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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The greatest Basque shame

Every nation has its shameful realities, not always apparent, and Basques are no exception.

Every year the Bidasoa river towns of Hondarribia and Irun celebrate their fiestas around the main act of a copycat military parade that is representation of battles held long ago, when the local militias played a key role in defending the fortified places. These are known as "alarde", Spanish word that means posse or bravado but that originally meant military review.

They used to be male-only activities with a unique token decorative role for women, as "cantineras" (one per company), sort of fangirl and maid (and who-knows-what) for the military unit. Eventually what had to happen happened and "mixed" companies (with female "soldiers") demanded their place. Unlike in other cases of gender discrimination, where this change has been adopted quite naturally, in the Bidasoan towns the reaction was extreme, up to the point that Xabier Muguruza wrote a song calling them fundamentalists. Most local politicians sided with the reactionary majority even up to the point of challenging their own parties and bordering challenging the law at times. However tribunals forced them to accept that mixed companies had to be allowed in the official parade.

This was confronted by the fundamentalists by boycotting the official parade and making their own. So at the moment the only company taking part in the official parade of each town is the mixed company. Being followed soon after by the unofficial parallel parade.

To make things worse and increase the sociological violence against the mixed companies, the fundamentalists have systematically organized year after year a display of black plastics and black umbrellas with slogans like "we did not came to watch you".

However gradually their numbers have been dwindling. This year the presence of supporters of the mixed company at Hondarribia (Irun is yet to have its fiestas) has been very notable, for the first time maybe competing with the fundamentalist display.

The photo above is a quite clear example: there are still black umbrellas but what is more apparent is the lot of people cheering the brave company Jaizkibel, which is patiently winning this most important battle of today.

Source: Gara.


Unknown said...

I want express my dissagree with what has been said here.

You can see in these videos how behind this claim is just the use of our Traditions to benefit the political propaganda of ETA.

The Basque Institutions support them for political correcteness and prefer ignore this reality. I think that Things like these are the real shame of our Country.

Maju said...

Lies and demagogy of the worst kind.

I see nothing of what you say. Can you pinpoint me where it's said anything about ETA?

In any case if ETA would be there (that is not, because this is a civilian fight) defending the human rights and specifically women rights, and the so-called "democrats" would be against those rights, then ETA would have won a strike and the "democrats" could never again claim themselves "democrats"... because bing Taliban is not the same as being democrat.

Being democrat is much more than filling your mouth with slogans against ETA, it means being there defending human and civil rights, even defending ETA members or anybody else against torture and police/judicial abuse.

You are just a bitter reactionary who would be defending the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Wahabbites in Arabia, George Bush in the USA or Aznar in Iberia.

"The Basque Institutions support them for political correcteness and prefer ignore this reality".

Go figure. If mini-füḧrer López can do that, then what about me and everybody who is more democrat and more for human rights than those fascists.

Go cry to Kandahar, you damn fascist fundamentalist. Go cry to the Vatican you little Carlist shit!