dimanche 15 mai 2016

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop - May 2016




Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!


The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time!

Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.

This month our co-hosts are:


Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It's very easy, and simple to participate!
Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you're following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
  • Don't be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!
  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you're featured, don't forget to grab the button below:
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop


It was hard to chose this month for me, but as I like Shakespeare and the theatre, I would like to present you this post about "Hamlet for kids" (free printable) from the blog Learning Table. My son is still too young to read by himself, but I plan to start reading theatre plays with him when he will be 8.



Thank you for linking-up, and we can't wait to see what you've been up to!



mardi 22 mars 2016

Alexandra David-Néel [Women's History Month]

Par Alessondrad — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0


Alexandra David, en 1886,
le jour de sa présentation à la Cour de Belgique,
devant le roi Léopold II et la reine Marie-Henriette.
Alexandra David-Néel was a Belgian-French woman reknown for being the first foreign woman to visit and stay in Lhasa, Tibet. She had many chapters before and after that event in her adventurous life: explorer, anarchist, opera singer, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer.

During her trips in Asia, she met and talked with the 13th Dalaï Lama, befriended Maharaj Kumar (crown prince) Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal of the kingdom of Sikkim, learned meditation techniques and buddhist philosophy from Lachen Gomchen Rinpoche for several years, visited without authorisation Tibet and met the Panchen Lama, was expulsed from India ("thanks to missionaries" that were not thrilled with her being so well accepted by Tibetan people), traveled to Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia and finally came back to Tibet.

In 1924 -she was 56 years old-, under the disguise of a beggar, she stayed two months in Lhasa. Even if she knew the Dalaï Lama, she couldn't announce herself to him because of the ban (no foreigners in Lhasa).

She came back in France one year later and bought a house in Digne-les-Bains, where she wrote many books. Her companion of adventures for 11 years (she met him in 1914, he was 15 years old) Aphur Yongden came with her. She adopted him as a son.

She traveled again in China and Tibet between 1937 and 1946. Her retreat in Tibet lasted five years. She definitly came back to France in July 1946.

If you want to learn more about her life, I advise you to visit the website of the association managing her home Samten-Dzong or "fortress of meditation"in Digne-les-Bains, France, where she died at nearly 101 years old.


The following videos will show you how an adventurous, spiritual and smart woman she was.

Her life in pictures:

A video in French, but you can add subtitles: a portrait by her friend Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet, her biographe, and by Priscilla Telmon who went to Lhassa.
Portrait d'Alexandra David Neel la célèbre exploratrice et écrivaine bouddhiste
commenté par sa secrétaire et amie, Marie Madeleine Peyronnet, sa biographe 
et par Priscilla Telmon qui a marché dans ses pas jusque Lhassa.

Alexandra David-Neel: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey - Clare Fischer


This is the summary of The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects by Alexandra David-Neel, lama Yongden, H. N. M. Hardy, Alan Watts.

Interview of Alexandra David-Néel a few days before her death.

One house, one artist: (in French)


Women's History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Join us for our second annual Women's History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don't miss our series from last year, and find even more posts on our Women's History board on Pinterest:



March 1
A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 7 Women Artists Who Changed History

March 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Songs We Can See - The Art of Peggy Lipschutz

March 4
Kid World Citizen: Children's Books about Women Scientists

March 7
Mama Smiles: Picture Books about Great Women in History Your Kids Need to Know

March 8
Hispanic Mama: 4 Latina Women Who Made It Happen

March 9
Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes: Spanish Children's Book on the Life of Felisa Rincón de Gautier, First Female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Colours of Us: 28 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


March 10
Witty Hoots: Some Awesome Women in My Life

March 11
MommyMaestra: Women in World History Trading Card Template

March 14
Crafty Moms Share: The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses

March 15
The Jenny Evolution: Non-Fiction Books about Women for Kids

March 16
Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

March 17
Living Ideas

March 18
La Cité des Vents

March 21
A Crafty Arab

March 22
La Cité des Vents

March 23
Peakle Pie

March 24
All Done Monkey

March 25
The Art Curator for Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs

March 28
Creative World of Varya

March 29
Family in Finland

March 30
The Jenny Evolution

March 31
For The Love of Spanish





Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

dimanche 20 mars 2016

Julie-Victoire Daubié: first French woman to have the Baccalauréat [Women's History Month]



On the great blog Plume d'Histoire, the author has written about the strong-minded woman who was Julie-Victoire Daubié, the first French woman who succesfully passed the Baccalauréat. I love how she brings to life the era and the mindset of her society.

