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France

Overseas territories to stage Haka at Bastille Day parade

©

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-07-13

The French overseas territories, including French Polynesia and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, will lead the festivities at this year's Bastille Day military parade.

The French overseas territories, such as the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, will be at the heart of this year's Bastille Day Military parade. 

Troops from the overseas territories will lead some 7,000 soldiers from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysées to Place de la Concorde for the July 14 national fete.

And for the first time, troops will sing as they process. One unit from French Polynesia will even perform the Haka, the traditional Maori dance associated with New Zealand's rugby team, before French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

More than 5,000 soldiers will parade on foot; the others will be on horseback or aboard a dozen motorcars.

During the march, 84 planes and helicopters will take to the skies for a 7-8 minute airshow.

Bastille Day commemorates both the storming of the Bastille that kicked off the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, and the Fete de la Federation held on the same day the following year.
 

Date created : 2011-07-13

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