Opening of the "Fete de la Francophonie"
16 March 2013
Alliance Française, Pretoria.
In March every year, Francophiles and Francophones – as French-speakers call themselves – unite to celebrate the diverse world cultures that share the same language. The 20th of March, the International Day of Francophony is the perfect occasion to emphasize that French language is spoken by 220 million people in 57 countries around the world. In Africa itself, French is the official language in 20 countries and is widely spoken in 6 other countries.
This year was the 4th edition of the Fete de la Francophonie celebrated at the Alliance Française in Pretoria in close collaboration with the embassies of French speaking countries. This year’s fete was held under the high patronage of H.E. X. Ngwevela, Chief Director of the Diplomatic Academy, DIRCO.
On the 16th, H.E Ngwevela officially opened the festival, accompanied by French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier and ambassadors from other participating countries. The day long event comprised food and drink tastings from all over the world, traditional dances from Burundi, a performance by the French School in Pretoria, music from the Ivory Coast and a fashion show. The day was be rounded off with a performance by DJ Jeremy Labelle from Reunion Island.
17 French speaking countries showcased their gastronomy, art & culture: Gabon, DRC, Belgium, Lebanon, Canada, Switzerland, Madagascar, Tunisia, Benin, Burundi, Egypt, Burkina Faso, France, the Comoros, Republic of Congo, Niger, Senegal.
A week long celebration of French language and francophonie culture
Running until the 23rd of March will be events organised by different OIF members hosted at the Alliance Française in Pretoria. The programme will consist of the following events:
18 March, 18h00: Ms Célina Ramsauer, singer and accordionist from Switzerland
19 March, 18h00: Screening of Lebanese film “Et maintenant on va où?”
20 March, 18h00: Concert – French musician Dobet Gnahoré
21 March, 18h00: Screening of Canadian film “Mr Lazhar”
22 March, 18h00: Screening of Burkina Faso film “Congé de Mariage”
23 March, 18h00: Screening of Belgian film “Les Barons”
All the events are free to the public and offer an opportunity to engage with French language and culture in a fun and inspiring way.
The International Francophonie Organisation (OIF) spearheads the global celebration. The OIF has 57 member countries with another 20 states as observer members. This annual celebration is intended to highlight the cultural diversity of the OIF members and showcase their shared linguistic heritage. The French cultural network in South Africa and Lesotho (in collaboration with the embassies and networks of other French speaking countries and OIF members) highlight the French language and Francophone cultural diversity every year throughout March in support of the global celebrations.
The full programme for the event can be downloaded here: http://www.ambafrance-rsa.org/Pretoria-Events and the Alliance Française in Pretoria can be contacted on 012 343 6563.