Linguistic apartheid on the 2021 Tour in Brittany.
In XXIst century Europe, the 2021 cycling Tour and the administrative Brittany Region are creating linguistic apartheid.
Definition of apartheid according to Larousse french dictionary.
« Discrimination, or exclusion, of a part of the population, which does not have the same rights, living spaces or employment as the rest of the community. »
The story …
The 2021 Tour is organising a dictation competition in several schools along the Tour route to teach children aged between 8 and 12 about the benefits of cycling. Children are taking part in this dictation on each stage. And in Brittany, where the 2021 Tour is spending its first four stages, 285 Breton-speaking children did their dictation in Brezhoneg/Breton, of course.
On the morning of the first stage, two children were very proud to climb onto the start podium, alongside their friends. They had got perfect results in their dictation.
But just before this important moment for the children, their parents received an email from the administrative Brittany Region’s Communications Department.
We’ll let you read this email for yourself below.
(At the parents’ request, we have hidden their identities as well as the identity of the person from the administrative region, whom we are sure is only doing what they’re told.)
Message of 27/06/21 00:16
From: « M….. F……. » <(namehidden)@bretagne.bzh>
To: « (namehidden)@orange.fr » <(namehidden)@orange.fr>, « (namehidden)@orange.fr » <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [Tour de France] parking and further information
I have just added a parking space to your.
In addition, we realised today that the Tour de France is organising a little sequence at the village based around the children for the Tour dictation. This isn’t the dictation in Breton in which your child took part on the initiative of the Brittany Region, so your child will not be called up onto the podium.
I prefer to tell you this now because it created some frustration yesterday in Brest, so I’d like to get ahead of things so that your kids aren’t left disappointed. The prize for the dictation in Breton was entrance to the Tour de France village, access to its events and the possibility of seeing the riders.
I hope you enjoy seeing the start of the Tour!
Public relations and protocol manager
So, to be allowed onto the podium in front of the international media, you had to have done your dictation in French.
The children who chose brezhoneg were punished and were only given entry to the Tour village, far from the bright lights.
This gives us flashbacks to the sad times where children who were heard speaking their mother tongue at school were discriminated against and forced to wear a humiliating « symbol »..
We don’t know whether this apartheid measure is being imposed by the Tour organisation or is part of the administrative region’s current president’s « ambitious linguistic policy ». The fact is that in XXIst century Europe this type of discrimination, which targets children first and foremost, should be completely condemned and goes against the elementary principles of respect for individuals.
We are asking the Tour management and the region’s leaders to condemn this aggressive measure which humiliates our children.
Linguistic apartheid in Brittany: who gave these orders, the Tour organisation or the administrative Brittany region?
Soutenez votre média breton !
Nous sommes indépendants, également grâce à vos dons.