French graffiti part 1

Photo of French graffiti - Free Tomme de Savoie cheeseYou might be wondering why I have taken a photo of some graffiti. Let me explain.

Months ago, the white graffiti, ‘SAVOIE LIBRE‘ appeared near the road between Annecy and Thônes, with a white cross on a red background — the Savoie flag — next to it. The graffiti was written by someone who wants the Savoie region of France to be separated from France (a common theme in France). It means ‘Freedom for Savoie’, and as a non-local, I can’t help but feel a bit unwelcome when I see these signs dotted around the region. There’s a second flag in the bottom right corner of the flag, partly hidden by the wall. You can see by the writing and the signpost next to the graffiti that the writer must have spent some time painting these big letters without the modern technology of a spray can. It’s probably because spray cans weren’t invented by a Savoyarde. They probably don’t use electricity for the same reason.

Someone else came along and added ‘TOME DE’ to the start of the graffiti. Apart from the misspelling, which makes it even funnier, Tomme de Savoie is a local cheese. The writer has really turned around this poltical statement! Now, it basically calls for freedom for cheese.

Yes, free that cheese! I’m all for freedom for cheese.

I’m not sure the added graffiti was done by a local Savoyarde, since none of them would misspell such a staple in their diet. But even so, I feel a bit more welcome because this graffiti has been here for longer than a month. So to the local council who has left it there, thank you. Please let it stay.

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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6 comments on “French graffiti part 1
  1. Tom Long says:

    I do enjoy these creative adaptations of graffiti :)

  2. Ron Rundle says:

    I’m up for a bit of free cheese!

  3. Franck says:

    The word Tome does existe and it give you a geographical indication:
    http://www.tome-des-bauges.com

  4. Wendy says:

    Merci Franck. C’etait vous, l’ecrivain peut etre?! :) Alors, Tome des Bauges existe, mais est-que ce meiux que le Tomme de Savoie?

  5. riderfou says:

    Tome/Tomme : both spellings exist.

    As Franck already stated, in Savoie “Tome” (with only one M) comes along with “des Bauges”. It comes from the patois “toma” that stands for “made in mountain pasture”. You can still find “tomes” in other French regions.

    “Tomme” (with both M) is written along with “de Savoie”. Generally speaking, a “tomme” is a rounded cheese, made from goat, ewe or cow milk and made in Savoie, Provence or Dauphiné.

    The added graffiti is clearly a misspelling, but may well have been written by a local. Being a “local” especially in Savoie is not always a proof of intelligence ;)

  6. Wendy says:

    Ahh cheese…. Cheese, cheese, cheese. May favourite Tomme fact is that Tomme Blanche is just unripened Reblochon. I think it tastes like Mozzarella, but I don’t dare say such things to the locals!

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