We are in Baiona at this time, we met with Alejandra and we are going to ask her who is she and why is she here.
Watch the video here
Can you present yourself in one sentence ?
Yes I’m Alejandra Dirassar, I was born in Argentina and I’m here because I’m looking for my family’s history. My name is basque and my family is basque.
I’m looking for informations about my great grandfather, is the one who came in Argentina between 1880’s and 1893’s and I’m trying to figure out his history. So I’m basque but I was born in Argentina.
For you, what is it to be Basque ?
For me be basque ? I remember when I was a child, my father told us to say that we are basque when someone ask at school where our name is from. The origin is basque and many people ask us : But Basque from french or Basque from spanish ? And our father told us to say that a basque is basque and neither french, neither spanish.
We are 4 brothers and sisters and I was the one who took that with many affections and love
and I always said it, I said it, for me it’s something that you feel. I’m very excited, it’s a very important travel for me. Because for me it’s like I’m coming back. I feel like i’m here for all my family, I represent my family and I know that I’m the only one who came in Basque country since my great grandfather leave it and went in Argentina. It’s a very important moment, I’m very excited, I wanted to « came back and to touch » the Basque Country, i’m very touched.
Do you feel basque ?
I feel basque, I don’t know how to explain this, it’s very rare and the feeling is that “I wanted to comeback as if this were my land”! It’s like I was here and I came back in 2017 with my name Alejandra but I come-back on behalf of a whole family, this is the feeling.
I feel that there is something that runs through the veins I do not know how to explain it is very funny but I feel it strong, is a feeling of emotion blending happiness and I want to find others Dirassar and I would like to embrace them all!
I love my family, I come from a family who has lot of contacts with family, and when I’m in Basque Country I feel like home.
And so where your family is from ?
Before coming in Basque Country I met the vascos asociación from argentina and the fundación Juan de Garay. They helped me a lot, I had contact them with Facebook and they told me what to do and they helped me to search. And there are birth records of my surname in Bardos, is that correct Bardos ? In 1600’s there are the first records, my family come from there and my name come from Bardos. And I came to Bayonne to go through the departmental archives and get there informations, they received me very well, and you Eusko Diaspora as well, I feel very welcomed as if I were part of a large family and I have an illusion.
To find where your ancestor came from, to see the house, discover the “etxe”?
Of course, my family’s house and I know that Bardos is a very small commune and I’m going to go anyway I’m going to go, to tread this land, and sit on the grass and say, I came back! That’s the feeling!
And then the social networks helped you for your search?
Yes a lot, I had contact the foundation Juan de Garay with Facebook and later I took contact whit people from there and the truth is that it helped me a lot, made it a little easier.
And how did you hear about Eusko Diaspora and Eusko Ikaskuntza?
Because there is an application called couch-surfing that are for travelers in the world and some people recommended it to me, so I had post that I wanted to come in Basque Country. Claudio an user, read my post and offers me somes nights in his house. So I’m here and he told me about Eusko Ikaskuntza, that you work about Basque culture and I met you and I’m here. So to all the Basques that come in Baiona, you need to meet them, you need to meet Oihana.
And so for you, do you have the same vison of the Basque country before and after see it ?
Now it is more strong, I want to go back to Argentina, and I would like to bring all Basques together and speak more the language, I want to learn it, I do not speak Basque and I would like to speak it! I would like to propose to do meetings, to do more meetings between Basques. I feel we have to grow up the feeling Basque and I want it that basque people to be less dispersed.
I would like to install more in Argentina this feeling of « I am Basque », and that all basque people can comeback when they want. That they are more connected and although when we are in other countries. The important thing is for the Basques to comeback and connect again at their country. This seems to me very important so I will try to collaborate in anything it takes to fulfill it!
So one last thing, how many time you’re going to stay?
I wanted to stay all my life! But I have to came back, on October 3, I’ll be back in Argentina. So I’m at Bayonne now, then I’ll go to Bardos, yes, even one day, two days. Walk the streets, see the houses, walk the land where my family was and I know that in Bardos at the moment there are 85 people with my last name ¡I know! Maybe my cousins!
And then I will go to Biarritz I will try to pass through Hasparren and then I will pass by the Donostia side, I will stay 4 days and then I have to go back to Argentina, I have to work …
And then, do you want to comeback again ?
Yes, I want to return, maybe in my next vacation I will get lodging in the house of a Dirassar and if not I will visit the Basque area. I have my ikurriña, I bought the txapela for my dad and one for me
And so we can ask to people if they have information about a Paschal Dirassar that left Basque Country between 1885 and 1893 to go in Argentina, that they can contact us to help Alejandra in her search of informations.
Watch the video here