HOME  Astero Basq Govt  B-Board Calendar Dance  Education Euskara FAQ  Meeting Members Mus  Music Pilota Youth  

     

 

 

The Cultural Identity Marketplace &
the Selling of Being Basque

Estekak | Related links: 
www.buber.net www.euskalidentity.com  21st Century Basques   www.euskalmunduak.com
Coexistence: Being Basque & American    Jokinen essay on Basque Identity

Kultura Nortasunaren Merkatua eta
Euskaldun Izatea produktutzat

Euskaldun izatea, gaur egun, aukera kontua da.  Baina, ez da, egun, eskura agertzen zaigun aukera bakarra, beste hainbat ditugu inguruan, zergatik orduan euskaldun izatea aukeratu?  Beste aukera guztien artetik euskal nortasuna nabarmendu beharko dugu, beste kultura-nortasunen merkatuan murgildu eta desagertzea nahi ez badugu, behintzat.

SARRERA.  Hasteko, lau ideia nagusi azalduko ditugu, ez bat etortzearren, gaia zertxobait argitzearren baizik. Izan ere, bi euskaldunekin batera hiru iritzi topatuko dituzu beti.   1. Euskaldun izatea aukeratzen duenak ez du zertan beste inongo nortasunari uko egin: Amerikanoa, Islandiarra, etab.   Egoera honetan ez dago "hau edo bestearekin" geratzerik, "hau eta bestearekin" geratzea posible baita.   
  2. Ideia honek teoria alde batera uztera bultzatzen gaitu, pauso bat aurrera eman dezagun.   Euskaldun izatearen ideia bizirik mantentzen interesatuta daudenok, Euskal Marka sortzera eta garatzera gonbidatuta daude.   
  3. Euskaldun izatearen behin betiko definiziorik ez dagoela argi dugu, bakoitzak berea baitu, baina kultura-nortasunen merkatuan galtzerik ez badugu nahi, hainbat kontzeptu finkatu behar dira.  
  4. Hau ez da NABOren agerpen ofiziala, proposamen bukatugabea baizik.

KULTURA NORTASUNEN MERKATUA

Egun, mendebaldeko gizarteak zer eta nor izan nahi duen aukeratzeko eskubide osoa du, hori da, besteak beste, gure ezaugarri nagusienetako bat.  Horrela, gutako gehienoi honako galdera erabat normala iruditzen zaigu:   "zer izango zara handitzen zarenean?" galdera horrek, funtsean, hautatzeko libre garela esan nahi du, hori ez da izan, baina, egoera unibertsal bat.  Orain gutxi, hasi dira mendebaldeko zenbait herrialde (Kanada, Amerika, Erresuma Batua, Frantzia, etab.) horrela pentsatzen.   Mendebaldekook kultura-nortasun merkatu baten muinean bizi gara, non zer nahi dugun izan aukeratu dezakegun.
 

The Cultural Identity Marketplace &
the Selling of Being Basque


Being Basque today is more-so a question of choice--Aukera in Basque. But with so many choices making claims on our time, treasure and talent these days, why would someone want to choose Basqueness?  We will have to distinguish the Basque brand or else lose out in the marketplace of cultural identities.

PREFACE.  Let this begin with a few initial assertions if not for agreement (because wherever you have two Basques you have three opinions) at least clarity:
  1.
The first assertion is that choosing to be Basque does not mean that one cannot also define themselves as an American, Canadian, etc.  This is not an either/or situation wherein being one means you have to give up being the other. 
  2.
This is less a theoretical exercise and mores-so a call to action.  Those interested in keeping "Basqueness" alive are being called to participate in this development of the so-called defining of the Basque Brand. 
  3. This is not about the definitive definition of Basqueness--there is not just one way of being Basque--but it has to stand for some clear things or else it will get lost in the marketplace of cultural identities.
  4. This is not an official statement from N.A.B.O. but a working proposal.


THE MARKETPLACE OF CULTURAL IDENTITIES

One of the distinguishing elements of modern times in the western world is that people can largely choose what to be.  Most people today who live in the western world usually take the following question for granted: "what do you want to be when you grow up?" This assumes that the individual has choices, but historically this was not the universal norm.  Only starting recently, in some parts of the world that we call the "West" (that embraces some countries like Canada, America, England, France, etc.) did people begin to think in these terms.  Westerners inhabit a marketplace of cultural identities, where we are able to pick and choose what it is that we want to be.

