On Friday, May 19th the Alliance Française de Lafayette will co-organize La Fête de la Bretagne in downtown Lafayette. A delegation of businessmen, musicians, and filmmakers from Brittany, France will be visiting Acadiana to strengthen and develop ties they built between the two French-speaking regions during their first visit last year. Crêpes, Breton beer, and a performance by the musical group Breizh Amerika Collective will all be part of the festivities at the Wurst Biergarten, 537 Jefferson Street, on the evening of May 19th.
Although Brittany is a part of France, its heritage is tied to a language entirely unrelated to French: Breton. A Celtic language closer to Welsh than to any romance language, it was banned for many years in France and Breton schoolchildren were forced to speak French. This experience of fighting for the right to speak their language gives the Breton people a keen understanding of the experiences of French-speaking Louisianians, who have struggled to maintain their language faced with the imposition of English. UNESCO lists the Breton language as severely endangered.
Michael Vincent, President of Alliance Française de Lafayette, visited Brittany last year and was struck by the hospitality he received when locals helped him to find the house of one of his ancestors. “My hope is that we in Louisiana can develop lasting relationships with our ‘cousins’ from Brittany,” Vincent explained.
Breizh-Amerika (the first word is pronounced ‘brayz’) is Breton for ‘Brittany-America’ and is an organization established to create, facilitate, promote, and sponsor wide-ranging innovative and collaborative cultural and economic projects that strengthen and foster relations and cooperation between the United States and Brittany. Over the course of one week in May, La Fête de la Bretagne is celebrated in 150 cities worldwide, and founder of Breizh-Amerika Charles Kergaravat affirmed that the organization is “excited to bring ‘Brittany Week’ back to Louisiana for the second year in a row to help build durable cultural and economic links.”
The Breizh Amerika Collective, a group of musicians from France and the U.S. (including one of Acadiana’s own) will be performing live at the Wurst Art Market Stage starting at 6 pm, and following the performance there will be a DJ playing French-language music. The Wurst Biergarten will also be selling Bayoust, a limited edition Breton-style beer made by Bayou Teche Brewery. Crêpes will be available for purchase, as well as goods from local vendors in the Art Market.
More info about the band and its U.S. tour at http://www.breizh-amerika.com/usa-tour-2017.html
For more information, please contact Alliance Française de Lafayette by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (337) 453-2638.