A bit of History:

The Baccalauréat has been "reinvented" by Napoleon Ist in 1808, becoming a diploma allowing to start college education. Three Baccalauréats existed: Baccalauréat en Lettres (Letters), Baccalauréat en Sciences (Sciences examination) and Baccalauréat en Droit (Law). This last one was only for a few years.

When Napoléon published the decree, it was not mentionned that women were not allowed. Just people up 16 years of age. As the education of women in letters and sciences were very rare and no middle and high schools were available for them, they didn't have the idea to pass it. As Plume d'Histoire stats in her article, women during the majority of the 19th century were not considered as "humanly equals" to men. Working for 13 hours in a factory, that was acceptable, but learning astronomy, medecine, philosophy, etc, were way too difficult for them... (I'm so sarcastic here... grr)

Julie-Victoire Daubié's upbringing:

All that changed with a young woman raised in the Vosges, France. Julie-Victoire Daubié was born on March 26th 1824 and was the eighth child of a modest bourgeoise family. She lived in her paternal grand-father's house and was able to attend primary school -where she received her Brevet Elémentaire (Elementary Certificate).

With the help of her brother - a priest- who taught her Latin, Greek, history, geography and German, she succeeded at the Brevet d’aptitude à l’enseignement primaire supérieur (Certificate of capacity in the upper primary education), the only diploma accessible to women. She became a governess in France and later in Germany. She started to write a book "La femme pauvre au XIXe siècle" (the poor woman in the 19th century)... a book which will become a reality a few years later.

Making History:

When she wrote an essay on June the 15th of 1859 for the competition opened by the Académie impériale des sciences et belles lettres in Lyon, her life changed. The topic was inspired by François Arlès-Dufour, an industrial businessman:
Look for, especially on a moral point of view, (...) the most practical measures (...) to raise the salary of the women in equality as the men's one when there is equality of service or work; to open to women new career and to procure them jobs that replace those successively taken away by the concurrence of men and the transformation of uses or customs.
François Arlès-Dufour par Nadar
Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
Her memoir "The poor woman by a poor woman" won the first prize. Arlès-Dufour became her protector. She decided then to register for the Baccaleuréat (legally nothing could prevent her to register) and was denied the registration by two Académies. The University of Lyon accepted and the 16th of August 1861 she passed her examination. The following day, she became the first bachelière es Lettres.

Legend of the delayed diploma...

Some said that the news of her success was not well received by everyone... What follows is seen as a "legend", but I couldn't leave it out of this post.

Her joy at being a Bachelière turned quickly to bitterness: the minister of Public Instruction, Gustave Rouland, refused to sign her diploma. As Julie-Victoire wanted to attend college for a Licence es Lettres, she needed her Baccalauréat!

François Arlès-Dufour spoke with the empress Eugénie who was a charitable woman and was moved by Julie-Victoire's plea. The same happened with her husband Napoléon III, a progressist and "equalitarian" man who forced Gustave Rouland to sign the diploma in March 1862. Nine month after she passed it, she had her diploma in her hands.

Some historians are dubtious of this story, because the delay between the examination and the diploma being received was between six to ten months during the Second Empire. Even if Julie-Victoire Daubié was not forced to plead with the Emperor, finally, an higher education was possible for the French women!

She was at that time a great example for many women, and even if only 10 women passed with flying colors the Baccalauréat in 1892, new secondary schools had opened for women. In 1920, they were more than one thousand.

Her career:

Julie-Victoire had a career as an entrepreneur (she bought an embroidery company), a journalist, a militant and a woman of letters. She had two goals: refute the inferiority of women and permit them to access to equal jobs and salaries.