Horrela, gutako gehienoi honako galdera erabat normala iruditzen zaigu:   "zer izango zara handitzen zarenean?" Mendebaldekook kultura-nortasun merkatu baten muinean bizi gara, non zer nahi dugun izan aukeratu dezakegun. Most people today who live in the western world usually take the following question for granted:  "what do you want to be when you grow up?"  Westerners inhabit a marketplace of cultural identities, where we are able to pick and choose what it is that we want to be.

Dinesh D'Souza-k Amerikan etorkin gisa bizitako esperientziaren inguruan idatzi du, bere Amerikako bizimodua jatorrizko Indiakoarekin konparatzen duela.   Haren arabera, Indian geratu izan balitz " nire iritziak ez lirateke nire aitaren edota nire aitaren aitaren desberdinak izango, edonork jakingo luke aldez aurretik nire iritzia." Gizarte tradizionalak deskribatzeko modu ona dugu hau. Euskal Herria, gure arbasoak bizi ziren herria, gizarte tradizionala da.   "Horrela," jarraitzen du, "nire patuaren tarte handi bat idatzirik egongo litzatekeela, uste dut.   Horrek ez du esan nahi aukerarik ez nukela izango; baina aukerak oso gutxi izango lirateke."

D'Souza-k eskura ditugun zenbait aukeren berri ematen digu:  "Norekin ezkonduko naizen nire kabuz edota gurasoekin erabaki dezaket.  Budista izaten jarraitu dezaket, edo Katoliko bihurtu edota erlijiorik ez izan." Baina, D'Souza-k dioen bezala, aukera hauek muga bat dute:   "kontua da gauza hauek guztiak ezin ditudala aldi berean egin, aukera egin behar dudala."

Egunak dituen 24 ordutan, baita asteak dituen 7 egunetan ere, zer egingo dute nire seme-alabek? Euskal dantzak ala futbola?   Herriko Euskal Etxean izena emango dugu ala karabana elkartean jarraituko dugu, noizean behin ateraldiren bat egin ahal izateko?  Datorren Euskal piknik-ean lagunduko dugu Los Banos-en, ala Kaliforniako Paso Robles mahastietan geratuko gara ardo zoragarri batzuk dastatzen?   Hauxe da egungo kultura-nortasunen merkatua.   Horrelako aukerek arriskuan jartzen dute euskal nortasunaren iraupena.  

Dinesh D'Souza who writes about his immigrant experience in America, contrasts his new home in America with his country of origin India.  He notes that had he remained in India, "I would have a whole set of opinions that could be predicted in advance; indeed, they would not be very different from what my father believed, or his father before him."  This summarizes life in traditional societies, including the Basque country from which our Basque ancestors came.  "In sum," he continues, "my destiny would to a large degree have been given to me.  This is not to say that I would have no choice; I would have choice, but within narrowly confined parameters."

D'Souza gives some examples of the choices we have:  "I can consult my parents about whom to marry, or I decide for myself.  Either I remain a Buddhist, or I become a Catholic, or give up my religion altogether."  But D'Souza cautions that these choices are not unlimited:  "the point is that I cannot do all these things simultaneously; I have to choose." 

With 24 hours in a day, and still seven days a week, do I commit my child to Basque dancing lessons or will it be soccer instead?  Do we become members of the local Basque club or do we stay committed to our Airstream Trailer club that goes camping regularly?  Will we go and support the upcoming Basque picnic in Los Banos or just stay longer in the California wine country of Paso Robles now that I'm fancying myself a wine aficionado?  This is our crowded marketplace of cultural identities.  These and other choices present challenges in perpetuating Basqueness. 

Honako belaunaldiek modu desberdinetan ikusten dute aurrean dugun erronka:
The challenge of our time as viewed across recent generations:
Generation A: "Automatic"
AUTOMATIKOA
Generation B: "Betweeners"
ZUBIAN
Generation C: "Choosers"
AUKERATZAILEAK
Hasierako euskaldunak "automatikoki" egin zuten aukera, izan ere, kultura-nortasunen merkatua murritza zen orduan.
Earlier Basques were "automatically" made largely because there were few other options in the marketplace of cultural identities
Etorkin euskaldunak "zubian" zeuden; mundu euskaldun batean bizi ziren, baina hona etorrita aukerak bikoiztu egin ziren.
Basque immigrants were in between; they & some of their kids were raischooed in a Basque world but here they had more choices.
Egungo euskal gazteriak Euskaldun izaten jarraituko dute edota kultura-nortasunen merkatuari begirada bat botako diote?
Nowadays, will young Basques decide to remain Basque now that there are many more options in the marketplace of identity?

