Diverse visitors; diverse experiences at the Folklife Festival

Visitors to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival had many purposes for attending and different reactions to Wednesday’s opening ceremonies at the Arts and Industries Building. The festival, held at the National Mall through Monday, July 4 and re-starting July 7 through July 10, this year is a cultural event dedicated to preserving and showcasing the traditions of Basque,…

Hope Folklife Festival brings light to issues affecting Basque region

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates the cultures of the Basque people through dance performances, food tents and cultural exhibitions at the National Mall where visitors were greeted with an over-sized white sign during Wednesday’s opening ceremonies.  The Basque people are an indigenous ethnic group location on the border of Spain and France. The people call themselves the euskaldunak, literally…

In Basque region, Euskara language celebrates culture; brings controversy

WASHINGTON–This year’s theme for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. is “resilient communities,” one including the Basque region, in northern Spain and southwest France, where people have wanted independence for a very long time due to their cultural differences. Euskara, the native language of the Basque people, is considered to be one of Europe’s…

Nearly five decades of culture on the National Mall

Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday to celebrate and learn more about the Basque region of France and Spain during the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall. Valerie Emerson, 58, visited the market place during Wednesday’s Opening Ceremonies at the Arts and Industries Building to buy products made in that region. Emerson, who said…

Smithsonian Folklife Festival features international cultures

The opening ceremony of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall commenced Wednesday to celebrate both Basque culture and the sounds of California. The Folklife Festival showcases each year cultural identity from the featured locations including art, food, dance, clothing and games. Jacob Jaureguy, 21, and Sebastian Caldoron, 22, are both from Spain’s…