Walloon Culture Analysis

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First, it is paramount to grasp that culture in this section is not an imagined community as understood by Anderson, but a dual concept which distinguishes high culture (e.g. a language of literature) and low culture (e.g. a language for folk songs). The following paragraphs explore the validity of Walloon as a language of culture, and users’ statements about Walloon as a culture (traditions, roots, and cultural heritage) correspond to identity norms because it becomes the concrete cementing together the community. In short, it is necessary to separate Walloon as a medium of culture and Walloon as a culture, the former being about its aesthetic qualities, and, thus, the fictive norms; the second regarding the folklore and other cultural goods.…show more content…
One criterion of this language-dialect differentiation rests on prestige, and one factor detrimental to prestige is the cultural validity of the language. Traditionally, dialects apply to low-culture (e.g. oral tradition, everyday life, etc.), whereas languages embody high-culture (e.g. literary canon, media, etc.) (Lagrange 2013: 743-761). From the already discussed fictive norms, it would be simplistic to come to the conclusion that Walloon might not be acknowledged as a prestigious code, and this evaluation could be reinforced by judgments about its cultural value as a…show more content…
(b) The subsequent comment exemplifies the appreciation of the lyricism of Walloon-speaking poetry, “[…] j’ai pu ainsi apprécier le chant si particulier et lointain de notre propre langue régionale [...]”, note that neither example (a) nor (b) addresses directly the issue of Walloon as a culture language, yet the positive comments attest that Walloon is deemed valid as a medium of culture.

A final note on the insecurity related to Walloon’s legitimacy in a context of high culture, several comments embodied a feeling of inferiority among Walloon speakers (c). Indeed, if negative attitudes are common in various forums (e.g. “paysan”, “plouc”, “barakî de kermesse”), it can be argued that overtly supportive comments would offer a potent counterpart (e.g. “Quelle belle langue”). Moreover, in spite of the absence of comment explicitly questioning Walloon as a language for the cultivated elite, a minority of users felt threatened and defended the legitimacy of Walloon as a medium of culture, hinting at a larger

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