies! I never thought I would get any.<br><br>
And yes, I miss my family and friends and the food terribly. I get to go home at least once a year and my parents spend a whole month with us every year. I also have friends that drop by every so often and I keep in touch with everyone so I don't feel very far from it. I'm very happy to live here in FL and now that I'm a mom, I feel content here. A few years ago, especially after I got married, I had doubts about living so far away from Europe. I was happily married but being away from everything and everyone turned out to be harder than I thought it would. Now that my son is American, I feel more at ease here.<br><br>
But yes, I think it's important to teach him other languages and customs. I think one day he might want to move back to EH and live there for a while.<br><br>
I wish you guys lived closer so we could meet!
 
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