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A Celebration of Monegasque Heritage: 2024 Language Competition Awards

The Cour d’Honneur at the Town Hall of Monaco was abuzz with excitement and pride as the 2024 Monégasque Language Competition award ceremony took place. Mayor Georges Marsan, alongside prominent figures including H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy, and Claude Manzone, President of the National Committee of Monégasque Traditions, welcomed a distinguished audience. The event was a testament to the enduring cultural heritage of Monaco.

The ceremony commenced with a stirring rendition of the Monégasque anthem by the U Cantin d’A Roca choir, setting the tone of the celebration. Mayor Marsan, in his opening address, highlighted the collaborative efforts between the Department of National Education, Youth, and Sports, the Town Hall, and the National Committee of Monégasque Traditions. He underscored the Committee’s crucial role in preserving Monaco’s linguistic and cultural legacy, congratulating them on their centenary.

Deputy Mayor Karyn Ardisson Salopek took the stage next, presenting the awards and delivering an eloquent speech in Monégasque. She emphasized that learning the language and traditions of Monaco fosters a connection to a collective memory and identity. Her words resonated deeply with the audience, celebrating the beauty of Monégasque heritage.

Over 1900 Participants in the Competition

This year, a remarkable 1,919 students from CM2 to Terminale participated in the competition’s written exams, a slight increase from the previous year. The oral exams, which saw 72 finalists (up from 61 last year), were a highlight of the evening. These talented students were recognized for their proficiency in Monégasque, receiving numerous prizes in the presence of their families, teachers, and donors.

The ceremony also featured a traditional skit performed by six students, adding a delightful cultural touch. The skit, along with the awards, spoke to the vibrant spirit of the Monégasque community and its commitment to cultural preservation.

Mayor Marsan’s heartfelt words captured the essence of the event: “The Committee, committed to defending our language, plays an essential role in maintaining our historical connection. Without its work and the dedication of its members, generation after generation, it is likely that a part of our traditions and intangible heritage would have been irretrievably lost.”

The Monégasque Language Competition continues a tradition of cultural sharing and community spirit, enriching the lives of students and ensuring that the linguistic traditions of Monaco thrive for generations to come.

They competition exists of many hurdles to jump over successfully : oral presentation of a text, multiple-choice questions, a text to be read with questions, verb conjugations and writing on a theme … this year: “Language and the family”.

Congratulations to all the students for their hard work!

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