Soyons unis, devenons frères
|English: Let us unite, let us become brothers|
|Lyrics||Melodia choral, 2008|
|Music||Melodia choral, 2008|
It is not, however, the national anthem. New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France, and remains under the sovereignty of the French Republic. Its national anthem is the national anthem of France, La Marseillaise.
In 1998, the Nouméa Accord delegated greater autonomy to the territory, and provided that its people would ultimately have the right to vote for full independence, in 2014 at the earliest and in 2018 at the latest. In the meantime, the Accord provides for the gradual recognition of five "identity signs". In August 2010, the Congress of New Caledonia adopted the first three of those signs: an anthem, a motto ("Terre de parole, terre de partage"; "Land of speech, land of sharing"), and local symbols on New Caledonian currency. (There is no agreement yet as to the other two signs: recognition of a flag and a potential new name for the territory.) Congress' deputies have reserved the possibility of amending the lyrics of the anthem at a later date.
During any official ceremony or sport event, La Marseillaise is performed first, followed by Soyons unis, devenons frères.
The anthem was first written in 2008 by seven New Caledonian children working in the framework of the Melodia choral. It consists, in its long version, in three couplets and a chorus. The couplets are sung in French; the chorus is sung in Nengone then in French. There are plans to translate it eventually into other indigenous languages. When only the short version of the anthem is sung, its consists in the third couplet and (in both languages) the chorus.
In French and Nengone
O terre sacrée de nos ancêtres,
Lumière éclairant nos vies,
Tu les invites à nous transmettre
Leurs rêves, leurs espoirs, leurs envies.
A l’abri des pins colonnaires,
A l’ombre des flamboyants,
Dans les vallées de tes rivières,
Leur coeur toujours est présent.
Hnoresaluso ke’j onome
Ha deko ikuja ne enetho
Hue netitonelo kebo kaagu
Soyons unis, devenons frères,
Plus de violence ni de guerre.
Marchons confiants et solidaires,
Pour notre pays.
Terre de parole et de partage
Tu proposes à l’étranger,
Dans la tribu ou le village,
Un endroit pour se reposer.
Tu veux loger la tolérance,
L’équité et le respect,
Au creux de tes bras immenses,
O Terre de liberté.
O terre aux multiples visages,
Nord, Sud, Iles loyauté,
Tes trois provinces sont l’image
De ta grande diversité.
Nous tes enfants, tu nous rassembles,
Tempérant nos souvenirs.
D’une seule voix, chantons ensemble :
Terre, tu es notre avenir.
Unofficial literal translation
Oh sacred land of our ancestors,
The light which lights the way of our lives,
You invite them to pass on to us
Their dreams, their hopes, their desires.
In the shelter of the columnar pines,
In the shade of the flame trees,
In the valleys of your rivers,
Their heart is always there.
Let us unite, let us become brothers,
No more violence, no more war.
Let us march, in confidence and solidarity,
For our country
Land of speech and sharing,
You offer to a stranger,
In the tribe or in the village,
A place to rest.
You want to house tolerance,
Equity and respect,
Enfold them with your giant arms,
Oh Land of freedom.
Oh land of multiple faces,
North, South, Loyalty Islands,
Your three provinces are the image
Of your great diversity
We, your children, resemble you
Tempering our memory.
With a single voice, let us sing together:
Land, you are our future.
- "La Nouvelle-Calédonie se dote d'un hymne et d'une devise", Le Monde, 18 August 2010
- "De l'écriture... à la création", website of Melodia
- "Soyons unis, devenons frères", website of Melodia