Saturday, 20 December 2014

French territorial reform: a huge blow for democracy and regional identities

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Fighting for Brittany: autonomy in a centralised state

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Cornwall, so far and yet so close / Kernev-Veur, ken pell ha ken tost…

This months edition of the Breton magazine Bremañ (Now) has three articles about Cornwall and the Cornish. Here you will find the opening editorial from Bremañ and its English translation. You can find Bremañ on Facebook here

It is with Skol an Emsav, who produce Bremañ, that I started to study the Breton language in any seriousness. Many thanks to them and their team.

Kernev-Veur… Un tamm douar en tu all da Vor Breizh. E Stad Breizh-Veur. Ha ni, e Stad Frañs. Gwallzarvoudoù an Istor… Petra ’reoc’h? 

Mat eo lavaret hag adlavaret ez eo Kernev-Veur ar vroad tostañ dimp e pep keñver. N’eus ket da glask pemp troad d’ar maout. Aze emañ hor breudeur hag hor c’hoarezed nesañ. Gwir eo e sellomp aesoc’h hag aliesoc’h ouzh Kembre. Bev ar yezh du-hont. Aes a-walc’h tapout tammoù kembraeg en ur gevredigezh ma c’haller c’hoazh kembraegañ e-mesk an dud. Met Kernev-Veur eo ar vro dostañ dimp e pep keñver. N’eo ket ar c’herneveureg pempvet rannyezh ar brezhoneg. Diskouezet eo bet splann gant Ken George. Ar yezh predenek tostañ dimp ez eo avat ha diarvar eo kement-se. 

Trawalc’h e vefe kement-se evit ma vefe gwir genlabour etre Breizhiz ha Kerneveuriz evit lakaat tostaat an div yezh predenek. Ha pelloc’h c’hoazh, perak chom hep hunvreal? Lakaat an teir yezh predenek da dostaat en-dro, war dachenn an ezhommoù nevez? En hon dalc’h emañ kement-se, penn-da-benn. Ober a reomp bremañ, ken aes ha tra, gant ar ger “kleweled”. Piv a oar ez eo ar ger kembraek clyweled? N’eus forzh, graet en deus e dreuz. Peogwir e oa da vezañ evel-se. Adkavout a reer ar memes ger e kerneveureg evit an anv-gwan klywwelyek. Ur skouer hag a vefe brav heuliañ en dazont, pa gaver ar memes gwriziennoù en teir yezh. Pep hini eus an teir yezh predenek he deus traoù da reiñ d’an div all. 

 Embannet e Bremañ Du 2014, niv.397. 

"Dyski kernewek nyns yw pur gales!" da lavaret eo: “deskiñ kernewek nend eo peur galet” pe “deskiñ kerneveureg n’eo ket diaes-tre.”

In the English translation that follows I have tried my best to stay as close as possible to the Breton so that it will be easier for Cornish speakers to compare the two languages. This results in English that may seem a little unusual or clumsy at times, but it provides a better idea of how things are expressed in Breton. Please do feel free to suggest changes or corrections. I would be most grateful of the help. 

Cornwall a stretch of land on the other side of the British Sea [the Channel]. Inside Great Britain. And us [Breton's] inside the French state. The mishaps of history. What to do? 

It is good to say and say again that Cornwall is the nation closest to us in all ways. No need looking for five legs on a ram (in looking for complications). Over there are our closest brothers and sisters. It is true that we look to Wales with greater facility, and more often. The language is alive there. It's easy enough to pick up bits of Welsh in a society where one can still speak the language amongst the people. However, Cornwall is the country closest to us in all ways. Cornish is not the fifth dialect of Breton. This has been clearly demonstrated by Ken George. The closest brythonic language to ours, it is however, without risk (without doubt).

That should be enough for there to be a true collaboration between the Bretons and the Cornish to draw together these two brythonic languages. And why not dream of going further? Why not draw the three brythonic languages together again with regards to modern needs? All this is completely in our hands. We use the word kleweled [audiovisual] with no great difficulty. Who knows that there is a Welsh word clyweled? Anyway, this word has gone the distance (been accepted). Because it was to be that way. We find the same word in Cornish klywwelyek as the adjective. An example that would be great to follow in the future when we  find the same root-words in all three languages. Each of the three brythonic languages has something to offer to the two others.

