The Bretons certainly know how to throw a party, and following the all Breton final to the Coupe de France they've got good reason to make this coming Gouel Erwan (St Yves day) all the more memorable.
After the recent debates surrounding St Pirans, St Georges and the other national saint’s days perhaps we could take a look at how our party loving Celtic cousins set about things. On the 17th of May one of the oldest communities of emigrants from Great Britain will be celebrating their national day. For the first time this year the council for the French administrative region of Brittany is taking a direct part in the organisation of the St Yves festivities the new website being one example of their efforts.
Instead of simply being cast aside as the source of xenophobia, national identity can act as a pole around which an inclusive societal project can be generated. Perhaps we should consider territorial identities as a prerequisite for inclusion then because one needs to be included into something. Cornishness, Englishness and all other national identities are a source of solidarity then.
As an obvious manifestation of this principle the festivities for St Yves provide a certain recognition for the indigenous Celtic culture but do so in a way that is open and welcoming to all. Bretons by adoption are more than welcome to dance the Gavotte. The lessons have been learned in Breizh from St Patrick and the Irish. The solidarity resulting from the strong Breton identity is starting to be seen as lever that can be used to move communities for the good of society. Residents and expats, those born there and those adopted, all brought together by a shared love of a distinct territory and its culture.
This and more. It's been realised that hyped and funded events like St Yves with the backing of Bretons and Celtophiles around the globe are a chance to showcase Brittany and its economy to the world.
What is Cornwall waiting for?