"Young people in Brittany are very open to the idea of a unified Europe."
Growing up, I attended a Diwan school. These are schools that are free and secular and follow national educational guidelines. The only difference with public schools is that all classes are taught in Breton. There are about forty such schools in the Brittany region.Personally, I’m very grateful that my parents decided to put me in a Breton-speaking school. It helped me build my identity. Contrary to what some may think, being taught in Breton does not lead to separatist tendencies nor to extreme nationalism. The far right actually does very poorly at the polls in Brittany. Young people here are very open to the idea of a unified Europe. Personally, I identify first as Breton, then as European and French."We're just asking for politicians to give us the means to protect our language"Breton is doing better than other regional languages, many of which are at risk of extinction. In the past ten years, there have been many new programs created at the regional level to promote Brittany’s culture and language, for example festivals that feature Breton music. Even major brands are using local culture in their advertisements! (See below.) Our activism is peaceful. We’re just asking for politicians to give us the means to protect our language.
"Street signs in local languages have been outlawed in some cities"
We want to preserve regional differences. One example would be having local languages appear on street signs, in addition to French. In the city of Montpellier, an organisation recently sued the city. They wanted to outlaw street signs that were written in both French and the local language there, called Occitan. They won, and now we’re worried that this case may set a legal precedent in the absence of any laws protecting regional languages."Children are told in school that regional languages are not real languages"Not only are regional languages barely present in classrooms and in the media, but there are also social pressures that impede these languages from being passed down from generation to generation. In school, for example, children are not allowed to speak Occitan – they’re told that it’s bad, that’s it’s out of fashion and that it’s not a real language. It’s as if children’s use of regional languages were a threat to national unity! Because of this, parents avoid speaking Occitan to their children because they’re afraid it will handicap them socially.