Publish in Bremañ November 2014, No 397

"Dyski kernewek nyns yw pur gales!" that is to say: “deskiñ kernewek nend eo peur galet [learning Cornish is not too hard]” or “deskiñ kerneveureg n’eo ket diaes-tre [learning Cornish is not very difficult].”

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Yes Scotland: dalc’h an dizalc’hiezh


Ma teu bro-Skos da vezañ dizalc’h, petra a vezo graet gant an eoul-maen, al lur Sterling hag Unaniezh Europa ? Er vandennad-treset "Yes Scotland" omp bet oc’h ober un tamm tro en Highlands, dastumet hon eus soñjoù ha goulennoù ar Skosiz. P’emañ bro-Skos o vont gant un hent disheñvel, hag istorel. Setu pezh a zispleg deomp Keith Dixon, kelenner war sevenadur Breizh-Veur.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Flaws of French Democracy

Friday, 22 August 2014

Lyver Lywans Bukkyas Keltek yn Brythonek

This is a great acquisition being as it is a book full of Celtic mythological beings and the first in a tri-lingual format - Welsh, Breton and Cornish. A book for young and old alike in a large A4 format. At just £2.95 it's a bargain! Available from Agan Tavas
Not read it yet but soon will.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Tenniñ a ray ma fennad d’ar gouelioù etrekeltiek, en Oriant, an taol-mañ. N’eo ket ne vehe netra da lâret a-ziàr ar peurrest. Ret e vo din anzav kentoc’h, izel ma c’hribenn, em eus tremenet ur lodenn vat a ma amzer er gouelioù-mañ, tostik-mat ar re-mañ d’ar gêr, gwir eo. Bourraplted, sonerezh ha mignoniezh, met ivez euriadoù ha na vezont ket gouestlet da labourioù arall, pand eo ker berr ha prizius an amzer neoazh. Kement-mañ evit displeg an tu teñval, an tu “izel ma c’hribenn”.

Ma ! A-fet sonerezh e vez kont èl da gustum en Oriant : doc’h un tu e vez ker a-walc’h ar sonadegoù “bras”, an arvestoù, met doc’h an tu arall e c’heller klevet sonerezh ag ar c’hentañ troc’h evit ur priz dister pe a-vad. Ha paeiñ evit monet a-barzh ne dalv ket dalc’hmat e vo bravoc’h an traoù.

En ur sal-arvestoù propr ha brav hor boa selaouet doc’h daou strollad tud varrek met borodus ar sizhun dremenet. Padal, e-dan un deltenn digor d’an holl, àr un tammig leurenn e koad savet àr barrikoù goulle, setu daet deomp klevet ur strollad entanus, kement ha ken bihan ma faot din menegiñ o anv e-raok donet da galon ma c’haoz. “Pan de capazo” a vez graet anezhe, ur strollad ag ar Galiz, etre sonerezh ar vro-se ha sonerezh Hungaria mod klezmer. Pemp paotr barrek àr o benveger met ivez, ar pezh a zo a-bouez, mistri àr an energiezh ha tre da lakaat ur saliad tud da vreskenn en ur par berr. Hag oc’hpenn an dra-se c’hoazh, tud amiapl, sichant. Ur misi !

C’hoant am boa da lakaat ar gaoz amañ àr lec’h ar yezhoù keltiek er gouelioù. Pas kement-se ar brezhoneg – moaien zo er c’hlevet hag er gwelet er festival, gwir, met chom a ra e-leizh a labour d’ober evit ma vehe lakaet yezh ar vro àr wel hag en implij èl mand eo dleet – met ar yezhoù keltiek arall. Ma klaskec’h dizoloiñ ar gouezeleg pe ar c’hembraeg, pe donet da vout barrekoc’h er yezhoù-se, e oa paour ar peuriñ ar blez-mañ c’hoazh. Lâromp memes tra, evit bout onest, e veze graet un tañva, bep mintin, d’ar brezhoneg, d’ar c’hembraeg ha d’an iwerzhoneg. Met a-hend-arall, e teltennoù pep bro e veze diaes kavout peadra da ouiet pelloc’h àr ar yezhoù-se. Evit ar c’hembraeg, levr ebet er yezh pe a-ziàr ar yezh.