Between 1866 and 1869, she published her work La femme pauvre du XIXe siècle (=,The poor woman of the 19th century), the fruit of vast researchs. The 28th October 1872 she also became the first woman Licencié es Lettres (without a "e" at the end, as the diploma title was only male at that time), and founded the "Association for the progressive emancipation of woman".

She had several correspondances with illustrious feminists and progressists men and women -Georges Sand, Alexandre Dumas Jr, Josephine Butler, Jules Simon, Léon Richet... She wanted for the French women to engage in economy, politics and vote, something that they were finally allowed to do only in 1944 (and they voted for the first time in 1945) !!!

Deadly sick with tuberculosis in 1874, she didn't have the time to finish her doctoral thesis "The woman condition in the Roman society". She left, at 50 years old, an imprint on the women of her time and others would further carry the hopes and vision of this discreet but persistent woman for more acknowledgement of women's rights.

Woman will become in the society whatever she will be able to be.   Julie-Victoire Daubié.

Fresque in honor of Julie-Victoire Daubié, in Fontenay-le-Chateau where she is buried.
Photo par Par E2 — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0


I passed my Baccalauréat Scientifique in June 2000 and I can't really grasp all the implications her will and her success had concerning the rights and socio-economic situation of women in France. Perhaps another woman would have tried a few years later than her? We don't know for sure... But what I know, is that, because of her, women received the opportunity to study and have better education. They weren't anymore these people that could not think and do something only men were able to...

She wasn't the only woman in the world who stood up for what was right and what women should be allowed to do, but for the French woman I am, the one who feverishly checked the lists of the results and shouted "YES" when I saw my name and my grade for the Baccalauréat examination, she's very important. So, thank you Julie-Victoire. All the French Bachelières should know your name and your story!


Women's History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Join us for our second annual Women's History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don't miss our series from last year, and find even more posts on our Women's History board on Pinterest:


March 1
A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 7 Women Artists Who Changed History

March 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Songs We Can See - The Art of Peggy Lipschutz

March 4
Kid World Citizen: Children's Books about Women Scientists

March 7
Mama Smiles: Picture Books about Great Women in History Your Kids Need to Know

March 8
Hispanic Mama: 4 Latina Women Who Made It Happen

March 9
Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes: Spanish Children's Book on the Life of Felisa Rincón de Gautier, First Female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Colours of Us: 28 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


March 10
Witty Hoots: Some Awesome Women in My Life

March 11
MommyMaestra: Women in World History Trading Card Template

March 14
Crafty Moms Share: The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses

March 15
The Jenny Evolution: Non-Fiction Books about Women for Kids

March 16
Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

March 17
Living Ideas

March 18
La Cité des Vents

March 21
A Crafty Arab

March 22
La Cité des Vents

March 23
Peakle Pie

March 24
All Done Monkey

March 25
The Art Curator for Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs

March 28
Creative World of Varya

March 29
Family in Finland

March 30
The Jenny Evolution

March 31
For The Love of Spanish





Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

vendredi 18 mars 2016

Friday Good Ideas #6




For the family:

Recipes you should try this week-end:


An activity you could plan:
Well, more like one to pick between these 101 activities... 



For the children:

Activities:

Smart an Fun:
Geometry for kids: islamic art, from Planet Smarty Pants, will help you understand how the islamic art use geometry and colors. Stained glass geometry is very fun!


For the adults:

Parenting:
Raising girls who are includers instead of mean girls.  If you have a boy, the advices still stand.

Supporting a child with trauma history, on Steam powered Family.

Knowledge:

Have a good laugh:
Man and woman's brains, by Dekho Bhopal

Take care of yourself:

vendredi 11 mars 2016

La procession de la Sanch [Easter around the World]

Départ de la procession, avec au fond, la croix des anciennes confréries de Perpignan (gantiers, tisserands, jardiniers, etc).
Start of the procession, with in the background the cross of the ancient fraternities of Perpignan (gloves makers, weavers, gardeners, etc).

