“Sociology of Law” is the term that starts everything about what I want to share here with what I have learned from Basque Culture. I am currently a master’s student of Sociology of Law at the International Institute of Sociology of Law located in a small and beautiful city called Oñati, in the Spanish Basque Country. The experiences I acquired from living in Oñati have changed my life.
The program is more interesting than I could have ever imagined. The professors and master’s students attending the program come from different countries around the world, which has allowed me to learn not just a particular knowledge of Sociology of Law, but also from different cultures and diverse social experience from every corner of the world and apply a theoretical perspective in class.
At the same time, we all get to know a beautiful culture from the very place where we live: The Basque Culture. Beside the basic thing we learned which is Euskara, the Basque language, everyone appreciates and loves “Pintxo Pote,” every Thursday, which is the way you buy a drink in a bar and you get one Pintxo for free. A pintxo is kind of small sandwich or snack, the very typical food in most parts of the Basque Country. This culture encourages socialization in the whole society regardless of age, race, sex, and so on.
I am most grateful for the three different kinds of grants I received during the course, especially the three months grant for resident stay from the institute and the grant for a meal and a trip around the Basque country from a professor who taught in the program. As I come from Cambodia, located in South-East Asia, it has been a great opportunity to travel to different places as much as I can. Regardless of my limited financial means, the generous professors in the program left some money for students in need. I am not the only one who received the aforementioned grants. With the grant to travel around the Basque Country, I had the chance to learn more from their culture and history especially their solidarity and kindness. It would have been a shame for me to travel from my country to here without being able to know such beautiful places and rich culture. I have learned so much from the Basque people. I travelled to the northern part, which is in France,(San Juan De Luz) to parts further South, close to Bilbao (San Juan De Gaztelugatxe). I also learned how to cook Basque food.
Currently, I am back in my home country doing field research for my thesis. I brought back many memories and experience and ready to go further with working life with confidence and proud.