CELEBRATING LINGUISTIC BONDING, ERASING BORDERS

A BANG PR REPORT

A Still from 'La Faute à Voltaire d'Abdellatif Kechiche'   

NEW DELHI, MARCH 22nd: The French language is today the second most spoken language in terms of countries and global mapping, and many languages spoken the world over owe their origin to it. In fact, the spread of French language and culture began over two hundred years earlier when tradesmen traveled far and wide in search of commerce.

Conscious of this fact, people from all the French speaking countries come together once every year to celebrate this unique bonding that erases borders and political or ethnic differences.

The ‘Francophonie Community’ today encompasses 63 states and governments which have chosen to be a part of this grouping. This coming together of diverse cultures is marked annually through a Festival of arts and cultures. The Francophonie week this year is a mix of musical concerts and cultural evenings, theatrical shows and film show, conferences to discuss issues of relevance to the Community, contests and competitions to test the skills of the young, and the traditional Mela.

With the main organizer, the Alliance Francaise de Delhi, having successfully completed more than half a century in India, the event becomes even more significant.

The week began on 15 March and ends on 22 March with the Mela on 21 March, which has brought together the Embassies of nine countries and several associations and institutions to present their respective cultures and shed light on the rich traditions and culinary specialties of the French speaking world through live games and fun and frolic. The countries taking part are Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Luxemburg, Romania, and Switzerland apart from France.

Commencing in the afternoon with the Alliance Francaise de Delhi Golden Jubilee Choir, the day’s celebrations continued with the screening of the film Regarde les hommes tomber / See how they fall, by Jacques Audiard.

This was followed by the Francophonie Quiz, and another film, Sur mes lèvres / Read my lips, by Jacques Audiard.

The lucky draw of a ticket to France was held in the evening followed by the staging of the play La leçon d’anatomie, by Larry Tremblay – in French with English subtitles, presented by ADI Theatre. This is about a brilliant teacher and wife who finds herself powerless in the presence of her husband and is keen to explore herself. Larry is a Canadian playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, stage director and actor who also studied South Indian Kathakali dance theatre.

Apart from all these, there was food by Olive Beach and the stage was open for anyone who offered to go up and perform.

As compared to last year, the Francophonie spread its wings this year, with the main events taking place at the Alliance Française de Delhi at 72 Lodhi Estate in south Delhi and some other events being held at the DLF Place and the Metropolitan Mall in Saket, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the French Information Resource Centre on 2 Aurangzeb Road.

Apart from the two on the day of the Mela, sixteen other films from ten different countries including France and India were screened during the week at the M L Bhartia Memorial Hall at the Alliance Française de Delhi. The other countries are: Switzerland, Bulgaria, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon and Romania.

Music being an important component of Francophonie, Jazz artist Sylvain Luc and his band ‘Trio Sud’, Célina Ramsauer with her accordion, and the young songwriter and singer from Quebec, Kym Tardif, the band Sunny Side Up with the Indian singer Vasundhara Vidalur singing soul, gospel and even jazz, and Slave Farm Crew have performed during the week.

A major highlight of the celebrations was a festival of pop French culture showcasing cinema, art, fashion and music through the ages, ‘The Way We Were’, through iconic French films, music by best Parisian DJs, a sampling of fashion and art, and divine period cocktails. There was one other theatrical performance – from Switzerland: La Leçon - a theatre play written by Eugene Ionesco, denouncing the absurdity of life and of social relations thanks using parody.

The French Information Resource Centre organized a French Song Contest and Speech Competition for Schools on ‘Why one should learn the French Language and what you like about French Culture’. The Centre also organized a drawing Competition for ‘Create your own advertisement poster’ expressing interest and appreciation for French language and culture which is being displayed in the exhibition ‘Gourmandise’ with French breakfast, followed by the announcement of the award-winners on the day of the Mela.

But it was not all fun and games. Professor Sylviane Dupuis, Professor of literature, spoke on the life and works of the Swiss-French writer author S Corinna Bille at the JNU on 17 March. Bille (1912-1979) took her name from her hometown Corin. She was a short-story writer, playwright, poet, and novelist who died of cancer, leaving behind a legacy of important works. The second conference was ‘Café des Saviors’ on ‘Translation, a journey from one language to another, from one culture to another’.

In its broadest meaning, Francophonie - first coined in 1880 by the French geographer Onésime Reclus (1837-1916) - encompasses all efforts to promote the French language and the values it conveys. The Francophonie Community is the term used to link all the countries which now use the language.

The International Francophonie Day is traditionally celebrated on 20 March, the day in 1970 when the treaty was signed in Niamey for the creation of the Agency for Cultural and Technological Cooperation, which is now know as the Francophone Agency.

