Francophonie Weeks 2008

The Francophonie Week will be celebrated in Delhi this year, with an array of films (Festival Vivre Ensemble), concerts and exhibitions.Please visit www.afindia.org for detailed schedule.

Celebrated worldwide on 20 March every year, the International Day of [KES1] La Francophonie will take a distinctive form in Paris this year, at the very heart of one of the capital’s most emblematic locations: the Cité Internationale Universitaire (CIUP). It is here in this place of cultural diversity, exchange and dialogue, a residence for almost 5,500 students of 140 nationalities, that the event will be officially launched in the presence of Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Jean-Marie Bockel, Secretary of State for Cooperation and the French-speaking world.

This event will provide an opportunity to collect personal accounts from students living on the residential campus and from French-speaking writers and academics. The results of the “Ten Words” competition, held in the Student Residences of the Cité, will be announced and the first five winners will receive their prizes from Secretary General Abdou Diouf. Various activities, entertainments and literary events will be hosted by the Argentinian, Tunisian and Greek Residences, as well as those for Armenian, Belgian, Swiss and Canadian students. Concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, debates, conferences and symposiums are also being held for the general public.

This celebration of the French language will in fact go on for an entire week, from 17 to 22 March. Launched in 1990, the International Day of La Francophonie brings together 200 million French speakers worldwide and includes the 803 million people of the 68 States and governments of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). This extraordinary week of meetings and exchanges arouses considerable interest, not only in France but all over the world. Celebrated on all five continents, this festival has become an unmissable event in many countries which are keen to give it a broad scope[KES2] . For instance, in Canada it takes the form of “Rendez-vous de la Francophonie”, in Quebec the “Francofête”, and in Cameroon the “Festi’phonie”. In France, Switzerland, Belgium and elsewhere, a “French Language Week” is taking place.

Over a thousand events are planned this year, instigated with a great deal of imagination by a wide range of public and private organisations, under the aegis of the OIF. A French-language “guinguette” or dance hall will be set up on the banks of the Mekong river in Laos. A photography competition, theatrical performances and a big French-language festival will be held in Seoul. A French-language rally is being organised in Surabaya, in Indonesia. Montevideo, in Uruguay, is planning theatre performances and readings. At the University of Quindo, in Colombia, French-language students will enjoy a mini-festival. Festivals will also be held in Chicago and San Francisco, as well as in Haiti for a whole week.

Twenty-one events are planned in the Czech Republic and twelve in Finland, including a French-language Fair. Italy, Dublin, Cyprus, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Mali and the Congo are joining in the celebrations with brio. Lots of dictation competitions are being held, in Marrakech, Madagascar and elsewhere. Dances and sport in Cameroon, theatrical events in Tataouine in Tunisia and a film festival in Hanoi are just a few examples! This year, the Day is putting the emphasis[KES3] on young people. For instance, in Nouakchott, pupils aged 10 to 12 will be performing a show entitled “French language, a solution to violence”. In Addis Ababa, children will be discovering the cuisine of French-speaking countries, but also songs and stories. Much room is given over to new forms of expression, such as in Dakar, where slam is in pride of place, or at Senghor University in Alexandria, which is launching a competition for the best blog.

The French-language and international media will broadcast the event widely, with special programmes, reports and shows, such as on TV5 Monde, which will broadcast plays by Molière and Ionesco performed by African students.

This fraternal festival is a special opportunity to reassert values and beliefs to which the French-speaking world is particularly attached: respect, tolerance and openness. As Secretary General Abdou Diouf emphasised, the speaking and promotion of French around the world represents cultural diversity and this celebration is a “meeting enriched with all cultures”. The International Day of La Francophonie contributes to solidarity, cooperation and peace in the world. This year, more than ever, this event will take forms that are varied, joyful, convivial and modern, and certain to appeal to a wide audience!

(article taken from News from France, a French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs publication)

Last modified on 31/03/2011

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