EUSKAL MARKAREN DESKRIPZIOA

A belaunalditik ("Automatikoa"), B belaunaldira ("Zubia") salto egin dugu eta azkenik, C belaunaldira ("Aukeratzaileak").  A belaunaldia duela mende bat edo gehiagoko euskaldunekin lotuko dugu.   Garai hartako Euskal Herrian, Euskal nortasuna zen kultura-nortasunen merkatuak eskaintzen zuen aukera bakarra.   Espainiarra eta Frantziar aukerak egon bazeuden, baina Euskal Herrian jaiotako gehienak "automatikoki" euskaldunak bihurtzen ziren.   Herritartasuna nahigabe aukeratzen zela esan genezake. B belaunaldiak, aldiz, etorkin belaunaldia zenez, euskaldun izaten jarraitzea aukeratzen zuten euren gaztarotan, horrela egiten zuten batzuk, beste batzuk baina, aukera gehiago zeudela ikusita, Euskal nortasuna alde batera uztea erabakitzen zuten. Bi herriren arteko "zubian" zeuden denak. Euskaldun izaten jarraitzea erabaki zutenok, Blas Uberuagak deskribatzen duen moduan (buber.net-etik hartuta) "Euskaldunak ziren, ez zuten ezer berezirik egin behar Euskaldunak zirela adierazteko." Horrela deskribatzen du, etorkin euskaldun talde baten gora-beherak. "Euskal Herrian balira bezala elkartzen ziren, musean jolasten, euskaraz mintzatzen, horrelakoa izan behar du euskaldun batek, pentsatzen nuen neurerako."  .

C belaunaldia egungo  ume euskaldunak eta heldu gazteak dira.   Hauek dira eskura hamaika aukera dituztenak; hauek dira Euskal Marka "erosi" edota ahaztu egingo dutenak.   Beraz, erosiko badute, salgai jarri beharko dugu.   Euskal Marka erakargarria egin behar dugu kultura-nortasunen merkatuan interesgarriena bihurtzeko.

DEFINING THE BASQUE BRAND

We have gone from Generation A ("Automatic") to Generation B ("Betweeners") to now Generation C ("Choosers").  Generation A references Basques going back a century or more ago.  In those times in the Basque Country, the Basque brand was the only real option in the marketplace of cultural identity.  Yes there was Spanish and French influence, but in most cases Basques were largely "automatically" made Basque.  Theirs was mostly an involuntary ethnicity. 

Generation B references the immigrant generation that was largely made Basque in their youth, but when they arrived here they now had choices which makes them the "Betweeners;" some choose to remain primarily identified with their Basque identity while others set it aside. Those immigrants that did decide to remain Basque
is aptly described by Blas Uberuaga (of buber.net) who commented about a small gathering of immigrant Basques "getting together and living life just like they might have in the old country."  He continues "while they were playing Mus, chatting away in Euskara, I couldnít help thinking to myself that this is what being Basque really is about.  These guys donít have to do anything to show their Basqueness, they just are Basque."

Generation C is Basque kids and young adults today.  They are the ones who have a wide assortment of choices; they are the ones who will either "buy" or set aside Basqueness.  So to get them to buy it, we have to sell it.  We have to define the Basque brand to make it an appealing choice in the marketplace of cultural identities.

Zertaz gaude harro?  

Galdera honi erantzun positiboak eman behar dizkiogu, jendea euskaldun izaten jarraitzeko arrazoi ona baita.
Proud of what exactly? 

We have to find ways of answering this question in a positive sense if we hope that people will continue to identify as being Basque.

Aurrean dugun erronkari guztion artean ekingo diogu, zer eta nola galderak sakonki erantzunez.  Kotxeetan ikusten ditugun "Proud to be Basque" itsaskinek zer esan nahi dute zehazki?  Zeintzuk dira euskaldun izatearen ezaugarririk nabarmenenak?   Eta nola egingo dugu hau guztia?  

