Les Babas Cool De Septfonds

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We went to a little hippie festival the other day in nearby Septfonds, and I thought you might like a glimpse of French hippie life, country style.  First, let me say that the French word for hippie is baba cool.  You’ve got to love that, right off the bat.

I’d read about this festival in a brochure but when we arrived in Septfonds there were no, and I mean no, signs at all.  We thought it must be the wrong day, the wrong month, the wrong alignment of Aquarius with Jupiter, but we decided to drive around a bit, just in case.  And lo and behold, we saw a hand-crayoned sign that said Parking.  Not any special sort of parking, for anything in particular, just parking.  Okay!  A practically secret, underground hippie festival with free parking, even better.

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We wandered in to find a pumpkin stand,

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and a demonstration of edible flowers.  Shel wanted a snack, but neither pumpkin nor blossoms sounded appealing, so he had a cone of glace fermière bio, farm-fresh organic ice cream, which he pronounced to taste “exactly like any other ice cream.”  Oh well.

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We’re in Occitan country here, and there was an Occitan bookmobile,

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and a group playing Occitan music.  They were actually pretty terrible, but you didn’t hear that from me.  I don’t know how you say “plausible deniability” in Occitan, but I’ll learn, if need be.

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Much better, in fact virtuoso, was this accordion player.  He makes the accordions, this one from olive wood, and plays them beautifully.  It was enough to make me want to learn to play myself, although his instruments run into decidedly un-hippie figures like 3000-4000 Euros apiece.

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There were all the other hippie prerequisites, like workshops in how to build a geodesic dome,

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hand spun and vegetable dyed wool for sale,

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and a guitar made of pottery.

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Utterly serious, and not to be trifled with, were the ladies making straw hats, a traditional product of the town, undoubtedly made by these same ladies since forever.

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And speaking of fashion, I know you’re dying to see how French hippies are dressing these days.  Well, for the guys it’s baggy pants, maybe with a skirt on top,

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or maybe not.  Although personally, I think this guy would look better with a skirt on top.  Don’t you?

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For the girls, something tight, something flowing seemed to be the favorite combo.  French girls don’t try to hide anything, hippie or not.

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Even the scarecrows in the demonstration gardens were fashionable, in a country hippie way.

All in all it was a charming afternoon, and the fact that we weren’t the oldest people there was very reassuring.  I don’t suppose that I’ll actually take up the accordion at this point in my life, or dying hand spun wool with onion skins, but then, you never know.  Those hat ladies were really and truly old, and still hard at it, thank heavens.

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5 Comments on “Les Babas Cool De Septfonds”

  1. Rona Y Says:

    When I saw the title I thought, “Baba au rhum! Yay!”

    No babas. 😦

    Who knew the French had hippies, too!

  2. zuleme Says:

    I think they are also called 68’ers. Soixante huits or something like that. But baba cool sounds better.
    We’re old hippies, we’d like these guys except for the pants. We’re good at the build your house, grow the veggies thing. Now we’re orpies (Old Rural Professionals) and good at computers.
    I’d seriously go for that accordion if I were you.

  3. Abra Bennett Says:

    The soixante huitards (68ers) are a bit different, and as far as I know the term really only applies to people who were in the streets at that time. It was a serious, and sometimes violent, political movement in France, as opposed to our flower children peace and love movement. The soixante huitards might well be the parents of the current babas cool, though.

  4. Steve Stolee Says:

    Abra, nice blog – I enjoyed reading this!

    Best,

    Steve

  5. geri Says:

    your photos are sublime, as usual!


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