Bastille Day At The New Orleans Museum Of Art
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Politics and Activism

Bastille Day At The New Orleans Museum Of Art

New Orleans and France are strongly connected in culture and history.

Bastille Day At The New Orleans Museum Of Art
Kelsey Farnet

I am still in the beginning of my journey of getting to know New Orleans. Already, I have noticed a pattern of appreciation for culture. I’ve already been to and written about Greek fest, Caribbean fest, San Fermin fest, and now Bastille Day. Each of these cultures has its very own celebration in New Orleans.

When I told people I was going to Bastille Day at the New Orleans Museum of Art, I was surprised that several of them didn’t know about Bastille Day. Bastille day is the national holiday in France. Every year on July 14th, the French celebrate the Storming of the Bastille. The Bastille was a prison that symbolized the King’s total power. It also contained stocks of powder that the mob needed for the rifles. This act performed by Parisian revolutionaries on July 14th, 1789 is what started the French revolution and eventually led to the end of monarchy.

New Orleans and France are very strongly connected. The French found and settled New Orleans in 1682 and gave New Orleans the foundation of its culture. Today, the French culture is still at the heart of the city. They named it La Nouvelle Orléans in honor of the Duke of Orleans. The French were Catholic, which is the main reason why New Orleans is a largely Catholic city. As you experience the city, you will notice many French names and influences. Today, New Orleans has many streets with French names, endless French restaurants, and historic French houses such as the Degas house. There’s also the very famous French Quarter (or Vieux Carré), Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), and the fleur-de-lis as the symbol of the city. Of course, we can’t forget about café du monde!

Bastille Day was being celebrated at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). There was people and dogs wearing berets. They were ready to soak up the French culture that their beloved city was built on. NOMA has a very strong collection of French artwork along with other impressive cultural works that the Bastille Day attendants could enjoy. The museum was filled with people enjoying French cuisine while listening to uplifting live French music. Bastille Day at NOMA is also a family friendly event that has crafts available for the children.

The three Farnet girls took on Bastille Day. If you couldn’t already tell by our last name, our family is mostly French. Actually, our family tree is directly connected to the founders of New Orleans. Pretty cool, right? That explains why I feel so deeply connected to my city.

A short vigil was held in front of NOMA for the victims of the attack in Nice, France. Together, Bastille Day attendants took a moment of silence for France. The amount of loss that France as a country has undergone in the past year is truly overwhelming. It was powerful to be silent and pray that France has the strength to get through these tragic moments.

My cousins and I enjoyed our day celebrating Bastille Day at the New Orleans Museum of Art. We toured the museum, listened to the music, and appreciated our cousin time. I’ll admit that it was impossible to forget the tragedy that happened in Nice that same day. While attending Bastille Day at NOMA, I was reflecting on the country that has suffered so many violent attacks. I wish there was something I could do to help. On that day, the least I could do was honor their national holiday and pray.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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