Bonjour. My name is Laurence. In case you are wondering, in France Laurence is a girl's name! I was born in the North of France, in a region called the Pas-de-Calais. My father had a butcher shop in a coal mining town (a coron).
When I was six years old my family moved to the South of France, where I lived for the next thirty years. When I was in my twenties, my boyfriend (now my husband) and I used to travel all over Provence on the weekends - riding our bikes, hiking, sightseeing - and we discovered many wonderful people, places and things. I now live in the United States with my husband and my two beautiful children. I started my business, Occitan Imports, so that I can stay connected to Provence and share some of the beautiful things it has to offer with others.
About our Name
Occitan is a language spoken in southern France as well as parts of northern Italy and Spain, an area unofficially known as Occitania. Occitan is a direct descendant of the spoken language of the Roman Empire, and was spoken extensively in southern France until well into the 20th century. The name of the language is derived from its word for "yes," which is "òc". In the past the Occitan language was often referred to as "Provençal" but the term Provençal, when used in a linguistic context, now more properly refers to the particular dialect of Occitan that is spoken in Provence. Although there are still several hundred thousand native Occitan speakers in Provence, spoken Occitan is rarely heard in public, and the number of native speakers is in sharp decline. However, the culture of Occitania lives on in the spirit of the people of Provence.