Happy Birthday Acadians!

Dany Marquis

Flag of Acadia A large part of our customers are Acadians. From Gaspésie and New Brunswick. And to be in contact with this culture on a daily basis, I consider that it brings me a lot of positive things. Forgive me for the generalization, but strength and good humor are common character traits among the people I meet. They are also avid coffee drinkers for whom socializing is a national sport. An Acadian talks!

Note that I am not a historian and that I am far from being an expert on the subject. And even if this celebration today highlights the strength and good humor of the Acadians, for me, we can see in the shadows the attempt at ethnic cleansing by the British in 1755.

And this year, they will make noise again, during the annual din , to assert themselves, to underline their presence, more than two centuries after an announced death. And the celebration will be imbued with positivity and a look towards the future. A future especially dedicated to the protection of French in New Brunswick. Because if you ask me, the rivalry has not disappeared. There are still many gentle and sneaky attempts at assimilation. And if the peninsula and northwest regions are still predominantly French-speaking, the more urban regions like Moncton and Fredericton are almost 100% English-speaking. And the more time advances, the more New Brunswick's status as a bilingual province becomes an administrative irritant.

There is therefore a decline in the French-speaking world which is causing a ripple effect. There are fewer people with whom to converse in French and fewer and fewer people who offer them services in French. Demand on governments for health care, schools and government services is also reduced.

There is nothing that puts me more in high spirits than speaking to someone in French and having them respond in English. I regularly play this subtle little game of who will flinch first. I can talk with this person for several minutes this way. If it's a client, it makes me happy to speak to them in their language and I let go of my sensitivities. But if it's a supplier or a government service, I become ruthless.

The fight is therefore not over. And the culture of assimilation still very present.

It would be so much easier if we all spoke English...

Here is an extract from a speech by Abbot Marcel-François Richard, in 1881, which greatly influenced the adoption of a national holiday:

"... Indeed, it seems to me that a people who, during more than a century of trials and persecutions, knew how to preserve their religion, their language, their customs and their autonomy, must have acquired enough importance to deserve that he adopts the means of affirming his existence in a solemn manner; and this could not be done more effectively than by celebrating a national holiday of its own...

Because it is estimated that, out of a total population estimated at between 12,000 and 18,000 Acadians in 1755, 7,500 to 9,000 perished between 1755 and 1763, either from the effects of deportation or while trying to escape it.

For more information on deportation

This makes me angry! A latent anger that ties in with my French origins and my Quebec history.

French in Canada is dying.

And the French people in France who start speaking English to be cool…

Thank you Acadians.

Thank you for continuing the fight, thank you for fighting, for making noise!

But above all thank you for drinking our coffee!!!!!!!

In the spirit of celebration, I'll let you discover a little song that puts me in a good mood and that rings true. Turn up the volume and taste the accent and the violin!

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