The task at hand is a collaborative effort to develop both the what and the how. The bumper sticker proclaims "Proud to be Basque;" what does that mean exactly?  What aspects of Basqueness do we want to emphasis?  Then how are we going to do this?  
EUSKALDUNEN ERRONKA

Galderak errazak dira egiten, erantzun mamitsuak, baina, zailagoak dira topatzen.   Euskaldun guztion erronka da hau, Euskal Herrikoak zein Diasporakoak.
EUSKALDUNEN ERRONKA

These are easy questions to ask, but it is much harder to come up with substantial answers.  This is the challenge for Basques--those of the Basque Country and the Diaspora-of today.

Gure helburua lortzeko, marketing formula batzuk eredu gisa hartu ditzakegu; Euskal markari definizio bat eman behar diogu.   Marka arrakastatsu izan dadin, bezeroak gogoan eduki behar du erosketak egiten dituen bakoitzean.   Markak zerbitzua edota produktuarekin zerikusirik duen izena, esaldia, diseinua edota logotipoa izan dezake.   Markak bezeroarekin harreman emozionala sortu beharko du, haren konfiantza produktuarekiko indartzeko, baita enpresaren fidagarritasuna ere.   Gure aurrean dugun lanaren adibide bat, www.ehow.com web gunetik hartuta dago:

__"Zure enpresari misio bat eman". Misio hau enpresaren xedea izango da eta markan islatuko da.  Atal honetan enpresaren espezialitatea sartuko da. __ Zure enpresak, produktuek zein zerbitzuek izango dituzten funtsezko baloreak sortu.  Ez da ahaztekoa, izan ere zure marka balore hauen isla izango dira.
__ Zure enpresak eskainiko dituen produktuak eta zerbitzuak deskribatu.  Deskripzioaz gain, produktu eta zerbitzuak apartekoak egiten dituena aipatu.
__ Eslogan bat topatu edota dagoeneko duzuena aztertu. Oraingoak igortzen duen mezuaren inguruan hausnartu eta aldatu horrela behar bada.
__ Zure bezero egokia identifikatu.  Bezero egokia topatuz gero zure enpresak arrakastatsu izateko aukera askoz ere gehiago izango ditu.
__ Zure enpresa apartekoa egin duen ezaugarri orokorren zerrenda bat egin.  Aurreko puntuetan pilatutako informazioaz baliatu, zure enpresa apartekoa egin duen ezaugarriak topatzeko.  Zure marka ezaugarri hauen adierazgarri izango da.
__ Ezaugarri orokor hauek zure bezero egokiarekin lotu.  Euren beharrak eta gurak zure enpresak eskaintzen dituen zerbitzu, kalitate eta berezitasunekin uztartu.
__ Zure markak bi kontzeptu hauen arteko harremana islatu beharko du.  Aipatutako elementu hauek guztiak zure markan txoko bat eduki beharko lukete.

To succeed in this endeavor we can take some cues from marketing formulas; we have to get to work on effectively defining the Basque brand.  A successful brand name makes the target audience remember a product when they shop.  A brand can include a name, slogan, design scheme or logo associated with a service or product.  The brand must stimulate consumer trust or company credibility, and make emotional connections with the audience.  An example of some of the work that lies before us is this checklist borrowed from www.ehow.com:

___ Develop a mission for your company. This mission is the company's objective and should be reflected in the brand. Included in this section is the company's specialty.
___ Create core values for your company, products and services. Keep these in mind as you are developing a brand that represents these values.
___ Define the products or services offered by your company. Include not only the products and services but what makes these unique.
___ Create a tagline or "catch phrase" or evaluate your current tagline. Think about what message it sends and adjust it if necessary.
___ Identify the target audience. Attracting the right audience is essential for your company to be successful.
___ Create an overview of your company's individuality. Use the information you gathered in the above steps to define what sets your company apart from your competition. Be sure to convey this individuality in your brand.
___ Connect your company's overview to your target audience. Join their desires and needs to your company's services, qualities and individuality.
___ Create a brand or brand name using terms that show this connection. All of the above elements should be represented in whatever brand or brand name you choose.

