A LANGUAGE, A CULTURE, A WORLD
Basque is a language, a culture, a way of life: the language of our land, our cultural heritage - a way of being and living in the world.
For years now, we Basque speakers and lovers have been on a mission to strengthen our language, with our sights set on a better future.
YOUR LANGUAGE, YOUR CULTURE, YOUR WORLD
Korrika 20 reaches out to you with an invitation to discover Euskera, the Basque language, and to join us in using it. So that you too can enjoy the wealth of language and universal cultural diversity, by learning, talking, paving the way for others...
GAIN LANGUAGES, CULTURES, WORLDS
AEK has the ultimate aim to see everyone in the Basque Country speak Basque and thereby fulfil its dream of achieving a plural, diverse world.
It also wants all languages and their speakers to live in the Basque Country in equal conditions. It’s a question of justice: the survival of minority languages and defence of the rights of those who use them.
We believe in the need to take care of and protect Euskera, the Basque language. Basque must be developed in equal conditions, day by day and in all areas of life, so that everyone, men and women alike, may live in equal conditions, every day and everywhere.
BE A PART OF IT!
I, you, he, she, we, you, they... it’s important to join forces and do your bit: my language, your language, our culture, our cultures, this world, these worlds.
At the end of the day, supporting a language means taking a stance in favour of all languages; in favour of universal culture.
We invite you to join the celebration for language equality.
To help create a more universal world.
Come and join in!
Be a part of it all!
Organised by AEK, Korrika is a race for the Basque language that wends its way through the Basque Country. Its objective is twofold: on the one hand, to promote awareness of the need to speak Basque and, on the other, to raise funds that will enable the AEK Basque language schools to continue their teaching work.
Since the first Korrika run in 1980, from Oñati to Bilbao, the event has become one of the most important initiatives in support of the Basque language given the enormous number of people who participate in it. There have now been 19 editions of Korrika in the last 37 years, and on 30 March 2017 a new edition will set off, covering more than 2,000 km in 11 days for the Basque language, not stopping for a moment and with the participation of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and conditions.
As they run, the participants carry a baton which they pass from hand to hand, kilometre upon kilometre. Inside the baton is a message which won’t be revealed until the very end of the run, when it will be read out.
Estimates put runners at several hundreds of thousands in previous editions of Korrika. Such high numbers and the tremendous movement generated around the initiative reflect in its full magnitude the extent of Basque society’s commitment to its language. Korrika has become an event which gets all of Basque society up and moving every two years. Participation increases every edition and thousands of people volunteer in its organisation by joining the committees set up in the different villages and neighbourhoods, while hundreds of cultural and fun activities are organised along the way.
WHO ORGANIZES KORRIKA?
Korrika is organised by AEK, an organisation with the mission to recover Basque and revive the language among the people of the Basque Country. To achieve its objective it teaches Basque language and literacy to adults, also working in other areas such as the research and publishing of educational material, teacher training, organising cultural activities and programmes to encourage Basque use, designing and implementing plans for regularised introduction of the language to companies and institutions, and organising awareness campaigns.
The first Basque literacy groups were created around 1965, when the first campaign was launched to recover the Basque language. As more and more groups took shape, while continuing its work in the field, AEK also started to promote teaching for people interested in learning the language. That mission, unchanged today, led, with the backing and support of Euskaltzaindia (Academy of the Basque Language) to the creation of the first evening schools or gau-eskolak, followed by the euskaltegis or Basque language schools. Today, AEK is one of the most important organisations in the field of teaching the Basque language and its literacy to adults, with over 100 schools and more than 500 teachers, offering support in drawing up plans to introduce the language and programmes to encourage its use. AEK also provides a translation and correction service and publishes the magazine AIZU!
One exciting thing we’ve noticed since the last edition of Korrika is the huge social response to the initiative. On the one hand, more and more people are choosing to use the Basque language in their everyday lives following the call to Basque speakers launched in Korrika 19. But also refreshing is the increasingly greater numbers of people who are coming to our schools to learn Basque. However, as far as public funding is concerned, the euskaltegis still do not receive the financing they need. In the Autonomous Basque Community the situation is not yet regularised, although progress has been made; in the French Basque Country (Iparralde), subsidies have increased, but not to the extent required by teaching Basque to adults, and in Nafarroa (Navarra), despite the darkest years having come to an end, the steps taken to date have been small. It is essential to accelerate the teaching of Basque to adults that is so badly needed, and for greater investment to be made. That’s why all of the funds raised for Korrika 20 will go towards helping the AEK euskaltegis.
Korrika 20 will pay tribute to the creators of the race and acknowledge the importance of their initiative.
Born in 1980, next year Korrika will celebrate its 20th edition. Thanks to those men and women who conceived this mad and marvellous project all those years ago, today Korrika has grown into the most popular and multitudinous event in support of the Basque language. Korrika, organised by AEK, is today a must-attend gathering to promote not only Basque culture, but above all the Basque language and its use. The initiative has also been successfully exported to other countries.
Korrika emerged 37 years ago, thanks to the enterprising spirit of people from different origins, whether or not they were part of AEK. Their mission, since that first year in 1980, was and has always been to spread the Basque language throughout the Basque Country.
Decades later, that mission remains unchanged: it is equally valid today, because the Basque language still fails to enjoy a regularised situation; and, at the same time, because AEK has never relinquished the baton of that desire: Korrika upon Korrika, it has worked to beat the drum for the Basque language in all corners of the Basque Country, Euskal Herria.
For all of the above reasons, Korrika 20 wishes to pay tribute to the people who set the Korrika baton in motion those 37 years ago. Korrika brought us together, and it will keep us together today and tomorrow.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
In the organisation:
By joining the committees created to organise Korrika in your town or neighbourhood.
In funding Korrika:
By acquiring the Korrika laguntzailea emblem.
By purchasing Korrika 20 merchandising.
By acquiring the Korrika participant’s bib from the AEK Basque schools or from the Korrika shops, either before the race or on the day it passes through your town.
By helping to raise funds for Korrika or by paying the amount you wish to donate into the Korrika bank account opened in the Laboral Kutxa bank (3035 0072 02 0720037810).
By carrying the baton and contributing with your family, with the members of associations or with friends.
In helping to spread news:
By visiting the Korrika website (www.korrika.eus) and participating in its social networks. Also, by participating in the cultural events organised to celebrate the Korrika Kulturala.
In Korrika itself:
By attending the Korrika 20 kick-off activities on March 30 in Otxandio and the end-of-race celebration on April 9 in Iruñea (Pamplona).
By participating in the race wearing the race bib, thereby showing everyone that we want to learn, speak and live in the Basque language..
Businesses and shops:
By sponsoring the different initiatives to advertise Korrika.
By acquiring your own Korrikalari or Korrika laguna emblem.
By acquiring kilometres. Anyone wishing to choose this option should head to the Korrika offices.