La Fête des Rouaisouns
La Fête des Rouaisouns
Fête Nouormande 2004
Châque année la Fête Nouormande rassembl'ye les cheins tchi pâlent acouo nos vielles langues Nouormandes dé Jèrri, dé Dgèrnésy et d'la Grand'-Tèrre. Au mais d'Juilet 2004 ch'fut à Bayeux qu'nou viagit, pus qu'deux cârrossées d'Jèrriais, pouor présenter des r'citâtions, des chansons, des danses et d's histouaithes. Et onze dé nos mousses Jèrriais y fîtent eune èrcitâtion en tchoeu et deux chansons sus la strade et v'là tchi fut mouontré à la télévision régionale étout.
Every year the Fête Nouormande brings together those who still speak our old Norman languages from Jersey, from Guernsey and from the Norman mainland. In the month of July 2004 it was to Bayeux that one travelled, more than two coachloads of Jersey people, to perform recitations, songs, dances and stories. And eleven of our Jersey children did a choral recitation and two songs on stage there which was shown on regional television as well.
This year the stage was set up in the chapel of the Bayeux Tapestry museum buildings and in marking the 800 years of separation of Normandy it was wonderful to be able to speak the language of William the Conqueror in the home of this old cartoon strip that describes how the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Normandy were united. But now the only battles were between knights dressed up for the Middle Ages sham-fighting on the grass.
Jersey people were the special guests of the town of Bayeux for their Medieval Festival, and the Jersey Caledonian Pipe Band and the Helier Morris Men were there blowing their bagpipes and waving their handkerchiefs at every corner. And it was especially a pleasure to hear the fine Scottish band in the Cathedral during the medieval service in Latin.
There was fine sunshine among the showers, but we can assure you as well that the costumes of 800 years ago keep you fairly dry in the rain, but not the shoes one made butter (squelched) in one's boots parading through the streets of Bayeux. One wonders if William's soldiers suffered the same in 1066?
Anyway, the Fête Nouormande will come back to Jersey in 2005, when we'll be hoping for better than medieval sun in the month of May in Trinity at the home of the RJA&HS.
As our Norman ancestors would have cried before battle: God help us!