The Year of the Marseillaise

After the terror attacks in Paris last year and the influx of immigrants, the entire world has watched Europe with wide eyes to see how the next generation will react to an unstable climate.

In turn, France’s leaders have named 2016 “the Year of the Marseillaise.” The Marseillaise is the two-century old national anthem, with its origins in the French Revolution. The song has been cast aside by most of the liberal French, deeming it too partisan and outdated. But with the national crises, it has made a reappearance over and over again this year as a symbol of national unity. It was sung in soccer stadiums and at rallies not only by the French, but by many other European countries to show their support.

I think the idea of reappropriating a song that most of this generation’s French could not relate to into something that symbolizes unity and inclusion is an extremely cool way to bring about a new wave of involvement and national pride. The anthem is casting off its infamy (it inspired revolutions in other countries and contains several controversial lines) and becoming what it was meant to be: a call to unity in France by everyone who calls it home.

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