Vendredi Saint, dans les rues du Vieux Perpignan. Que le soleil rayonne ou qu'il pleuve à la mode méditerranéenne (bien fort pour quelques heures), la procession de la Sanch (= du sang) commémorant la Passion et l'Agonie du Christ s'ébranle à 15h depuis l'église St Jacques. Passant par les rues et ruelles médiévales et faisant deux arrêts - 16h à la cathédrale St Jean et 17h à l'église St Matthieu-, les misteris retourneront juste à côté de leur point de départ, aux jardins de la Miranda. Un lieu qui d'ailleurs n'est pas que géographiquement leur départ mais surtout historiquement.
Good Friday, in the streets of the Old Perpignan. Sun shining or mediterranean rain pouring (very heavy for a few hours), the Sanch procession (= the blood) commemorating the Passion and Agony of Christ starts at 3pm from the church of St James. Walking through the medieval streets and alleys and stopping two times - 4pm at the Cathedral St John and at 5pm at the church of St Matthew -, the misteris will go back near their starting point, in the gardens of the Miranda. A place that is not only the geographic start but also the historical one.


Image: L'Indépendant.


Historique de la confrérie et tenue d'un pénitent / Hictoric of the Fraternity and clothes of the penitent:

Le 11 octobre 1416, la " Confrérie du Précieux Sang de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ " y fut fondé par Saint Vincent Ferrier. Ses buts étaient / sont:
The 11th of October 1416, the "Fraternity of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ" was founded by Saint Vincent Ferrer. The aims of this fraternity was:

• l'accompagnement des condamnés à mort (par le passé) / support to the people sentenced to death (in the past)

• la visite et l'accompagnement des prisonniers / visiting and supporting the prisoners

• la participation aux cérémonies liées à la Semaine Sainte ainsi qu'une pratique religieuse réelle et active / participation in the ceremonies during the Holy Week and also a sincere and active religious practice

• la participation aux diverses maintenances (renforcement des liens de coopération et d'entraide entre les différentes Confréries de Pénitents de France et de la Principauté de Monaco / participation in various maintenances (building stronger bonds  of cooperation and relief between the different Fraternities of Penitents in France and Monaco)


Penitent

La confrérie des Jardiniers (Hortolans) et celle des Tisserands (Teixidors) existaient déjà dans la paroisse  St Jacques et leurs membres furent les premiers pénitents dans leurs sacs noirs et encapuchonnés (les caparutxes). La cagoule qu'ils portent permettait aux pénitents qui avaient un passé criminel de pouvoir prendre part à la procession et invoquer le pardon divin au milieu des autres habitants. La tradition est restée, ainsi que le nom qui a vite désigné l'ensemble de leur tenue noire ou rouge. Pour connaître la paroisse d'origine d'un pénitent, c'est la couleur de la ceinture de corde qui ceint sa tenue qui vous l'indiquera (blanc pour La Réal, rouge pour St Jacques, etc). Les pénitents portent des chaussures noires ou bien vont pieds-nus. Autour du cou, le scapulaire -objet de dévotion béni par l'évêque- est attaché et passé sous le sac (sorte de robe) du pénitent.
The Fraternity of the Gardeners (Hortolans) and the one of the Weavers (Teixidors) existed then in the St James parish and their members were the first penitents in their black bags and hoods (the caparutxes). The cowl they are wearing allowed the penitents who had a criminal record to take part in the procession and to invoke the divine forgiveness in the middle of the other inhabitants. The tradition stayed, as did the name which quickly designated their whole clothing, black or red. To know from which parish they are from, it's at the color of their rope belt you will see it (white for La Réal, red for St James, etc). the penitents have to wear black shoes or they can go barefoot. Around their neck, the scapular -an object of devotion blessed by the bishop- is attached and hid under their bag of penitent (a kind of dress).


L'ordre et la composition de la procession / Order and composition of the procession:

Le Regidor et sa cloche de fer
The regidor and his iron bell
  • le Regidor de procession, caparutxa rouge écarlate, ouvre le cortège avec dans ses mains la cloche de fer qu'il fait retentir à intervalles réguliers. / the Regidor of the procession, with a scarlett caparutxa, opens the procession with an iron bell in his hands, that he will ring from time to time. 
  • les tambours, voilés de crêpe noir. Des chants accompagnent la processions: les goigs de la Sanch. / the drums, veiled in a black mourning crêpe. Hymns support the penitents: the goigs of the Sanch.

