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The main lines of the folkloric exhibitions of dance, music and customary clothing, for instance, try to be a virtual copy of the same exhibitions in the Basque Country, with periodical feed-backs from Europe not to lose the authenticity. Moreover the development of the new information technologies and the revolution in world transport have also encouraged the connection with the homeland. But a crucial element of any collective identity is its dynamic dimension So Basque Americans have not only received slices of Basque culture but, above all, they have reinterpreted them within their own situational contexts in a multicultural space.
So their descendants sing the music that was in fashion at the time they migrated, enjoy the dances that vanished long ago and play the latest voguish games just before they departed. All these features evolved in the homeland. Dances as the jota or the arin-arin , that were once very popular in the Basque Country, are still one of the core elements of Basque festivals in the United States, in which almost all participate.
For instance, when in the aftermath of collective banquets Basque Americans start singing together, they use to chorus Eusko Gudariak , a chant that became popular in the years of the Spanish Civil War among the Basque soldiers that fought against Franco. But while Basque Americans have turned it into a festive song, in the Basque Country it has been adopted as a partisan anthem by ETA supporters.
What Americans consider to be Basque gastronomy have very little to do with the customs in the Basque Country. Basque immigrants had to develop a particular style of cooking, conditioned by the availability of ingredients while shepherding. So most of the dishes are based on sheep meat, legumes, potatoes easy to preserve for long periods in the wilderness and homemade bread prepared in little ovens. Today, roasted lamb and shepherd bread contests are compulsory in every Basque festivals. Rituals for eating are also unique.
During the time shepherds spent their winter holiday at the hotel, they used to eat together at the same table. This home-style became, for most Americans, the real Basque way of dining, even though this practice is totally unknown in the homeland. Maybe the weakest aspect of this explanation is the notion of ethnic identity as an crystallized entity, whose components are not subject to transformation and are wholly preserved from generation to generation.
Ethnic features are not a treasure that older generations manage to transmit unchangeably to the younger ones, but a system of interconnected and mutually influencing elements that evolve, modify and are modified in different historical, social and even geographical environments. First of all, when immigration was a living phenomenon, newcomers put the stress on their desire to integrate and adapt, to Americanize.
Only when this objective was achieved, were second and third generation Basque Americans able, not only to rediscover but also to make public what had so far been hidden in private.
Had M. L Hansen researched on Basque immigration, he could have possibly found some evidence for his ideas about the evolution of immigrants' integration in American history. Census Bureau as either foreign-born population, or American-born citizens with at least one foreign-born parent. University of the Basque Country, Spain, oscar. Sommaire - Document suivant. Plan The persistence of ethnic identities. The construction of Basque identity: from culture to politics. The emergence of a diasporic Basque identity. Basques become public: the symbolic construction of the identity.
Census Bureau as either foreign-born population, or American-born citizens wit Historia del Partido Nacionalista Vasco Nuevas identidades, entr Haut de page. Suivez-nous Flux RSS.
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