En despet da vro-Iwerzhon bout e-kreiz ar jeu ar blez-mañ, ne oa netra naket a-ziàr ar gouezeleg e-dan o zeltenn vras. Pas muioc’h e teltenn bro-Skos pe enez Manav. Neoazh eh eus ur vro hag a oa disheñvel er c’heñver-se : teltennig Kerne-Veur a oa enni ur stalennad levrioù hag ar braz anezhe a oa pe e kerneveureg, pe evit deskiñ ar yezh. Ha moaien a veze klevet kerneveureg get ar werzherion. Istoer ispisial ar c’herneveureg a zo kaoz marse o deus klasket lakaat o yezh àr-wel èl-mañ, met plijadur en deus graet din gwelet aze tud fier ag o yezh ha doc’h he diskouez dirak an holl, touristed ha-razh. Rak ar yezh(où), en-reizh, a zelehe bout, hag a vez lies e gwirionez, unan ag an traoù a zedenn an dud en ur vro bennak. Kement-mañ zo kaoz e fell din lâret bremañ evit o zrugarekaat : “Meur ras dhywgh !”.

Ha c’hoant am behe da lâret muioc’h a draoù c’hoazh, e gwirionez, met aze e chom labour din… Er blez 2015 e vo enoret Kerneveur hag enez Manav en Oriant, hervez-an-dailh. Un digarez e vo pechañs da vonet e darempred arre, hag a-dostoc’h get ar yezh c’hoar d’ar brezhoneg !


Friday, 1 August 2014

Direct action for Breton

Ai’ta! is a group whose primary objective is to defend and promote the Breton language, and ensure that it remains a living language in all areas of society. To achieve this it is vital that everybody be allowed to see, hear and speak Breton in public life… A language which cannot be used in day-to-day life is a language condemned to die. For this reason we demand that Breton, along with those who speak it, be respected everywhere in Brittany. To this end it is indispensable that our language be given official recognition.

Whilst waiting for that inevitable step on the road to the re-appropriation of the Breton language by the Breton people, the group lacks no imagination and organises numerous actions to inform the largest number of people, and develop the space given to Breton in society. However, and this is vitally important, our actions are always guided by a sense of humour and playful spiritthat in noway stop us from respecting or helping public service users. Indeed, Ai‘ta ! has chosen non-violent direct action as a means of expression to ensure that we are heard. 

Read more here: What is Ai'ta?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Lammoù Kalon e Palestinia Heart beats in Palestine ضربات القلب في جنين

With English subtitles.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The 'flaws' of French democracy

BBC News - The 'flaws' of French democracy: Is France a democracy? Most people would assume there is a straightforward answer - "Yes". After all, France has free and fair elections. However, there is more to a truly democratic society than elections alone, writes Simon Baptist of The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Thoughts on Brittany from Wessex

The Summer of Discontent - David Cameron would like to think of Scotland’s referendum as a little local difficulty.  Perhaps that’s why the mainstream media stay so quiet about the widespread discontent now simmering across Europe as our continent awakes to new possibilities.  Catalans are ignoring Madrid’s refusal to allow them a vote on independence.  Basques are thinking along the same lines.  Venetians have already voted for independence from Rome, in an unofficial poll, and are now agitating for the right to hold a real one.  Plaid Cymru’s leader has recently renewed the call for Welsh independence, proclaiming that ‘independence is normal’.

Mebyon Kernow has published a consultation document on establishing a National Assembly of Cornwall.  (Labour continues to brief against the idea.)  In Northumbria, a plethora of groups is staking a variety of territorial claims, with the regional political party model increasingly pulling ahead of the old mantra of ‘working within the Labour Party’, the ‘big red thumb’ under which so many live, that has so clearly failed to deliver.  The Wessex Regionalists, encouraged by the official flying of Wessex flags on St Ealdhelm’s Day, are beginning to draft proposals to put to the electorate in 2015.  Even the BBC is clumsily beginning to explore the deeper England of the future.

In many ways, across many countries, this is looking to be the hour.  And in France, the stakes could not be higher, with a new regional map about to be imposed, one a lot worse in many areas than the current one and consequently already leading to vigorous action against the Paris regime.  The best that can be said about it is that it could actually have been worse still.  Relief?  Well, no – revolutions often kick off when expectations that events are finally moving in the right direction are cruelly dashed, revealing how real reform has never even been on the agenda.  The one thing leading Parisian politicians all seem to agree upon is that there must not be a region that covers Brittany, the whole of Brittany and nothing but Brittany, whatever the Bretons think.