  • les Misteris: ces groupes statutaires portés à main d'homme en capuchons noirs ou rouges, ou de femme en mantilles, pendant trois heures, représentent les scènes de la Passion du Christ. Chaque pénitent porte 30 à 50 kg et ils sont 8 pour en transporter un Misteri, qui de plus est toujours orné de fleurs. / the Misteris: group of statues hold by men in caparutxes black or scarlett, or women in mantilla, during three hours, representing scenes from the Passion of the Christ. Each penitent holds between 30 and 50 kg and they are 8 to carry one, very decorated with flowers, Misteri.


Les Misteris que vous pouvez voir lors de la procession sont au nombre de 36 et évoquent les scènes suivantes: / There are 36 Misteris you can see during the procession and they show the following scenes:




  • l'Hort (= le jardin) porté par la Confrérie des Jardiniers et abondamment fleuri / the Hort (= the garden) carried by the Fraternity of the Gardeners and beautifully flowered.
  • la Flagellation / the Whipping
  • le Couronnement d'épines / the Crowning of thorns
  • l'Ecce Homo. Les porteurs du misteri de l’Ecce homo (présentation à la foule devant le palais de Pilate, de Jésus battu et couronné d’épines) sont habillés de vermeil - comme le Regidor - pour rappeler le sang du Christ. / the Ecce Homo. The bearers of the Ecce Homo (when Jesus, whipped and crowned with thorns, is presented to the crowd by Pilate) are clothed in vermeil - as the Regidor - to remember Christ's blood.
  • les Misteris de Jésus portant la Croix / the Misteris of Jesus walking with the Cross
  • les Misteris du Christ cloué sur la Croix / the Misteris of Christ on the Cross

  • le "Dévot Christ" placé sur le parvis de la cathédrale dans son lit d'apparat / the "Christ Devout", is placed on the cathedrale's square, in its ceremonial bed.
Christ Devot

  • la Mater Dolorosa: Marie au pied de la Croix, son coeur en argent transpersé de 7 glaives (ses  douleurs) / the Mater Dolorosa: Mary at the cross feet, her silver heart being pierced by 7 swords (her pains)
  • la Pieta: Marie portant le corps de Jésus après qu'on l'est descendu de la Croix / the Pieta: Mary holding Jesus' body after they took him down of the cross.
  • la Soleda: Marie regardant la croix où son fils a été supplicié quelques heures plus tôt, son corps reposant désormais au sépulcre / the Soleda: Mary looks up at the cross where her son has been tortured a few hours ago, his body laying in the sepulcre.
La Soleda

Deux autres processions de la Sanch existent en Catalogne du Nord: à Arles-sur-Tech et à Collioure et une en Catalogne du Sud, à Gérone.
Two other Sanch processions exist in North Catalunya: in Arles-sur-Tech and in Collioure, and one in South Catalunya in the city of Gerona.

J'y ai assisté deux fois, parmi la foule "silencieuse", et bien qu'à l'époque je n'appartenais à aucune religion, la vie du Christ me touchait déjà beaucoup et je me considérais déjà comme chrétienne. Ces statues et la ferveur dans le regard des pénitents et pénitentes m'avaient beaucoup intéressé.
I watched the procession two times, in the "mute" crowd, and even if at that time I didn't belong to any religion, the life of Christ was already deeply touching me and I considered myself as a Christian. Those statues and the fervour in the eyes of the penitents interested me a lot.




