My Bastille Day in Toronto with the Diskutizens: La Marseillaise and a Croissant

Khady with Diskuto 'Prix de Chant'

Khady with Diskuto ‘Prix de Chant’

Gulsum - Revoluionary Idol winner

Gulsum, winner of Revolutionary Idol for her rendition of ‘La Marseillaise’

Bastille Day or the French National holiday is celebrated July 14 each year. It is a public holiday in France. French people launch firecrackers on the street and watch the French Military Parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris.

Why do we celebrate on 14 juillet?
This date commemorates the taking of the Bastille on July 14, 1789; a symbolic day causing the end of absolutism and noble privileges . It also refers to July 14, 1790, the first day of national unity called the Fête de la Fédération.

Celebrating Bastille day with Diskutizens in Toronto:
As a newcomer in Canada, I wanted to share Bastille day with the Diskutizens (‘Diskutoyens’ en français) at Philosopher’s Walk. We organized a singing contest called Revolutionary Idol: the best singer won a croissant and the Certificate of Singing Excellence aka the Diskuto prix de chant!

Challengers had to sing La Marseillaise not with perfect pronunciation, but with revolutionary emotion. Twenty-five Diskutizens attended the event and six courageous Diskutizens participated in the contest.

The competitors:

  • Manuel: Brazilian who had just started learning French (quite a good singer in French)
  • Roger: Canadian with practically fluent French
  • Bonnie: Canadian, a bon vivant who impressed the jury and the audience with her enthusiasm
  • Kévin: Canadian who impressed the jury learning the lyrics so quickly (in only 7 mins)
  • Marat: our Russian Tsar who participates every Thursday to our French Corner!!
  • Gulsum: our Azerbaijani-Canadian winner!

The jury was composed of the Diskuto Team and Kristelle, a native parisienne.

After the contestants had their turn, the entire group sang La Marseillaise in chorus (see video below). We are almost ready to storm La Bastille!

Our winner, Gulsum and the runner-up, Bonnie, were gracious enough to share their croissant prizes with everyone.


Khady arrived to Toronto from Paris. She lived in several countries such as China, Mexico, Senegal and Spain. Because of her many travels, she speaks fluently four languages: French, Spanish, Wolof and English. She is brushing up her Mandarin in Toronto. When she’s not learning different languages, she likes to cook and play the acoustic guitar.

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2 comments on “My Bastille Day in Toronto with the Diskutizens: La Marseillaise and a Croissant
  1. David says:

    Très belle initiative ! Cheers from Paris 😉

  2. Olivier says:

    Khady super chanteuse !! Vive la France !

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