Brittany is a kind of Scotland.  Each has a Treaty of Union with its larger neighbour, the one in 1532, the other in 1707.  Although both were the result of bribes and duress, these treaties guaranteed the continued existence of certain historic national institutions and the freedom of local folk to make at least some of their own decisions.  The concessions won by Scotland have grown to the point where it may even put the Union behind it.

Brittany has fared much, much worse.  French revolutionaries ignored the treaty and, abolishing the Breton institutions, launched two centuries of systematic persecution that has never fully abated.  In 1941, the collaborationist Vichy regime redrew the regional map of France.  Brittany, traditionally five départements, was reduced to four, with the ancient ducal capital of Nantes attached to an artificial ‘Loire Country’ region, where it remains to this day.  The Paris technocracy won’t be budged from the view that a single region with two large cities – Nantes and Rennes – just won’t work.  Try it and see then.  You know, like Edinburgh and Glasgow, Cardiff and Swansea, Bristol and Southampton.  No.  That’s too empirical by far.

François Mitterrand of the Parti Socialiste came to power in 1981 pledged to decentralise power.  There were bold changes.  Elected regional councils, and the abolition of tutelage, the system whereby local decisions could be blocked or reversed by the departmental Prefect acting as guardian of the centralist interest.  But the boundaries of the regions remained unchanged.

Now another ‘socialist’ President, François Hollande, has grasped the nettle.  France’s 22 regions are to be reduced to 14.  ‘Socialism’, one would think, is about society.  And society is made up of communities, intermediate powers between the centre and the individual that need to be cherished.  Not so for Hollande, ever true to the Jacobin ideal that the job of the State is to nip community in the bud, in the name of the one true community – itself.  So the claims of Basques, Catalans and Savoyards to separate regional status continue to be ignored.  Those of Alsatians, long recognised, are to be overturned.  Small but distinctive regions like Auvergne, Limousin and Picardy are likewise to be abolished.  In the one piece of good news, if the reforms do happen, the two half-Normandies are (as we predicted) to be re-united at last.  The result will be a single region with two large cities, Caen and Rouen.  Yet by a stroke of the same pen, Brittany is to remain partitioned.

Does it make any sense, other than in the terms of continuing Parisian supremacy?  Of course not.  But any questioning of the new arrangements is to be suppressed.  The new law will make it impossible for a département to choose to change the region in which it is placed.  You will have the identity that Paris decides that you will have.  Having your own, real identity is a threat to the unity of France and that would never do.  Why is that, when a France divided, along traditional lines, would be so much more pleasant and interesting than the dull conformity of a united one?  It’s a French thing, the wholly irrational foundation of the supposedly rational Republic, as indivisible as the Holy Trinity.  There are questions you just don’t ask because the mental capacity on the other side just isn’t there.  Those in the UK who remember Labour’s regional White Paper from 2002, Your Region, Your (Lack of) Choice will find all this refusal to engage in debate irritatingly familiar.

Hollande already has a good deal of Breton fare on his plate, put there by the Bonnets Rouges – ‘the Red Caps’ – a movement recalling a 17th century tax revolt with constitutional issues thrown in.  Like all successful reform movements, the new Bonnets Rouges cross class lines, combining traditional autonomist thinking with the aspirations of a new generation of entrepreneurs for whom a more distinctive Brittany is just part of the real world of 21st century economics.  It’s a point we’ve often made about Wessex – that we simply have to get our act together as a region for marketing purposes, building a ‘brand’ with a reputation for quality and reliability.  Otherwise we shall have Labour’s alternative thrust upon us – our cities, with their hinterlands, set against each other within a British/English framework that allows London to tax the fruits of our efforts and then give us back what we beg for nicely.

France proclaims its values, supposedly universal, to be liberty, equality and fraternity.  It honours none of these because in every case they are applied in a partisan way by a State that cannot understand why it, as the judge of them, should be bound by them too, even to its own disadvantage.  There is no liberty for conquered nations, their once treaty-assured rights trampled underfoot.  There is equality for those who think, speak and act French and an unconscious, sneering hatred for those who demand to be different.  There is fraternity only in the sense that Big Brother is watching you and legislating you out of existence.

