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Brittany is Different

It is France but somehow it seems not. It is the same as Wales or Ireland but it is not. It often feels like an independent nation but it is not and has not been for several hundred years. Brittany (Breizh in Breton or Bretagne in French) is different! Lazy comparisons are too easy to cast about and a measured analysis would take a decade or more and still leave us scratching around for an agreeable descriptor. So, let us just agree to say that Brittany is unique.

The traveller to Brittany will see signs of this uniqueness all around, it is not just the (predominantly) bilingual road signs or the omnipresent bigoudène-adorned figure on the backs of cars that make Brittany different from the rest of Metropolitan France or elsewhere. Although both are probably the biggest public manifestation of that especial difference.

So, what else helps contribute to Brittany’s uniqueness? The Breton language certainly, although, for a variety of reasons, it’s quite unusual to hear anyone between the ages of 20 and 70 speaking it in the street. The spoken French, in terms of accent and tonality, is different too but, thanks to television, markedly less so nowadays in the younger generation. The culture is assuredly distinct and there is a strong sense of national identity entwined with this: a shared pride in the uniqueness of Brittany’s rich cultural heritage.

What has, despite the odds, fostered and nurtured a distinct and thriving Breton culture into the 21st century is a fascinating subject but probably unfit for the limited confines of a blog such as this. Instead, I hope to use this blog to highlight some of the noticeable things that, for me, make Brittany interestingly different from other places. You can therefore expect postings on cultural events, festivals, food and drink, folklore and legends, history, geography and landscapes.

I am no expert, so, please feel free to share your thoughts. Let us try and add some real colour to the Brittany travel guides and feature the best of Brittany for today’s inquisitive traveller.


Thank you!


Published by Bon Repos Gites

Enjoying life in Kalon Breizh - the Heart of Brittany.

45 thoughts on “Brittany is Different

  1. Thank you for creating this excellent blog! Due to your eloquent, detailed writing, I have discovered so many fascinating things about Brittany! It is now my greatest dream to visit this earthly Paradise. 😌

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think that’s what make it so unique. It isn’t exactly France, Wales nor Ireland. It’ has it own culture separate from these other places.

    P.S. You’re an expert. 🙂 You know far more about Brittany than most of us.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I learn something new with every article. Like I was curious about bigoudène-adorne on cars and what they looked like but came across bigoudène-adorne in clothing. The tall lacy headdress is quite interesting. I knew about the Spanish headdress similar to that but I didn’t know France had one too. I know John Snow is but who is Manuel in relation to Brittany?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, that’s the one that I thought you were referring to. It’s a decal of a cartoon lady who is more hat than body. It’s actually a company logo but folks put it on their car as a bit of fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sooo drawn to your blog, and to read every post! My husband and I visited Ireland, England, and Scotland last year (July and December 2019), and are in awe of the lands and folklore. Blessings! ❤️🦋🌀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It certainly is especially since its effective suppression since the Revolution. Banning the language in schools and church almost eventually did the trick but failed to eradicate it and now it’s enjoying a resurgence despite the govt’s ambivalence.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello there, is this your first article? The reader does not go further, I can not like your articles anymore for the moment … I hope to read you again soon! Merry Christmas

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is with pleasure that I will continue to read you soon no doubt … It is I who thank you for following me!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, now that I have read all the blog backwards, it is time to start reading most of your excellent blog again in the chronological order!
    You obviously have the talent of a historian, researching every topic properly, and that of a writer, using a rich vocabulary and making sure the narration is never tedious. (I just wish I had never read the post on Giles de Rais, so distressing it made me feel nauseous for days. We had been told about his monstrous deeds at school but one is never quite prepared for so much depravation, selfishness and cruelty). Apart from the two posts on the Breton islands, those on food and medicinal herbs have been especially enjoyable to read, thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I have been watching your progress! 😉 That was quite a lot of reading and I hope it was not a waste of your time. At least you will likely know the answer if a question on Brittany comes up in a quiz game one day! 😉

      Many thanks for your kind and encouraging words – both are much appreciated! 🙂 It was hard at first deciding what type of “voice” to adopt but not as hard as making the tough decisions on what to drop and what to retain. I still struggle with that though! 😉

      The acts of de Rais and La Fontenelle were vile and there is no escaping that. I tried to not sensationalise them or turn them into some kind of misunderstood hero. Thankfully, lots of contemporary testimony of both have survived, so, I tied to just stick with the tone then used.

      I am not sure how much longer I will keep going. I have a few more ideas and could probably muster up a few more with some thought. However long this blog lasts, I have enjoyed the last three years! Far more than I thought I might have. WordPress is a very pleasant corner of the internet with some wonderful people in it! 🙂


      1. ha, ha, with a memory like a sieve the quizz is lost already! It certainly was not a waste of time reading every post and I do intend to read most of them again. The darker ones certainly give a grim idea of the Bretons of yesteryear, presumably most wicked actions arose from fear and cowardice – which makes someone as different as Mr Déguignet a very remarkable person. It would be a pity if you stopped writing your blog soon, there must still be plenty of information for you to dig out and delight us with 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right, living with fear must have played a large part in the life of folks back then as just one unforeseen event could bring disaster.
        Ha, yes, there is more interesting material out there, I am sure. Just needs to be found! 😉


      3. Oh great, your posts are so enjoyable and informative! You have produced a first-class guide on Brittany that people may want to consult again and again. Have you thought of organising them in various sections (food, tourism, legends, historical events, etc.) to make the re-reading easier? 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Curiously enough I did think about that just the other day! 😉 When I started, I just wanted the simplest site layout possible with just recent posts on the page. With three years worth of content, I can’t see anyone finding anything here unless they use WP Reader! I may well have to see if there is a suitable template that I can easily migrate to.


      5. Yes, I know the feeling, the same happened to me with the main blog on Himalayan Art. With the template I use it is possible to go to Site Admin>Posts>Categories and create a category, but then of course you have to go to All Posts, select each post, quick edit, tick the box corresponding to the selected category, and keep the changes. It sounds lengthy but well worth it for the reader/student/researcher at the other end 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re no expert? Ha. I’m laughing cause I’m pretty sure you’re the quintessential example of what an expert is…. 🥹🌻💚🌻

    Look at me, making my way through. 🤣

    From the bottom to the top now, working my way up now 😂😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha for a second there, I thought you had reached the end!! 😯😯

      Nope, definitely not an expert but I reckon I know enough to keep conversation with them. 🙏 I am always finding out and learning new things and that is what I love most about old folklore – no matter how much you know, there is more out there to learn. 😉

      PS. I have still not been kicked out of Reader! So, I don’t know if they were bluffing that it would be killed or whether I am simply living on borrowed time! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Take the compliment. You are as close to an expert as an expert can get.

        You’ll always be learning and perfecting your craft.

        But take the compliment. You’re amazing.

        PS. Thanks… I’m glad you’re not having issues and it’s working out well for you. It’s better for me today but still weird shit happening. I’m not the only person experiencing issues. You’re not the only person not having issues. 😈 we are all on borrowed time. Who knows what’s going to happen with this dumpster fire on the end of those who are having issues. Maybe we will stop having them and the rest of y’all will start having them.

        What a fucking plot twist…. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awwhh then yes, when you put it that way, I shall take the complement graciously!! Thank you!! 🙏🙏😯😯

        Haha, yes, I hear lots of others complain about Jetpack but not a whisper that it is to be debugged! 🙄 Haha .. dumpster fire!! Love it!! 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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