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Rugby, Wine, and Occitan Culture

In the creative essay writing form, I looked to explore the relevancy of rugby throughout all of Occitania. Known as the sport of the people, as opposed to a sport of the bourgeois, rugby has remained a large part of this southern French culture. I talked with Frank Schisano, a rugby player who became a self-made wine maker, and explored how one could even make that seemingly incompatible transition, yet I found a few parallels by which the occupations are approached and sustained. Moreover, I was able to explore how deeply engrained some of the attitudes towards Northern Frenchman, and how they are proliferated even into something that may seem as trivial like sport. In order to keep this culture alive, the people of Occitania have to maintain that the language is active as opposed to constant revival through ancient texts. Despite the not so glamorous style and non-comparable pay to a sport like soccer, maybe kids still enroll in rugby academies as early as 9. This essay format was useful in displaying information from a first person source while being able to intermittently place in information from the other sources on rugby and wine, and subsequently, Occitan culture. Before typing this paper, vidas of trobadours were used to keep the free yet factual spirit of prose that was used at the time. The second hand sources dealing with rugby did well to keep the balance of having a dichotomy between the North and South while staying sensitive to the dialogue among the subcultures of the Occitan region.

OSPGEN 77: The Other France: Troubadours and the Politics of Cultural Heritage
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