Saturday, August 21, 2004

Evangéline musical

When in Church Point, NS, be sure to see the Evangéline musical.

Other books purchased ...

Barbara LeBlanc, Postcards from Acadie: Grand-Pré, Evangeline & The Acadian Identity.

Margaret C. Melanson, The Melanson Story: Acadian Family, Acadian Times.

Alfred Silver, Three Hills Home (a novel about Beausoleil, recommended by a cousin when I said someone had asked me to find them a story about the deportation).

A great discovery

John W. Doull Bookseller - Rare and out-of-print books, in Halifax. One of the best used bookstores I've found. Just take a look at their Acadian section. I bought a number of books, including Bona Arsenault's History of the Acadians, Paul Surette's Le Grand Petcoudiac, a 200th anniversary commemorative of the parishes of Memramcook, an English translation of La Sagouine, a cute children's book--Adolphe à Nicolas et sa charrette, and probably some things still in the suitcase.

Radio Canada stories on close of Congrès

Several reports (in French).


Last Sunday's concert began with Zachary Richard's Réveille. Powerful lyrics. It concludes,
Réveille, Réveille,
Hommes acadiens,
Pour sauver l'héritage

Congrès mondial acadien 1994

Congrès mondial acadien 1994, archived webpage. Lots of interesting history and photos of the first CMA.

Friday, August 20, 2004

La Sagouine

I bought an English translation of Antonine Maillet's Acadian classic, La Sagouine, and am reading it with the kids. Now we'll need to visit Le Pays de la Sagouine next time we're in New Brunswick.

More CMA photos

Mass and closing and here.

Concert and here.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I am Acadian ... And this is not a beer commercial

I am Acadian by Rosella Melanson.

An Acadian's awakening

Interesting reflection by Zachary Richard of how he came to understand himself not just as "Cajun" or "Cadien" but as "Acadien."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

How they viewed us ...

Here's what New England Yankees thought of Acadiens in the 1880s, when my great-grandmother's family came to Connecticut. This is from the 12th Annual Report of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor (1881). Commissioner Carroll D. Wright wrote:
With some exceptions the Canadian French are the Chinese of the Eastern States. They care nothing for our institutions, civil, political, or educational. They do not come to make a home among us, to dwell with us as citizens, and so become a part of it; but their purpose is merely to sojourn a few years as aliens, touching us only at a single point, that of work, and, when they have gathered out of us what will satisfy their ends, to get them away to whence they came, and bestow it there. They are a horde of industrial invaders, not a stream of stable settlers. Voting with all that it implies, they care nothing about. Rarely does one of them become naturalized. They will not send their children to school if they can help it, but endeavor to crowd them into the mills at the earliest possible age.
Cited by Gerard J. Brault, The French-Canadian Heritage in New England (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1986), p. 68.

At the same time, Protestants targetted them for proselytizing. Methodists, Congregationalists, and Baptists were most active in this, identifying Protestantism with Americanism. Typical examples were the Protestant newspaper, Le Franco-Américain, published in Fall River in 1888, and Rev. Calvin E. Amaron of Massachusetts, author of The Evangelization of the French Canadians (1885), republished as Your Heritage, or New England Threatened (1891).

Not much different today; outside of Grand Pre last week the Evangeline Baptist Association were distributing tracts (along with lagniappe like mardi gras beads, candies, and mini Tabasco bottles) to those entering the park (see this article).

Je reviens au berceau de l'Acadie

My photos from Congrès Mondial Acadien 2004.

Catholic News Service notices Congrès

Marking deportation, Acadian descendants celebrate Nova Scotia Mass

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Concert highlights

I can't begin to describe the extraordinary experience I had with 10,000 other Acadians on Citadel Hill Sunday night at the closing "Spectacle." The Acadian flag fluttered above the old British fort and from smaller versions we waved in time with the music or held high as we stood for "Ave Maris Stella."

The concert began with a circle of Mi'kmaq drummers which transitioned into Zachary Richard's "Réveille," in which he was joined gradually by the other members of the evening's concert.

I'm in love with Edith Butler! It just took a simple rendition of "Le grain de mil."

"L'hymne à l'espoir."

Lennie Gallant doing "Ouvrez les Aboiteaux."

The two hours went by quickly--and stopped abruptly at 11:00 for the sake of the TV network. Then the clouds opened up, and we all ran for our cars.

Ouvrez les Aboiteaux

I first heard Ouvrez les Aboiteaux, a new and moving song by Lennie Gallant, on the radio the other day. Then he sang it at the concert Sunday night. This article talks about it.

Other articles on closing

La fête de l'Acadie célébrée de toutes parts.

Prime Minister's visit.

10,000 at closing concert

10 000 personnes ont assisté au spectacle de clôture du 400e de l'Acadie

Les Acadiens se font entendre

Radio Canada on the closing.

Traditional ceremony kindles emotions

Mass at Beaubassin on August 14. I wish I could have gone.

Martin on hand as Acadians gather

Yes, we saw the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin.

Congres deemed rousing success

Toujours l'Acadie!

The New York Times is clueless

Evangeline's People Gather and Weep for Ancestors' Fate.
The happy-go-lucky came wearing holsters packed with bottles of hot pepper sauce and bringing recipes for gumbo to distribute to cousins they had never met. The sincere carry dog-eared copies of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline" and miniature French dictionaries in their back pockets.
Yes, I saw one Cajun with a holster of Tabasco. No, we are not "Evangeline's people" (she never existed). All of us at the CMA were sincere. I saw not a one with a copy of "Evangeline," dog-eared or otherwise.

Acadians make trip to l'Acadie for Congres

Report from Lafayette.

Parks protest follows PM across the country

Parks protest follows PM across the country

Strikers step aside for Acadian event

Strikers step aside for Acadian event.