Is the French Republic sustainable on such terms, in a broader Europe that is keen to appear just and civilised, two things that France is not?  Its ruling class, stuck in the 18th century, remain in denial about the new Europe now emerging around and below them.  Happy to embrace as their national anthem a bloodthirsty and dishonest hymn of racial hatred, while treating attacks on the communities that form the building blocks of the French State as normal, reasonable behaviour.  Those who believe these psychopaths are ready for the chop deserve the support of freedom-seekers everywhere.  Why abolish regions to save money when you think how much could be saved just by devolving 99% of the central State?  France, one and indivisible; the sovereignty of the Crown-in-Parliament.  Call it what you will, centralism is a common enemy.  So bring on the real revolution: the sooner France has proper regions with recognisable names and boundaries, and proper, regionally-rooted powers, the sooner Wessex and other English regions can point to their example.

Taken form the Wessex Regionalists blog. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Time for solidarity with Brittany NOW!

The Breton press are reporting that in France's regional boundary changes proposals there will be no Breton reunification, the current Breton region will stay the same while it is proposed that southern Brittany/ Loire Atlantique is retained by the Pays de Loire region.

However, the debate is not over. Apart from numerous negative economic side effects the move will act to undermine the growth of Breton-medium education in Loire Atlantique.

Breton leader Christian Troadec said: "This is a new blow to the reunification of Brittany.. political courage would have been, under the land reform, to have an immediate end to this separation decided by the Vichy regime and Marshal Petain. Nantes in Brittany... has been claimed and reaffirmed by the Bretons in the five departments at every visit, every survey!

"The future of Britain has again been decided by technocrats in an office in Paris... Paris has once again butchered Brittany.. With 5 departments, we would have counted more than 4.5 million people and could talk to other European states or countries like Scotland, Catalonia, the German landers ... Our economic development capacity would have seen a tenfold increase. Our jobs and our standard of living too."

To help oppose the move and to support reunification please write asap to Mr Hollande:

You can sign the petition on the Bretagne Réunie website here:

Equally you can contact the collective 44=BZH and ask how you can help:

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Election results from Brittany

In Breizh (Brittany) with three separate election lists for Breton parties (Christian Guyonvarc’h, heading the open list made up of Union Démocratique Bretonne (Unvaniezh Demokratel Breizh) (UDB) non/members of the party; Christian Troadec heading the joint Parti Breton, Mouvement Breton et Progrès, Alliance Federalist Bretonne, Breizh Europa list and the Breizhistance/Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste list), the share of the vote was good overall, but no MEP was elected from any of the lists. 

Breizh shares its European parliamentary constituency with areas of West France, outside of its traditional territory.

Already talk can be heard of a Breton democratic front for the regional elections to come. 

Text provided by the Celtic League and map from Geobreizh

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spoilt for choice in Brittany's European election

Whilst in Cornwall we won't have the chance of voting for a Cornish party in the forthcoming EU elections, in Brittany - also buried in a much larger European constituency - things are quite different.

Three lists are running that can be classified as autonomist or independentist. 

The first is from MK's sister party, the Union Démocratique Bretonne. The open list, headed by regional councillor Christian Guyonvarc'h, includes personalities from outside the UDB's membership. Their slogan is: "I vote Brittany for a social Europe".

Next we have Nous te ferons L'Europe. This list includes the Parti Breton, Mouvement Bretagne et Progrès, Alliance Federalist Bretonne, Breizh Europa, and is spearheaded by Christian Troadec of Bonnets Rouge fame.

Last, but by no means least, we have Breizhistance - indépendence et socialisme - and Frances Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste forming a list on the radical left. They are campaigning for a 'Europe of peoples and workers'.

With the redrawing of Frances regional map on the table pro-Breton parties will need to make a big impact in all forthcoming elections, which leads me to wonder if 3 separate lists will not dilute the vote and confuse people. Who will I vote for? Well Breizistance seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the existence of the Cornish question and that's not for want of reminding them.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Kan Etrebroadel al Labourerien - The International in Breton


Kan Etrebroadel al Labourerien

War sav! tud daonet deus an douar !

kent mervel gant an naon, war sav

Ar skiant a gomz hag a lavar

Reiñ an diwezhañ taol-chav !

Ret eo teuler ae bed-kozh d'an traoñ

Mevelien paour war-sav, atav !

Greomp evit mad dezhi he c'haoñ

Bezomp mestr lec'h bezaň esklav !

An emgann diwerzhañ zo

Holl war sav hag arc'hoazh

Na vo er bed met ur vro

Da vihan ha da vraz

Etrezomp na n'eus salver ebet,

Na pab, na doue, na den all !

Ha deomp hon unan a vo ret

Ober amañ ar gwir ingal

A-benn harzh laeron bras da noazout

Derc'hel ar spered en e blom

C'hwezomp hon c'hovel pe 'vefomp boud

Ha dav d'an houarn keit m'eo tomm !

Ar stad a zo fall, pep lezenn kamm

An deog a wad ar paour-kaez den

Deverioù d'ar re vras n'eus foeltr tamm

Gwirioù ar paour-kaez zo ven

Awalc'h eo dindan vestr kastiañ

Al lealded c'houlenn traoù all

Dindani vefomp holl memes tra

Gant deverioù droejoù ingal.

Ken hudur en kreiz o brazoni

Hon mistri

war an holl labour

Deus graet biskoazh nemet ransoniñ

Laerezh poan ar micherour

Rag en prez kloz an dud didalvez

Kement vez krouet vez teuzet

Goulennomp vo rentet hep dale

D'ar bobl kaez ar pezh zo dleet !

Holl micherourien ha kouerijen

Memproù a labour er bed-mañ

Ar bed-mañ zo d'al labourerien

An dud didalvez diwarnañ

Deus hon c'hwezenn gwelit int lard mat

Na pa deufe ur seurt brini

Un deiz ar bed paour-mañ da guitaat

An heol zalc'ho da lugerniñ.

Garzh ebet ken kreiz-entre pep bro

An holl dud breudeur war ar bed

Ar brezeloù diot er blotoù

Dav d'ar re vraz c'hoazh mar bez ret

Evite na n'afomp biken ken

A-vilieroù d'en em drailhañ

War sav pa 'mañ ar skiant o ren 
Deomp vo ret terriñ pe blegañ.

An Internationale

Laket en brezoneg gant Marcel Hamon

Monday, 21 April 2014

10,000 for the reunification of Brittany

Over 10,000 people marched in Brittany's historic capital on the 19th of April 2014 to demand the administrative reunification of Nantes and its surrounding department, Loire Atlantique, with the rest of Brittany.

The French administrative region of Bretagne minus Nantes and Loire Atlantique department.

Currently Brittany is divided between two bodies of regional governance: 4 departments are regrouped in the administrative region of Brittany, whilst the 5th historic department of Brittany, Loire Atlantique, is attached to the totally artificial technocratic Pay de la Loire region.

The historic borders of the Duchy of Brittany.

It's worth noting that Nantes and the Loire Atlantique department were separated from Brittany by the collaborationist French 'Vichy' government during the second world war.

The current French socialist government has promised to reduce the number of administrative regions and simplify local government by abolishing the departments. Breton campaigners have therefore seized the chance to powerfully restate their desire for a reunified Brittany in which the councils of the 5 Breton departments and the regional council are fused to form a single assembly for Brittany. Another alternative being touted by some French politicians is the creation of a Grande Ouest region much like a South West or Devonwall region for Cornwall but on a much larger scale.

Grand Ouest

Monday, 10 March 2014

Breton Bonnets Rouges set bar higher on autonomy claims

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Brittany/Cornwall: what relations? Bretagne/Cornouailles (britanniques) : quelle relations ?

Here's one I just bought in from Coop Breizh that looks to be full of fascinating stuff for those interested in Brittany, Cornwall and the relations that exist between our two countries.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Redadeg 2014 - Run for Breton

From 24th to 31th May, from Morlaix to Glomel, 1500 km in Brittany !

The Redadeg, launched in 2008, is a relay race which takes place every two years.

Popular and festive, it crosses Brittany, day and night to symbolise the transmission of a lively, creative and dynamic Breton language, across the generations and territories.

To back the projects in support of the Breton language the kilometres are sold and the profits are redistributed. These new initiatives are selected based on application, they are very diverse and can relate to teaching, leisure, media, sport or culture but they all promote the use of Breton in social and family life. The race goes through the 5 Breton departments over 1500kms and crosses more than 300 municipalities.

(consult the route map and the municipalities crossed by clicking on Route)

The Redadeg defends the idea « Brezhoneg ha plijadur » ! « Breton language and pleasure » ! You can run with your family, friends or colleagues, in disguise, with music, follow the race on foot, or on roller-blades, in pushchairs or on bikes....organise some entertainment or take advantage of the local festivities, concerts, theatre, stands, breakfasts....organised according to the time and place of the race passing. The main idea is to take part, to be seen, to have fun and it’s also the opportunity to hear, to use and to make Breton be heard!

