La Fête du Jèrriais
The inaugural Fête du Jèrriais, sponsored by Romerils, took place in 2018 and proved to be a great success. Jersey’s Chief Minister attended the launch, which was featured on the front page of the JEP.
He said, “Jèrriais is integral to our island identity and protecting and having pride in our local language is something we do not do well. I’m glad that the Fête du Jèrriais will give islanders the opportunity to experience and learn our native language first hand. I’ll be giving it a try and I’d encourage you to do the same.”
The first Fête included a concert, a singing workshop, a lecture, cider tasting, poetry reading, conversation groups, bachîn ringing, and a sell-out children’s book launch!
The stated objectives of La Fête du Jèrriais were as follows:
- To stimulate curiosity and interest in Jèrriais amongst a wider and more varied audience
- To attract new learners of all ages to Jèrriais
- To create a celebratory atmosphere surrounding Jèrriais and encourage positive attitudes towards the language
- To promote an image of Jèrriais as a living language with a contemporary relevance and dynamic future
All of these objectives and more were achieved and it was decided to stage the festival annually. La Fête returned in 2019 to great acclaim. Sadly, as with so many events, FDJ 2020 was thwarted by Covid 19. However, not to be deterred, we look forward to many more future Fêtes. Watch this space!