Si vous avez l'occasion de venir à Perpignan au moment de la Semaine Sainte, la procession de la Sanch est une célébration à ne pas rater! Surtout que 2016 marque le 600e anniversaire! Le Festival de Musique Sacrée se déroule également à ce moment-à. De même vous pouvez aller le Lundi de Pâques à Ille-sur-Têt pour la procession du Ressuscité. Et puis, les Pyrénées-Orientales regorgent de trésors architecturaux et naturels... pourquoi se priver d'une belle balade?
If you have the opportunity to come to Perpignan during the Holy Week, the Sanch procession can't be ignored! Especially as 2016 is the 600th anniversary! The Sacred Music Festival takes place at the same time. On Easter Monday, you can drive to Ille-sur-Têt to see the procession of the Risen Christ. And also, the Pyrénées-Orientales area abouds with architectural and natural treasures... why would you deprive yourself of a nice roadtrip?


A lire: Article sur les 600 ans de la Sanch publié le Mercredi 23 mars 2016 sur le site L'Indépendant.fr.



Un grand merci à Zebulon nog s3
qui a accepté que j'utilise ses photos de la Sanch 2015 pour illustrer mon article.

A big thank you to Zebulon nog s3
who agreed for me to use his photographies from the Sanch 2015 to illustrate my post.






This post is part of the series Easter around the world 
from Multicultural Kid Blogs. 
Be sure to look at what the bloggers have written 
about Easter in different countries!


Explore the diverse traditions of Easter around the world with us, and don't miss our series from last year and this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. You can also find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board:

March 21
Kori at Home
March 24
Hispanic Mama



Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

vendredi 4 mars 2016

Friday Good Ideas #5


For the family:

A recipe you should try this week-end:

An activity you could plan:
DIY squishy soap, from Mama Papa Bubba. I will try it next month, before we go on our French holidays, to pack a "ball" of it. The kids will love to wash their hands with that fun soap.


For the children:

An activity:
Paper straw flowers: some straws, cut out paper hearts and you have a flower!

Fun and smart:
For kids up to 5 years old. Learn the different words refering to water, in several languages (more than 15!). Free printables you can also color (on Multicultural Kid Blogs)

For the younger ones (2 to 4 years old), here is a lovely activity mathbook, created by Milk, Craft and Honesty. You can either print it or just download it on a tablet or smartphone. My daughter loves it, your children should too.



For the adults:

Parenting:
Teaching Kids money sense: preparing yourself, from Carrots are Orange. Well, my husband is the "banker" in our couple, but as I am the one who buy most of the things, my kids look up to me to know what can be bought and what is not affordable. This post has some good insights on how we can be ready to explain "money" to the children.

Knowledge/ Reflexion:
THIS TEDx video about Invite the "Other" to lunch

Take care of yourself:


Have a nice week-end!

mercredi 2 mars 2016

Wordless Wednesday #12


Il a neigé il y a 12 jours. Le Samedi matin nous avons pu profiter d'une promenade juste avant que la neige ne fonde. Avoir la forêt juste derrière notre résidence est un grand plaisir!

It has snowed 12 days ago. On Saturday morning we strolled in the wood just behind my building complex. It's such a joy to have the wood so near!

jeudi 25 février 2016

Slave Trade in the French ports [Black History month on MKB]

Black History Month is celebrated in several countries. France is not one of those countries, but  I would love for it to do so. Modern and contemporary French History is heavily connected to the rest of the world, especially the African continent. If the French government has "apologized" for crimes that have been done throught History, looking at our past deeds - goods and bads - are still avoided on many topics. Researchers and historians make great work of explaining what happened and how it went. And museums expose their foundings to enable the visitors a better understanding.

I will talk a bit in this post of one point in History that is explained in a museum in Nantes: the Slave Trade in French ports, in the Memorial de l'abolition de l'esclavage - Nantes.


Context:

Americas, after the first explorators and conquistadors traveled to these lands, have been seen as properties of European monarchies. Their ressources had to be harvested and as the native population was 1/ not willing to accept ownership and 2/ killed by imported illnesses and violence, new ways had to be found. Moldabled, cheap and "hard-working" people were sent there to help the tenants of the lands. First, it was prisonners or poor people hoping they could gain some richness as indentured servants. Religiously persecuted groups came too, however they were not controlled by the different governements in the same manner as the other "migrants".

