The “Korrika 19” visited Liverpool on 21 March in an event organized by the Basque Studies Programme of the University of Liverpool. Basques and supporters of the Basque language from across the North West got together to celebrate a very special occasion.
The Korrika is a giant charity race to promote the Basque language that takes place all across Euskal Herria, the Basque Country. Its ultimate aim is to raise funds for the euskaltegiak —Basque schools for adults— but it has also become a prominent symbol of the support that a vast majority of the inhabitants of the Basque Country shows to the Basque language.
The Korrika is held every two years. This year has reached its 19th edition, starting on 19 March in Urepel —Northern Basque Country— and finishing ten days later, on 29 March in Bilbao. From the start to the end, the relay or lekukoa, which carries the Basque flag or ikurriña tied to it, is passed from hand to hand every few kilometres. Thousands of people have participated in the previous editions, and the number is ever increasing. The main organizer is AEK, a grassroots movement born in the 1960s whose aim is to teach adults the Basque language.
The “Korrika 19” in Liverpool brought together around 25 supporters of the Basque language who ran around the campus enjoying a festive atmosphere and a nice chance to meet each other. Everybody was happy to join the initiative:
“It was great fun! Taking part in the Korrika outside the Basque Country helps feel that our roots are alive. We are proud of showing people who we are.”
“The weather helped a lot but the event was very well organized. Well done!”