They run to bring the Occitan language to life

the essential
The second edition of Passem, from 2 to 5 June, will gather Landes to Béarn via Bigorre. A total of 600 kilometers of running to promote the Occitan language and support the associations that bring it to life.

Gascon, Occitan, Bigourdan, the same struggle … The one about the survival of the language and the culture attached to it.

This commitment to keeping the language alive is at the heart of the Passem, the relay race organized by the Ligams Association, to promote Occitan, its practices and the associations and movements that bring it to life.

The principle is simple: the runners involved will cover 600 kilometers in the relay between Landes and Pau, which passes lower Adour and Bigorre.

The participants, who take turns during the entire route, undertake to cover at least one kilometer before passing on the relay.

“The witness is the symbol of the transmission of language,” explains Daniel Barneix, president of the Ligams Association. As long as it is transmitted, the language lives. If we stop transmitting it, it dies. “

Ligam’s partners (associations, communities, companies, individuals, etc.) undertake to “buy” kilometers. At a rate of € 100 per. kilometers, the race collects funds that will be donated to projects for the benefit of “lengua nosta” (our language).

During the 2018 edition, seven initiatives were supported such as calendreta de Billères, the comic book of de Chancas, lo trin de la dança, Pelot, audiovisual comics in Occitan, familhas in lengua and Charnègues tales of Bidouze.

Dressed in T-shirts or yellow chasubles, the participants who will run day and night will be visible from a distance, it requires safety.

This race is also an opportunity to make the language and its speakers visible in the public space. “It’s a way to be seen in public space, but also to allow volunteers from different associations and movements to meet,” emphasizes Daniel Barneix, almost recognizing each other: “We have the impression that sometimes the people who live in their association their events. a little in their corner. They do not always know each other. Passem is an opportunity to meet. The race gives everyone the opportunity to bring what they can. ” In addition, it allows participants to become aware of belonging to something greater. The Occitan area runs from the Atlantic coast to certain valleys in Italy. In addition, the organizers hope that the race will make progress and edition after edition touch and cross an ever larger territory.

“We live in different territories, with our differences, with a language that varies, and with respect for others and their differences,” explains Daniel Barneix.

At the end of the race, “everyone”, the money raised will be used to help fund projects around the language, its promotion, its practice. To apply, simply log in to the passem website. After the race, a jury will decide which projects are supported and the amount of support.

Passem en Bigorre: a real language festival

La Passem is expected in Bigorre, where we are mobilizing to make it a real party (read the program opposite). The 2022 edition is sponsored by the author Teresia Pambrun and Antoine Dupont, the rugby player from the XV of France and Toulouse Stadium in Castelnau-Magnoac and supported by Bernadette Pécassou and Olivier Sarraméa.

“La Passem is an opportunity to highlight Occitan culture in all its aspects and all its diversity: language, song, but also local products … This language is present in all moments of everyday life,” explains Evelyne Hière. Many activities are organized in the towns of Bigourdane crossed by the race. It will also be an opportunity to pay tribute to Denis Pecassou, the founder of Hesteyade de Bigorre and Pierre Loubère. “We hope to see people from all walks of life,” she adds.

By showing the diversity of the Bigourdane culture in its various aspects, Passem shows the intangible heritage. “There is a real revival of interest in the Occitan language and culture, especially among young people,” said Régis Latapie of the Departmental Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CDMTP), which offers a new offering. All the initiatives make sense around a vibrant culture.

“The witness is transferred as one transfers the language”

Passem makes it possible to display the language in the public space?

The first idea is to communicate in the language. I know many people who work very well in their area but who do not know each other. The idea from the start is to go beyond Béarn, to Gascony or even more.

With what message?

The idea is also to show that our words are positive. We mobilize everyone; everyone brings what they want, what they can … Together we are in a territory that must live with its language, its differences in respect for others.

Is the route difficult?

The goal is to run at least 1 kilometer at 8 km / h. Anyone can do it. The witness is the symbol of the communication of the language. It is transmitted every kilometer as the language is transmitted from generation to generation. We run day and night … The day we stop transmitting it, language is dead.

Defending the language is it a struggle?

It’s a complicated battle, but far from lost. Not everyone has to speak only English. There are plenty of other riches.

The language is transferred from a young age …

The kids are the base. This language must be taught, but also socialized and socialized. It has to be used on a daily basis, it has to be written, spoken … There are a number of things that make a language come alive.

Speaking multiple languages ​​allows you to learn from others?

When you are multilingual at an early age, it is easier to learn other languages. When we speak several languages, it gives an openness to the world. We are based on what we have to share with others. We want to know the others with their differences. La Passem is also an opportunity to tell people that practicing the language is not reserved for some, but open to all.

Occitania is very large …

This is the difficulty. With Passem, we told ourselves we would leave our territory. For the next issues, we will always invite more people to join us.

Lots of entertainment

Passem crosses Bigorre on June 3rd. Oursbelille. Songs with Balad’ours. Borders. Songs with the singers from BordèresTarbes: From kl. 17, Rådhuspladsen. Market for local producers, authors and books in lenga nosta. At 18 songs with Calandrons, Daunas de cor, eths gojats and eths joens deth conservatori. Kl. 19. Tribute to Denis Pécassou and Pierre Loubère with Plantagulhes d’Ibos, eths pastous d’Asereish, Semiac en Bigòrra and all their friends. Musical entertainment: Lo guit fanfar trad … Chants / Cantère: Cracade, Musica per tots … 21:45: Ball with ball in the evening. Ibos: Around 8pm songs with eths amassats, eras mairs, eths mainats d’Ibos, eths talhèr deth CDMDT, eths Plantagulhes. Dance music with Anne-Lise Herbel, 9.30 pm: Ball with Parpalhon. Catering, refreshments. Azereix. Songs with school kids, Renavida and eths pastous. Music with Boha qui pot. July. Around 21.00: Songs with Las lobas, Bailina, Bouillon de broche, ball with Encadence. Ossun. 19.00 animated and gastronomic tour in the forest. 21.00: Catering, refreshments, singing with Los deth fifteen and Sonque place. Ball with Pialot de cordas.

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