Korrika – Running for our language!

Yes, you read that right – in the Basque Country, we “run” in favour of our language. Every two years, the whole country is mobilised in a 2.500 kilometre-long race that lasts 10 days and 10 nights. It is called Korrika, which literally translates as running, and it is a major cultural and social event, where thousands of people of all ages participate.

The idea is simple: a wooden baton containing a message of support for Euskara is being passed from hand to hand, and crosses the whole Basque Country before arriving at its ending point, where the message inside of the baton is read aloud in front of a huge audience at the final festival of the race. Organizations, companies and private groups sponsor kilometres or parts of the race, and the money raised is collected by AEK, the most important organization that teaches euskara to adults in all Basque provinces.

The passing by of Korrika becomes a great festivity in each town, especially in the main cities, where lots of people participate by running shorter or longer sections. Most local Korrika support groups organise a wide programme of activities: these range from events with a purely festive character (concerts, meals and dinners, humorous shows…) to those with a cultural character (exhibitions and conferences), competitions or other popular activities.

Luckily for our 18th ICML conference, the next edition of Korrika will take place in March 2021, and the race will arrive in Bilbao during the same days our conference is taking place. Therefore, the organisating commitee of the conference has been in contact with the organisers of the race, and our participants will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most important social and cultural events in favour of euskara.

More info on http://www.korrika.eus/en