Will a bilingual hip-hop anthem help unite French and English Quebecers?
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:54PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 18, 2013 12:01AM EST
It’s said that music is the international language, and a new initiative is banking on that adage to foster unity between French- and English-speaking Quebecers.
Notre Home, a bilingual hip-hop anthem written to inspire young Quebecers, got a boost that will help spread its message after the Parti Quebecois on Thursday announced it would contribute $20,000 to send the song on the road.
Performed by The Honest Family, a collective of Montreal artists, Notre Home celebrates Quebec’s social fabric with its themes of engagement, leadership, as well as cultural and linguistic identity.
“We've come to know a beautiful culture, we mustn’t go. We’re here to stay, sing and praise a place we're calling notre home,” the song goes.
“It's really to inspire kids to have a sense of belonging to their culture, the English and French aspect of it,” said songwriter David Hodges.
The funding boost will allow Hodges to tour the province to meet young people and promote bridge building between the two solitudes.
“We want to give the signal that you are here to stay, and we want you to be here to stay and let's work together on everything,” said Jean-François Lisée Quebec’s Minister of International Relations, Francophonie and Foreign Trade. “You are Quebecers, get over it, and tell others to get over it.”
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) commissioned the song as a way to foster a sense of belonging among young Quebecers.
The tour will kick off in February in schools from Gaspé to Quebec City via the Outaouais and the Montreal metropolitan area.
The PQ says it is planning many more bridge-building initiatives.
Since its election in the fall, many have expressed concern over how the PQ’s rule would affect the way Anglophones are treated in the province.
The party promotes tougher language laws through Bill 14, which proposes mandatory French tests at English colleges, more French in the workplace, as well as stricter rules on which towns get bilingual status.
The funding announcement comes as Sainte-Agathe, a town north of Montreal that does not have bilingual status, was told to remove an English paragraph in the town's newsletter.
“Instead of composing a song, maybe they could have let us communicate with our Anglophone community in our newsletter,” said Sainte-Agathe Mayor Denis Chalifoux
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Genevieve Beauchemin