Being and welcoming
Occitan | French
Charente Limousine, a welcoming land, has always experienced the arrival of new populations coming from other regions or other countries.
But its Occitan identity has endured through its language, Occitan. That language reflects the country's original culture. That language is its best expression. It is our most valuable heritage; should it disappear, it would be very hard for us to revive it.
Unhappily, the best Occitan speakers are getting old. Everyone knows that the passing away of an old person is like the burning of a library.
All Occitan speakers (it is wrong to call the language ''patois'') were persecuted by public institutions; especially school.
That is not a reason for being ashamed of speaking another language than French. On the contrary, we should be proud of it.
In XXIst century Europe, having one's own original culture is a first class advantage. Catalonia, Flanders, Wales are building their economic revival on their millenary cultures.
Why should we lose ours ?
Occitan belongs to everybody. Occitan is for everybody.
Whether a family legacy, something learnt with the neighbours, or something learnt again after years of neglect, our language must be for all the inhabitants, old or young, the tool for regaining our pride of being from these parts, of being Occitan.
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