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Michel De Swaen was born in Dunkirk in 1654. A surgeon by profession, he is known as a poet and playwright in the Dutch language. It was in March 1972 when the Circle that bears his name was created: Michiel de Swaen Kring (MDSK). Today it has about forty members. Patrick Blanckaert, a former general practitioner, has chaired it for 3 years.
The purpose of the association remains the defense of the Dutch language and its teaching in Nord – Pas-de-Calais, and also the defense of the regional Flemish culture. Patrick Blanckaert is quick to add: It is not about opposing the Flemish dialect spoken in the region to the Dutch cultural language.. The members meet every three months for conferences, contacts with other Flemish movements and civic outings such as the voluntary clean-up of townships in Flanders.
Flemish activists divided
On the occasion of the banquet in Casselois, several speakers intervened. Among them Pierre Bcart, author of a dutch vocabulary published by Larousse, and Henri Vaassen, who succeeded Éric Vanneufville in 2017 as president of the Maison du hollandais en Bailleul. ” This 50th anniversary is an opportunity to bring together MDSK, EUVO (Europe of the Peoples) and Marnix Ring (Flemish service club with Dutch as the official language) adds President Blanckaert. Wido Bourel, vice-president of the Cercle Andries Steven, from Cassel, also took the floor after the welcome speech.
Patrick Blanckaert specifies that he is ” completely favorable, of course, to the Marche de la Peene which commemorates the battle of 1677. On the other hand, the association explains that it has no relationship with the ANVT, the Flemish Regional Language Institute, chaired by Jean-Paul Couché, as, for the time being, with Radio Uylenspiegel. A situation that shows that the field of promoters of Flemish identity is still divided.
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