Visit Brittany to experience Celtic culture south of Cornwall
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Things that come to mind when one thinks of France: baguettes, the Eiffel Tower, wine. Things that don’t come to mind: Celtic culture. But in Brittany, France, that's is exactly what you should think of. Brittany, in the northwest portion of the country, is identified as one of the Celtic League’s six Celtic nations. The other five nations fall in Great Britain and Ireland, making Brittany unique not only by French standards, but also by Celtic standards. Although French is the primary language of most people in the region, up until the 19th century regional languages Breton and Gallo were the only two main languages known there. As you can imagine, this makes for a distinct regional culture. A 2008 poll of Brittany residents identified 50% of inhabitants as feeling just as Breton as they felt French, and 22.5% as more Breton than French. That same year, the Office de la Langue Bretonne identified 206,000 active speakers of the Breton language. This pride and difference of culture is palpable throughout town. Road signs each have at least two lines of text – one in French and one in Breton. Many cars have bumper stickers of a cartoon woman in traditional Breton clothes, particularly a tall coiffe de Bretagne hat. Many towns have Diwan schools, where lessons are taught in the Breton language, as a way of preserving the unique culture.
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