interest, interest 2016

Francophonie Festival

photo credits here

By Yu BoRong

Every year, the International Francophonie Day is held at the Alliance Française in Singapore to celebrate the French language and the francophone culture.

For the first part of the celebrations, the lobby of the building was transformed, with booths featuring games and food from participating Francophone countries – melted cheese from the Swiss booth, crepe from the France booth, waffles from the Belgium booth, to name a few. There were quizzes held in the theatre, as well as a treasure hunt in the library. With the dedication of all the different Francophone communities, the event brought together the most festive elements of the Francophonie culture and was certainly a unique opportunity to get a bite-sized experience of the rich and varied cultures.

The prize presentation ceremony was kickstarted by the emcees Diandra Cappelut and Santosh Kumar, and started with two songs by AF Sing. The choir performed a few French songs, such as Travailler C’est Trop Dur by Ralph Zachary Richard. In Madame Claire-Lise Dautry’s opening address, she mentioned the Paris attacks and stated that people need to get to know each other better, which is why she would invite guests to her home, for we live in a world not limited by the boundaries of a country, rather, the boundaries of a language.

After them, Thomas Kupfer, ambassador of the Switzerland confederation, took the stage. In his speech, Mr Kupfer mentioned how he was heartened during his stint as an ambassador, to see people not anchored to the French language learning and celebrating it together with the culture and values it represented. Switzerland is a nation with four national languages (French, German, Italian and Rumantsch), much like Singapore. Mr Kupfer was also gratified to see that even in a nation such as ours, which already has four languages to offer, students are still willing to expand their horizons and learn more.

Following that was the prize presentation for the 25th French Alumni French Language awards. According to the president of the French Alumni, Mr. Zainudin Nordin, this award was founded in 1992 and aims to motivate students to study in France, Canada or Belgium. Our very own Jacob Teo from M16403 was one of the 14 prize-awardees this year.

AF Sing concluded the event with two more songs, marking the start of the buffet, which was a delicious spread with treats from the participating Francophone countries. There was cheese, French fries, bread and all manners of drinks. All in all, it was a wonderful festival.

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