The Lehendakari receives the participants of the XXXVI Folk Festival of Portugalete
Musical groups, singing and traditional folk dances from countries as far apart as Brazil, Bulgaria, Buryatia, Chile, Dagestan and India will form a part of the XXXVI International Folk Festival of Portugalete.
This morning, in the gardens of the Palace of Ajuria Enea, the Lehendakari, Patxi López, received some of the participants of the festival set to take place between the 18th and 31st of July in 25 Basque municipalities. The Plaza San Roque in Portugalete provides the principal stage within this festival, organised by Elai Alai Kultur Elkartea. During this morning's act the mayor of Portugalete, Mikel Torres, and members of the local administration were also present. The Lehendakari has classified the International Folk Festival of Portugalete, in which he once participated as a traditional Basque dancer, as "a true platform for cultural exchange and understanding between different peoples" as a result of the music and culture presented by such a wide variety of different countries.
The Lehendakari has encouraged Basque citizens to attend these concerts where they may "savour rhythms and joy" as "only through an understanding of different peoples will we be able to construct an open and pluralist society." During his intervention before representatives from the groups participating in this festival, the Lehendakari congratulated Elai Alai Kultur Elkartea for the "efforts" they make each year to celebrate this event, which has become "a true platform for cultural exchange and understanding between different peoples" as a result of the music and culture presented by such a wide variety of different countries. "Culture, in a general sense, has served since time immemorial to unite peoples and break down the linguistic, ethnic and religious barriers that divide us enabling us to share a common language", stated the Lehendakari, who once participated in the festival as a traditional Basque dancer.
López, who received various gifts from the groups participating in the festival, drew attention to the fact that this week a delegation from the Basque Government will travel to the U.S. to take part in Jai Aldi, demonstrating the "efforts to keep these traditions alive and disseminate this heritage throughout the entire world."