Bilbao, Josie

Mark and John Bieter
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Josie was born in Boise, Idaho in 1969 to Julio and Julie Bilbao.  She learned to play the txistu, dance the jota, and speak a few words of Basque from an early age, but still felt that something was missing.  Her grandfather, Frank Bilbao, pressured his grandchildren to speak Basque, arguing the centrality of Euskera in Basque culture.  Frank's insistence left an indelible mark, convincing Josie to learn to speak Basque.

Josie's story, while only a snapshot of her life as a young Basque-American, provides a glimpse into what having a Basque heritage means to second and third-generation Basques.  In a succinct and personal way, Josie articulates the joys and pressures of growing up as a Basque-American balancing both cultures.  She discusses the ways in which her cultural identity has evolved over the years as she has worked to preserve and live the Basque language and culture in the United States.

Audio Recording: 
Growing up Basque
Learning Basque
Other Images: