Geography of The Channel Islands - Culture

Culture

Main articles: Culture of Jersey and Culture of Guernsey See also: Music of the Channel Islands

The Norman language predominated in the islands until the 19th century, when increasing influence from English-speaking settlers and easier transport links led to Anglicisation. There are four main dialects/languages of Norman in the islands, Auregnais (Alderney, extinct in late 20th century), Dgèrnésiais (Guernsey), Jèrriais (Jersey) and Sercquiais (Sark, an offshoot of Jèrriais).

Victor Hugo spent many years in exile, first in Jersey and then in Guernsey, where he finished Les Misérables. Guernsey is the setting of Hugo's later novel, Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea). A "Guernsey-man" also makes an appearance in chapter 91 of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

The annual "Muratti", the inter-island football match, is considered the sporting event of the year, although, due to broadcast coverage, it no longer attracts the crowds of spectators, travelling between the islands, that it did during the 20th century.

Cricket is popular in the Channel Islands. The Jersey cricket team and the Guernsey cricket team are both Associate members of the International Cricket Council. The teams have played each other in the Inter-insular match since 1957. In 2001 and 2002, the Channel Islands entered a team into the MCCA Knockout Trophy, the one-day tournament of the Minor counties of English and Welsh cricket.

Channel Island sportsmen and women compete in the Commonwealth Games for their respective islands and the islands have also been enthusiastic supporters of the Island Games. Shooting is a popular sport, in which islanders have won Commonwealth medals.

Guernsey's traditional colour for sporting and other purposes is green and Jersey's is red.

The main islanders have traditional animal nicknames:

  • Guernsey: les ânes ("donkeys" in French and Norman): the steepness of St Peter Port streets required beasts of burden, but Guernsey people also claim it is a symbol of their strength of character – which Jersey people traditionally interpret as stubbornness.
  • Jersey: les crapauds ("toads" in French and Jèrriais): Jersey has toads and snakes, which Guernsey lacks.
  • Sark: les corbins ("crows" in Sercquiais, Dgèrnésiais and Jèrriais, les corbeaux in French): crows could be seen from the sea on the island's coast.
  • Alderney: les lapins ("rabbits" in French and Auregnais): the island is noted for its warrens.

Read more about this topic:  Geography Of The Channel Islands

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