Friday, June 27, 2014

Nice little map, I am actually picking up a bit of Occitan. I am fascinated by place names and so many of the older people I meet here speak Oc. It was banned in the early 20th century, but how can you ban the local culture and centuries of  history? Before 1900, and modern transportation, the villages here were worlds unto themselves. The language, Oc, is a hybrid of latin and celtic. Much of it has migrated into modern French, but the isolation of the villages created a myriad of variations. People from my village, Badefols d'Ans found it almost impossible to understand the variations from villages only 30 kilometers away! Badefols is a very old Oc means screaming fool. It originated in the tradition that around 650 AD, there was a church and monastery founded here by St. Cloud. Our Fete de village is still called Le St. Cloud. There was a hermit monk who lived up on top of the hill who would get up early on Sunday mornings and start screaming at the top of his lungs to wake everyone up and tell them to go to mass or be damned! He was the original Badefolois....
Now, there is an Occitan revival. Children are being taught to speak it. The music, the culture the traditions remain alive and I feel very privileged to witness and participate in the culture.

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