The group consists of both the young and the elderly. In detail : 30 children ranging from age 5 to 12, 20 teenagers and 20 adults. We wear the traditional dress of the Hanau region. The teenagers prefer the pre-army uniform, better adapted to their temperament.
We aim to maintain the cultural heritage of our region, the "Pays de Hanau" by keeping its manners, customs, dialect, traditional dress, songs, counting rhymes, country dances and by digging out other aspects of its past and have them revived.
A key part of preserving our linguistic and cultural identity lies in sharing it with others abroad and at home.
The challenge of the group since its creation has been to allow our young dancers to discover and appreciate the habits practiced by their Hanau ancestors, to instil in them an admiration for their roots, and to give them the opportunity to exchange with young people from other countries and cultures.
Primarily, we organize exhibitions. Our association produces about thirty shows, some with only adult dancers, some with only young dancers and others with both.
Every year, we organize a folklore festival in July. We love participating in exchanges with other French and foreign folkl groups.
In addition to traditional folk dances, songs and music, the Folkloric group of "Pays de Hanau" of Bouxwiller works with young people to pass down traditions to them. The association is mainly composed of children and teenagers - which is quite unusual these days - and is proud of it.
As of late, we have organized traditional craft exhibitions. The most memorable part for the children was the basket making workshop. During which, five young dancers from our group worked passionately making baskets all week, despite aching fingers. Eventually, the basket-making bug was caught by the parents who asked for an initiation training !
Our traditional Easter egg decoration workshop also enjoys great success among young people. The method is not the same as the regular one used in painting shops. Instead of the classic paint brush, a vine shoot pinned with a needle is used. And instead of paint, melted suet is used... but, hush - we cannot reveal the secrets of our traditional wooden eggs yet !
Other aspects of our yearly program include : Evening tales on St Nicolas's Day, "Bredele" making (small Alsatian Christmas cookies), Christmas Eve, Twelfth Night cake, Easter tree with its eggs, Maikur etc...
We are very proud of the fact that a lot of our young people still speak the Alsatian dialect. Every year we support this dialect by participating in the great exhibition "E freyjor fer useri sproch" ("the spring of our language") organized by the Office of Alsatian Language and Culture. For this performance we are always looking for new counting rhymes and renewed adapted playings.
We regularly organize meetings with teenagers from other folk groups. One of the last meetings offered a rally aimed to discover the town of Bouxwiller followed by a folkloric dance evening with dances from both groups. Young people admitted that they gained renewed interest and a different perspective of their town since the rally. For the younger children we organize an annual dance training with a German group. The topic is "Dances from the two banks of the Rhine".
Oh, yes ! We are extremely interested in cultural exchanges.
We have hosted many groups from different regions of France. And at least once a year we exchange with foreign groups from Germany, Poland, Belgium, Sicily, Portugal, Czech Republic, Latvia, Holland, Serbia, Austria...
We would like to go on exchanges with French and foreign groups. You can get all necessary information either by contacting the headquarters of the association or by e-mail.
GROUPE FOLKLORIQUE DU PAYS DE HANAU DE BOUXWILLER
28, rue Principale
Georgette Weber - 00 33 (0)3 88 70 94 14
Chantal Riché - 00 33 (0)3 88 89 55 16
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org