mercredi 15 janvier 2014

Corsican Independence Final

Corsica is considered one of the regions of France, but by law it is a territorial collective. Because Corsica has more is not officially a state of France, they have more freedoms and less laws than mainland France. Most people though, call Corsica a region of France but I noticed that in all the text books, it is listed as other areas of France, most a part of the regular France. Like American Samoa or Puerto Rico.
Corsica, was  a part of Italy for a very long time, but then for a short amount of time they were an independent nation during the 1700's. They had their own constitution, plus letting women vote a long time before even America let women vote. Sadly for the Corsicans, they were taken over by France in the late 1700's and still remain a territory under France.
Also, Corsica has some cultural differences that make it different than France. They have their own language on the island , called Corsican. Corsican (the language) is a lot like Italian. Like "ci vole à dà una nittata à a to cammare" During elementary and middle school, kids have to take a Corsican class to know some of the language and keep up the tradition. Plus, around half the people that live in Corsica, speak Corsican at home.
There are many Corsican songs, that are in all Corsican and mostly have theme of liberty for Corsica. I have never actually heard a Corsican song that wasn't about liberty for Corsica. Except for the Corsican national anthem. Yes Corsica has their own national anthem, Dio vi salvi Regina. Here is a link to the Corsican National Anthem Some people in Corsica have this tattooed onto their arms or backs to represent the resistance towards France. And many people do not know the words to the Marseillaise, my host sister could only sing the Corsican national anthem and not the French.
Corsica also has their own flag, shown below. At the police station was the only place I would see the French flag, but there was a Corsican flag also. The Corsican flag is everywhere, at restaurants, schools, shops, many houses, and on signs.
Speaking of the signs, the second picture below shows how most of the locals, scratch out the French so just the Corsican is showing. This is another sign of resistance and pro-independents in Corsica. I would say about 60% of the signs in Corsica are like this, and it is a lot worse in the mountains.
Now that Francois Hollande, a socialist, is the president of France,(though the French don't want him either) even more Corsicans want to become independent again, and the tensions are rising with Corsican Nationalists and the French government.  Maybe some day in the near future, Corsica will be independent again.
i vole à dà unci vole à dà una nittata à a to cammare
a fgdfdfdnittata à a to caàmmare


mardi 14 janvier 2014

Les Villes Corses: Corsican Cities

The six laregst towns or cities in Corsica are Ajaccio, Bastia, Porto-Vecchio, Bonifacio, Corte and Calvi. They are each in a different region in Corsica, from the very north, to the very south, and to west to east. Bastia is in the north and is the second largest city in Corsica with a population of around 40, 000. To the very south is the town of Bonifacio, with a population of around 3,000 people. You can see the Italian island of Sardinia from Bonifacio. It has a lot of Italian influences too. Calvi, is the town to the north-west and it has a population of around 5,500 people. Many celebs visit Calvi, Keira Knightly and her boyfriend were there last spring, soaking up the beaches and shopping at the many one-of-a-kind boutiques they have to offer there. On the east coast, is the town of Porto-Vecchio, which has a population of 10,000 people. Many tourists come to Porto-Vecchio for Via-Notte, the biggest club on the island and the biggest club in Europe without a roof, it is right by the beach. Many young adults come here during the spring and summer. Also there are many rich people also who live in Corsica, with their private beaches and mansions right next to it. Corte, which is right in the middle of the island is the known to be the most "traditonal' Corsican town and it has the l'Université de Corse Pasqual-Paoli. A majority of the people speak Corsican as well as French and many people try to retrain their Corsican culture. The population is about 7, 000 people but it feels like a smaller town when in the old district up on the hill. The largest city and the capitol of the island though is Ajaccio. Ajaccio has a population of 60,000 people and it is also the birth place of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the city that I lived in last year and it was a wonderful place to live because you have the down town for shopping, restaurants and clubs, the beaches to relax, many available offices because it is a  the capitol of Corsica, but you are not very far from the county side and mountains to go hiking or camping. It really has many things for an enjoyable time! 

This is the link to my video about the Corsican towns and cities!

Le Paysage Corse: The Countryside of Corsica

Corsica has a varied geography, with mountains going strait into the Mediterranean, to lush, green hillside that turn into white sand beaches. Corsica is the one of the most uninhibited places in Western Europe.
Corsica is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean, it literally is a mountain in the middle of the sea.
In the the cap, there is little mountains and it is very, very windy. It is absolutely beautiful there though. Around Calvi in the north west is a flat and has green valleys or rolling hills. In Corte, which is in the center of Corsica is in the right in the middle of the mountains, it is surrounded by huge mountains. Around Ajaccio is small mountains, not to high so that there is still vegetation but they can get high, especially when hiking up their trails. In Bonifacio, which is the very most southern part of Corsica, it is flat and has a more arid climate then the rest of Corsica because of its little precipitation and being closer to Northern Africa. In the eastern part of the island, around and north of Porto-Vecchio there are many hills but not as many mountains.

jeudi 9 janvier 2014

Les Plats Corses: Corsican Dishes

Corsica has many different dishes and food special to just Corsica. Even though Corsica is an island, a lot of their traditional food does not have fish or sea food because through out most of Corsican history, the Corsicans lived in the mountains and not around the sea because it was a lot more dangerous on the coast. Raids and invasions would come from the Italians, Greeks and English plus with all the bugs around the sea, a lot more disease occurred.
Now there are many seafood restaurants all over Corsica but traditional Corsican food it still mostly based on their pork from the half wild/half domesticated pigs of the mountains. Their charcuterie is famous all over France.
Corsica's most famous pork product was the figatellu which is the liver of the pig, you can eat this uncooked or grilled. Another popular food item is the canistrelli which is some what like a biscotti but made with white wine, wheat flour and sugar, you can dip this in your yogurt or eat it plain for breakfast or of my favorite Corsican cheeses is le brocciu, it is a special kind of goat cheese that you can find mostly in Corsica. Spreading brocciu on warm, fresh baguettes are my favorite!
You can find many grocery stores in Corsica with signs, Les Produits Corses (Corsican Products) through out the island. They have the french produce, and Corsican specialties.  Down the street from my house in Ajaccio there was a canistrelli bakery that would always smell so delicious.
If you are looking for different cuisine besides Corsican, don't worry. Corsicans still eat a lot of traditional French food, including all the staples like baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat and nicoise salade. Plus because Corsica is so close to Italy, there is many authentic Italian restaurants or because of many Algerian, Moroccan, and Pieds Noirs immigrants, there is a selection of very yummy Arabic food. Plus with an assortment of Spanish (from Spain not Central and South America), Thai, Japanese and British restaurants to go to.
Food is a huge part of almost every culture, the Corsicans always are happy when a foreigner knows some of their traditional food, so try a little brocciu or canistrelli, you might be surprised at how good it is and maybe make a few friends a long the way!