 

Esfortzu honen muinak gu guztion parte hartzea eskatzen du, izan ere, marketing eskolan ikasita bezala, markan indarra eta koherentzia ezinbestekoak dira.   Proiektu honen arrakasta edo porrota tokiko euskal komunitateek igarriko badute ere, Euskal Marka, unibertsala izango da.   Horregatik, proiektuak NABO maila eta haragoko ikuspegia hartuko du.  Euskaldunak mundu osoan zehar aurkitu daitezke, Euskal Diasporatzat ezagutzen dena, alegia. Gure artean, ezberdintasunak badirela ezin da ukatu, baina Euskal nortasuna bizirik mantentzen interesa dugunok, amankomuneko xede bat dugu aurrean: Euskal Marka definitzea.

The nature of the endeavor makes it a collaborative undertaking because as marketing pointers teach us, the branding should be consistent.  While in the end, the relative success or failure of this will be measured at our local Basque community, the Basque Brand will have to be universal.  Thus this work will have to be accomplished at the N.A.B.O. level and beyond.  There are people of Basque identity all around the world, what is referred to as the Basque Diaspora For all our differences, those with a shared interest in keeping Basqueness alive have a shared mission in effectively defining the Basque brand.

Egungo mundu modernoan, "automatikoki" euskaldun izatea zaila da, hori dela eta, honako galdera eraginkortasunez erantzutea erronka bihurtu da Euskal Komunitate guztietan: "zergatik Euskalduna izan?"  Horrexegatik, esfortzu honen muinak gu guztion parte hartzea eskatzen du, izan ere, marketing eskolan ikasita bezala, markan indarra eta koherentzia ezinbestekoak dira.   Proiektu honen arrakasta edo porrota tokiko euskal komunitateek igarriko dute, Euskal Marka, aldiz, unibertsala izango da.   Horregatik, proiektuak NABO maila eta haragoko ikuspegia hartuko du. 

Euskaldunak mundu osoan zehar aurkitu daitezke, Euskal Herritik hasi eta hortik kanpora, Euskal Diasporatzat ezagutzen dena, alegia.   Gure artean, ezberdintasunak badira ere, Euskal nortasuna bizirik mantentzen interesa dugunok, amankomuneko xede bat dugu aurrean: Euskal Marka definitzea.

Hauek dira, besteak beste, proiektua osatuko luketen faseak:
 
 __ Tokiko euskal etxeetan bilerak: boluntarioak hautatu
 __ NABO mailan proposatuko diren amankomuneko jarduerak
 __ Nazioarteko beste euskal komunitaterik gurekin jarduteko interesik duen aztertu
 __ Euskal Ikasketa programetan murgildu, hauek eskaini dezaketenaz mamitzeko

In today's modern world that is far removed from the "automatic" creation of Basques, effectively answering the question "why identify as being Basque?" is the challenge that confronts all Basque communities.  Thus the nature of the endeavor makes it a collaborative undertaking because as marketing pointers teach us, the branding should be consistent.  While in the end, the relative success or failure of this will be measured at our local Basque community, the Basque Brand will have to be universal.  Thus this work will have to be accomplished at the N.A.B.O. level and beyond. 

There are people of Basque identity all around the world, from the Basque Country and throughout what is referred to as the Basque Diaspora.  For all our differences, those with a shared interest in keeping Basqueness alive have a shared mission in effectively defining the Basque brand.

Proposed phases of the brand defining project could be:
___ Initial club level discussion; identifying potential volunteer contributors
___ N.A.B.O. level formulation of shared initiatives
___ Gauge interest of other international Basque communities in participating
___ Approach Basque Studies programs for their input

 

Zergatik honetaz guztiaz arduratu?  Helburu honekin bat egiten duzulako!

Why bother with all of this?  Because you agree with this aim!

Cited sources:
D'SOUZA, Dinesh. What's So Great About America. Washington, D.C., Regnery Publishing, 2002.
HARRIS, Lee. The Suicide of Reason.  New York: Basic Books, 2007.
UBERUAGA, Blas. at http://buber.net/Basque/?p=104
http://www.ehow.com/how_2087383_define-a-brand.html

"In the magazine for the Basque shepherds of North America, I read an article once, signed by a priest, in which he stated that the enormous change the world had undergone was not a gradual one, and that rural villages like Obaba had changed less in the twenty centuries from the birth of Jesus to the coming of television (c. 1950) than in the ensuing thirty years; and this, he wrote, was the reason why he, in his childhood, had played the same games as those depicted on the frescos in Pompeii (the Roman city that was entombed when a volcano erupted locking in time a moment thousands of years ago).
~From Bernardo Atxaga's
The Accordionist's Son