NATIVE BASQUE SPEAKING POPULATION
Spanish Basque Country (Euskadi)
French Basque Country (Iparralde)
Province of Navarre (Spain)
EUSKARA’S DECLINE AND AWAKENING
LANGUAGE GAMES: THE BERTSO DUEL
The Bertso duel is a special cultural event where poets, artists and singers improvise poetry (bertso) in Basque on a particular theme. The bertsularis take the stage and must create a poem about a theme (not disclosed in advance), all within the constraints of a predetermined melody and beat. Bertsolari duels are organized within festivals or more formally at championships, bringing together the best of all the Basque Country. The exchanges take the form of singing jousts, during which improvisers keep the audience spellbound with their alertness and ability to spontaneously create poems, manipulating words and melody. The phenomenon holds a special place in the Basque society and bertsolaritza is becoming increasingly popular among the younger generations who perpetuate this tradition.