In the coming days, one of Boise’s defining events, Jaialdi, will be in full swing.
It’s a celebration of a heritage and culture that is embraced by the larger community. Every five years, it makes Boise a focal point of the global Basque community. Today, few seem to question that events like Jaialdi contribute to our sense of place, of what it means to be from Boise, and our community’s cultural richness.
But, it wasn’t always so.
We now look back with admiration on the immigrants - Irish, Mexican, German, Basque, and Chinese - who left their homeland more than a century ago seeking opportunity and finding it here in Boise. We know that they were a key force in building this city into the wonderful place it is today. Yet, those same intrepid, industrious newcomers were just as often viewed with suspicion by their contemporaries because of the language they spoke, the religion they followed or the color of their skin.