Quickly, the new tenants started to use slaves they brought from Africa. If the slave trade knew its peak in the 18th century, Africans have arrived first in 1619 in what will be later the USA. They were then seen as indentured servants and freed after the term of their working contract. At the end of the 17th century, it had changed drasticaly and the Africans were all slaves and property of their owner/master.
In South America and Caraïbean islands the first slaves from Africa came in the 15th century from razzias made by the Spanishs. With the treaty of Tordesillas, Spain lost his "right" to send ships to Africa and had to let Portugal, Dutchland and later Great-Britain and France deal with local slave markets on the West coasts of Africa.


Wikipedia

The French, with their colonies in the Caribbean, took part in the slave trade only in the second half of the 17th century, when Louis XIV took the monopole of the tobacco production and forced the colons in the Antilles and Caraibean islands to start the production of the sugar cane. This production needs more workers and so slaves started to be imported. The triangular trade route it induced, opened some new possibilities for the French ports. [see here for more infos in French]

The redaction of the Code Noir in 1685 (a series of decrees) helped the colonies and the traders in their acquisition and management of slaves. The slaves in the French colonies had rights (to marry, to be fed, to not be separated from their family, etc) that many others in spanish and english colonies never had. Many were literate and owned businesses. They had to be educated in the catholic faith, meaning that they were human beings with a soul, something that have been denied in other territories.


17 ports in France participated in the slave trade, with 41,3% for the sole port of Nantes (and it was only between 1707 and 1830). Three other ports - Bordeaux, La Rochelle and Le Havre - made together 33,5% of the ships expeditions. France organized more than 3300 transatlantic slave trade expeditions, with a total of 4220 ships.

Par AnneauxMemoire — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0
During the 18th century ( the big moment in France for slave trade), only 500 families armed around 2800 ships to Africa. These people were not only interested in the slave trade (10 to 33% of the naval long-term trade) but also in the more common trades such as wheat, coton, wine, textiles, salt; fishing ships, insurances... In 1786, 60,8% of the imported products in the port of Nantes was the brown sugar from the Antilles -22 605 000 livres in total!- that came through the triangular trade but mostly from the direct trade. We have this high number an example of why slaves were so important for the colons.

Vue du port de Nantes prise de l'île Gloriette au xviiie siècle, attribuée à Nicolas Ozanne.

With the benefits they made on the triangular trade, these families invested in industries and manufactures. In Nantes, in 1775, 17 manufactures were listed: textile with the production of indiennes and linen, cords, nails, hats, amidon, bottles of glass, breweries, sugar refinery. The port became also one of the biggest shipyard.


The Memorial in Nantes:

In 2012 was opened in Nantes a Memorial for the abolition of slavery. The past of the city as slave trade port had been "forgotten" for many decennies but in the 90', the historical part of the city was shown in an exhibit and since then, the city has tried its best to research its past. The memorial talks about the abolition of slavery and the city museum (in the castle of the Dukes of Britain) explains what happened in Nantes during 150 years.

A virtual tour is available here. And pedagogic documents can be downloaded for the teachers, in French. I like the list of museums that have exhibits about slavery (old or modern). You can see if you have one near where you live. A pdf document has been translated into English and you can read it here.

The French magazine L'Histoire dedicaced one of their issue to the topic France and its slaves. Some articles in french can be found online.

*****

Today's population in North, Middle and South America are a mix of Native Americans, Europeans colons or migrants, Asian migrants and descendants from African slaves. For many people in this continent, their family history is marred with blood and tears. It is important, essential that historians keep researching about the past of those who came as slaves. Important for those descendants, but also for the countries they live in now, the African countries who have brothers and sisters in Americas and for the world as a whole.

I love History, but what I prefer the most is Love. Those studies, those heart-wrenching discoveries historians and genealogists are founding and showing to the public, this is a work of Love. May we understand better the dark part of the world history to overcome our actual struggles and lead a brighter path, without slavery, deshumanisation, or cruelty.


I have studied History in College. And I like to live by this sentence: 
"Know your past to understand your present and forge a better future".




Welcome to our third annual Black History Month series and giveaway! Follow along all month long as we explore the rich history and cultures of Africa and African-Americans. Be sure to enter our giveaway below and link up your own posts at the bottom of the page.
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