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Swiss bilingual prize goes to rapper

Rapper Greis in a promotional photo. Matthias Willi

Swiss rapper Greis has been awarded this year's prize for bi- and plurilingualism.

Born in French-speaking Switzerland but a resident of German-speaking Bern, Grégoire Vuilleumier alias Greis sings in both national languages. 

The Bilingualism Foundation gave this year’s award to Greis for his complete immersion in both language cultures, defending their values. 

In this song, ‘Enfant des Etoiles’ (child of the stars), Greis switches between both French and Swiss-German dialect.

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Vuilleumier moved to Bern when he was five and developed a reputation as a rapper in the late 1990s when he participated in a number of improvisation competitions in Bern. He prefers singing in Swiss-German dialect.

The Bilingualism Foundation was created in 1996 in the bilingual town of Biel / Bienne.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR