Sunday, January 11, 2009

Britanny - Wales, Two Nations, One Struggle

Some in Wales tend to think of Brittany as a poor relation to Wales. It's true their language is weaker but then, they've been under the thumb of the fascistic policies of the French Republic for two hundred years. The state which claims to be for Equality and Fraternity and Liberty, but under those words have decided on a deliberate policy of killing the Breton language or any meaningful cultural and political Breton identity. It's no coincidence that the Turkish republic sees the French constitution as it's template for denying rights to the Kurds and that the Chinese and Russians also use the same Newspeak as the French.

But things are moving in Brittany.

The campaign 44=BZH website supports the movement to join the department of Naoned (Nanates) with Brittany. 44 by the way is the number for the Nantes department. In much the same way as we had the nonsense of 'Wales and Monmouth' until a few decades ago, the Bretons have to live with this problem too. Nantes was once the capital of Brittany but was cut off from the country by the collaborationist Vichy Government in 1941.

The French are so ready to attack any concession to Breton with the old argument that some Breton's worked with the Germans (in much the same way as other east European nations did in order to gain rights which was denied them by the Soviets). The Germans at least offered some education in Breton - obviously too much for the 'enlightened' French. This year's procession in support of reunification brought over 10,000 to the streets of Naoned. Here are a few clips from Youtube.

Naoned is also Cardiff's twin town, maybe Plaid Councillors there could support the Nantes council who voted to rejoin Brittany - not that France would allow democracy to get in the way of their policy of killing off Breton identity. Why doesn't Neil McEvoy and the group write to support the council's effort to rejoin Brittany?

The other interesting campaign is the one for status for the Breton language. A mayor in the west of Brittany wants to change Breton street names into French ones (sound familiar). Yes, the mayor is using the ignorance and arrogance of French speakers as an excuse to kill off Breton. Read the article here and sign the petition here!

Maybe here again Alun Ffred Jones as Heritage Minister, and in keeping with the Memorandum signed between Wales and Brittany to further cultural cooperation, can invite the Mayor to see how bilingualism works. Why not? What's the point of being a Minister if not to help other languages like Breton? I'm sure the Mayor wouldn't turn down the opportunity. Why not invite a delegation of Breton mayors over - a selection of 20 or so Bretons visited Wales on another similar official a few years ago. What of Cymdeithas Cymru-Llydaw (Wales Brittany Society) - have they petitioned Alun Ffred or been in touch with him?

The Bretons are on the march!

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