29 February, 2012


The Basque country can be compared to the Kurdiss. They have no country of their own, but occupy parts of other countries. So the Basque will be found in Southern France and Northern Spain, occupying the mountain ranges. They are a proud people who have held on to their language and their culture. They hate the Spanish and the French though they are forced to learn the language of the country they live in. The men are distinguishable by their black wool coats and hats.

For years they fought to get independence by blowing up buildings and causing all sorts of problems. And they have gained some independence. They can teach Basque in the schools and all the children do speak Basque among themselves as do many adults. Of course they must learn Spanish as well, but often refuse to acknowledge the language in their bars and coffee shops.

The language is unusal because it has no ancestry and no relative language in the world. The languages of Japan, Hungary, Estonia and Finland all stem from the area around Manchuria and are part of the Finno-Ugrig language family, but the Basque cannot trace their language back to any one language group. This, of course, makes them very unique. And it would be sad to lose the language.

The Basque are considered by some experts to be one of the surviving groups of the Neolithic groups before the invasion of the Indo Europeans. Other experts say they may well be remnants of the Paleolithic people who lived as long as 19000 years ago. In any case, these are a people with a long history.

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