Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ibilaldia 2009

This article was published at EiTB:

Ibilaldia 2009 kicks off in the Basque town of Galdakao

Nora García

Eguzkibegi ikastola in Galdakao organized the 31st edition of Ibilaldia. This year, people will be able to enjoy along seven different areas children workshops, bertsolaris, Basque dances, a hot-hair balloon and concerts.

Ibilaldia is a festival in favour of the Basque language organized each year by a different ikastola (Basque school). It is Bizkaia's version of the pro-Ikastola, pro-Basque language events that take place annually in the Basque Country, normally on a Sunday, in order to raise money for ikastolas.

Ibilaldia was celebrated in 1978 for the first time and it was organized by a Basque school in Getxo. It is similar to Gipuzkoa's "Kilometroak", Araba's "Araba Euskaraz", Nafarroa's "Nafarroa Oinez" and Iparralde's "Herri Urrats".

Ibilaldia 2009 kicks off today at 09:00 and will finish at 19:00, under the slogan "Gerizpetik Eguzkibegi". Eguzkibegi Ikastola was in charge to organize it this year. After having paid a non-compulsory admission at the entrance of any price you deem fit for the event, you walk around a carefully planned circuit of the village or town while enjoying typical Basque traditions. People will be able to enjoy along seven different areas several activities like children workshops, bertsolaritza (Basque Country's "spontaneous poetry"), Basque dances, a hot-hair balloon and concerts (Biok, Sagarroi…), among others.

Eguzkibegi Ikastola was created in 1966 by some parents. It has more than 600 pupils nowadays and they expect to raise enough money to enlarge the school and improve some of the infrastructures.

There will be bus service available from 09:00 to 19:00 from Bilbao to Galdakao round trip.

One issue that we would like to point out is that the head of the Ministry of Education in the Basque Autonomous Community, Isabel Celaá, refused to assist to the Ibilaldia celebration. This ministry is in charge of the Basque language education and her decision is part of the punitive strategy designed in Madrid against the Basque language, an strategy that is being implemented by the Spaniard that was appointed by the central government to rule the province, an individual by the name of Francisco Javier López.

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