 

Earlier Report:

CELEBRATING THE JOURNEY OF ONENESS, THROUGH LANGUAGE

NEW DELHI, MARCH 15: Even as Delhi steps from winter into spring, it is time to celebrate the coming together of a large number of nations of different hues and cultural values to mark their oneness through a common language: French.    

The spread of French language and culture began over two hundred years earlier when tradesmen traveled far and wide in search of commerce. Today, the French language is only second to English in terms of the number of countries where it is spoken. In fact, the language became the origin of a large number of other languages spoken in several countries.

The ‘Francophonie Community’ today encompasses 63 states and governments which have chosen to be a part of this grouping. Every year, this community celebrates this coming together of diverse cultures through a Festival of arts and cultures. Francophonie this year will not merely comprise the traditional Mela, but also other events including musical concerts and cultural evenings, theatrical shows and film show, conferences to discuss issues of relevance to the Community, and even contests and competitions to test the skills of the young.

With the main organizer, the Alliance Francaise de Delhi, having successfully completed more than half a century in India, the event becomes even more significant.

The week is being marked from 15 to 22 March and the highlight is the Mela on 21 March, which will bring together more than 15 Embassies and associations to present their respective cultures and shed light on the rich traditions and culinary specialties of the French speaking world through live games and fun and frolic.

As compared to last year, the Francophonie has spread its wings this year, with the main events taking place at the Alliance Française de Delhi at 72 Lodhi Estate in south Delhi and some other events being held at the DLF Place and the Metropolitan Mall in Saket, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the French Information Resource Centre on 2 Aurangzeb Road.

Eighteen films from ten different countries including France and India will be screened during the week at the M L Bhartia Memorial Hall at the Alliance Française de Delhi at 72 Lodhi Estate in south Delhi. The other countries are: Switzerland, Bulgaria, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon and Romania.

Jazz artist Sylvain Luc and his band ‘Trio Sud’ will open the celebrations on 15 March, sharing their feelings through music. This will be followed the next day by Célina Ramsauer who, with the help of her accordion, will pay her tributes to the Francophonie and about India. The young songwriter and singer from Quebec, Kym Tardif, will perform on 17 March. The same evening will see a concert by the band Sunny Side Up with the Indian singer Vasundhara Vidalur singing soul, gospel and even jazz. The final musical performance on 18 March is by Slave Farm Crew which is coming to India for the first time with its music using hip hop and rap to transmit its humanist principles.

A major highlight of the celebrations is a festival of pop French culture showcasing cinema, art, fashion and music through the ages, ‘The Way We Were’, on 19 March through iconic French films, music by best Parisian DJs, a sampling of fashion and art, and divine period cocktails.

There will be two theatrical performances – from Switzerland on 20 March and from France the next day. The first, La Leçon, is a theatre play written by Eugene Ionesco, born in 1912. His work denounces the absurdity of life and of social relations thanks using parody. The second La Leçon d’anatomie by Larry Tremblay is about a brilliant teacher and wife who finds herself powerless in the presence of her husband and is keen to explore herself. Larry is a Canadian playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, stage director and actor who also studied South Indian Kathakali dance theatre.

To test the skills of the young and the young at heart, the French Information Resource Centre is organizing a French Song Contest and Speech Competition for Schools on ‘Why one should learn the French Language and what you like about French Culture’. The Centre has also organized a drawing Competition for ‘Create your own advertisement poster’ expressing interest and appreciation for French language and culture for which entries have to be sent in by 15 March and which will be displayed in the exhibition ‘Gourmandise’ with French breakfast, followed by the announcement of the award-winners on 21 March.

But it is not all fun and games. Professor Sylviane Dupuis, Professor of literature, will speak on the life and works of the Swiss-French writer author S Corinna Bille at the JNU on 17 March. Bille (1912-1979) took her name from her hometown Corin. She was a short-story writer, playwright, poet, and novelist who died of cancer, leaving behind a legacy of important works. The second conference on 18 March will be ‘Café des Saviors’ on ‘Translation, a journey from one language to another, from one culture to another’.

In its broadest meaning, Francophonie - first coined in 1880 by the French geographer Onésime Reclus (1837-1916) - encompasses all efforts to promote the French language and the values it conveys. The Francophonie Community is the term used to link all the countries which now use the language. The International Francophonie Day is traditionally celebrated on 20 March, the day in 1970 when the treaty was signed in Niamey for the creation of the Agency for Cultural and Technological Cooperation, which is now know as the Francophone Agency.

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SCHEDULE

Mela de la Francophonie

Alliance Française de Delhi

72 Lodi Estate

 

 

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