Occitan 2

It still remains true that if one wants to get on in the French civil service one must speak French and lose any Occitan or Provençal accent (Provençal is perhaps the most widely used variant of Occitan) Today there are only a handful of private secondary schools even offering education in Occitan; and a few cultural groups inspired by Frédéric Mistral - a famous Provencal poet who was a Nobel laureate at the start of the Twentieth Century.

Which makes it all the more extraordinary that the revival of Occitan today is a blend of current folk music, the musical forms of the medieval Troubadors and contemporary reggae un-apologetically borroweed from the Jamaican Bob Marley!! The two groups featured in this piece - the Fabulous Trobadors from Toulouse and Massilia Sound System from Marseille - play music that young and old can identify with (and dance to), but they are careful to mix French with Occitan lyrics, so as not to “lose” their audiences.


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