At the start of the 2019 school year, Tony Mango did not return to the Léon-Blum high school in Créteil. He was transferred to Guadeloupe, where he will teach his mother tongue, Creole. The problem is that he was the only teacher of this overseas idiom in France. A special case ? Far from there. There are 82 “languages of France” in our territory, of which more than 50 are spoken overseas. The danger of transmission is near, explains Tony Mango: “When a language dies in a territory, it is lost for all of humanity. ”
Languages are not made to oppose
In this very sensitive documentary, he deciphers the peculiarity of Creole, synonymous with ” of the cane field, of lower social rank “, as opposed to French, a “high language”, which must be mastered in order to climb the ladder of society. This former Guadeloupe English teacher, who arrived at the age of 10 in Créteil, founded the Eritaj association in 1996, the objective of which is to transmit Creole culture. In 2004, he created a collective to include the language in the baccalaureate program in metropolitan France. He won his case in 2008 and continued his fight, essential to support young people often in search of identity. We discover here that a large number of West Indians, after having moved away from their community of origin, feel the need to reconnect with the culture of their parents.
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“I want a kid who grows up in France, who has Guadeloupe or Martinican roots, to have things to say about himself. Because language is one of the elements, the tools that allow him to understand what he is, Tony Mango says. Languages are not made to oppose. A student who comes to learn Creole does not try to shut himself up in his community, it does not make sense to say that. On the contrary, by this means, it participates in the development of all the languages of the world. “
Thursday November 25 at 12:15 am on France 3. Documentary by Pascal Auffray (2021). 55 min.