The baton, symbol of the Breton language, carries a secret message, it is passed from hand to hand and is read at the finishing line.

For the start of the 4th edition in 2014, the race will leave from Morlaix on Saturday 24th May and arrive in Glomel on Saturday 31st May in the middle of the International Festival of Clarinettes, Gouel an Dreujenn Gaol.

The Redadeg is an event which is uniting, sporting, cultural, popular and festive all at the same time.

The Redadeg is an event with a strong media (in Brittany and elsewhere), economic (direct and indirect) and cultural, impact.

This is one Cornishman with a dream. Imagine one day the Redadeg symbolically starting in Cornwall before crossing the sea, as once did the Breton language, to continue its route in Breizh. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Hypocrisy? France and its regional languages

The French language is sacred to France, which is why the latest move to recognize the country's other native tongues has again run into obstacles. But is Paris finally about to drop its "double standards" and officially accept France's regional languages?  

Protecting the French language is so important in Gallic culture that the country has an official body tasked with keeping creeping Anglicization at bay.

Yet at the same time France is home to over two million speakers of several regional languages, which successive governments have appeared reluctant to protect and promote in the same way. 

Needless to say this stance of "one country one language", which dates back to the French Revolution, has led to accusations of double standards.

Although France made the symbolic move to sign the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages - originally drawn up in 1992 - Paris has never ratified it. It has been a source of discontent in regions like Brittany, the Basque country and Corsica.

This week French lawmakers took another crack at it, reopening the long-standing debate over the issue of France and its apparent refusal to accept its regional languages.

But once again ratification of the document seems decidedly doubtful because it collides with a sacred and founding notion of the French Republic, a campaigner from Brittany tells The Local.

“In France the Republic is singular, indivisible and must have only one language, or so the thinking goes,” Yann An Aod, a leader of Kelc'h Sevenadurel Gwened, a Breton cultural promotion group said. “The regions interest the country’s leaders, but only from a cultural point of view, as a place to visit as a tourist.”

For An Aod the current debate is somewhat hypocritical. France seeks to promote its language throughout the world, he said, but barely lifts a finger to protect its own cultural diversity at home.

“In France we are told we must have one centre of power and only one language, it’s that way of thinking,” he said. 

France lagging behind most of Europe

The French now number 66 million, and among them there are over 2.2 million speakers of regional languages like Breton and Corsican, according to a recent survey carried out by FLAREP, an organization that promotes the teaching of these languages in state schools. France’s border region near Germany, including the department of Alsace, counts over 750,000 speakers of Alsatian, among its population.

The strong grassroots support for regional languages saw tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets in 2012 calling for Paris to ratify a charter, which most other European countries have been happy to adopt. 
Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are among the 25 nations that have ratified that pact. France, Italy, Russia and five other nations have not gone further than the largely symbolic act of adding their signature.

The problem for speakers of Breton, Basque, Alsatian and the like is that the same barrier remains in place. France’s top legal advisor, the Counsel of State (Conseil d’état), said in March 2013 that the charter would introduce “a fundamental inconsistency into the constitution.”

President François Hollande promised to show that France has moved on. In his 2012 campaign he vowed to finally officially adopt the charter, but that promise, like others he has made, does not look like being kept.
But there are some who still hold out hope.

“In the end the ratification of the charter is inevitable,” Fulup Jacq, head of the Public Office of Breton Language told newspaper Le Figaro. “It springs from a fundamental movement in society.”

The proposal that provoked a heated debate in parliament this week includes an effort to work around France’s attachment to its language. The proposal would accord no “collective rights” to the speakers of regional languages, though it would still offer to promote and protect them, French daily Libération reported.
A vote on the proposal is set to take place in the coming weeks but the battle between France and its regions will no doubt rumble on a lot longer.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

French eco tax mobilises new generation of Breton red caps

French eco tax mobilises new generation of Breton red caps | World news | The Guardian: But Troadec is not stopping with the campaign to abolish the eco tax. He is pressing for the transfer of real economic clout to Brittany. "We want devolution like you have in the UK. France is the most centralised state in Europe," he says. Although there is a regional parliament which sits in Rennes, "we have no institutional power over our own economy or culture".


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