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French language festival kicks off in S China

BY :Molly Wong, Louis Berney

UPDATED :March 3, 2021

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The 25th Francophonie Festival (mois de la francophonie) kicks off on March 2 and will run through March 31 in South China, organizers announced at a press conference in Guangzhou on March 2.

This year, the festival's theme is "raconter" - a verb describing the need for knowledge and discovery. Over 20 events in forms of films, exhibitions, seminars and competitions etc., will be staged in South China to demonstrate the richness of the French language.

Philippe Rheault, consul general of Canada in Guangzhou. [Photo/mois de la francophonie]

"Every year, the month of March celebrates La Francophonie in China and around the world,” said Philippe Rheault, consul general of Canada in Guangzhou. “Almost 25% of Canadians speak French as their first language, including myself. At present, in many parts of the world, including Canada and French-speaking countries, the pandemic situation is still severe. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to meet in southern China and have French-speaking artists, writers, filmmakers, scientists and teachers bring us joy, knowledge and inspiration.”

Luc Truyens, consul general of Belgium in Guangzhou. [Photo/mois de la francophonie]

Luc Truyens, consul general of Belgium in Guangzhou, said that the consulate prepares a variety of activities every year in March to bring the public closer to French culture. He also shared his story of learning French. “In Belgium, we have three official languages: Dutch, French and German,” he related. “I come from the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, so I learned French as a foreign language at school. I can still remember the first French class I took when I was ten years old. Since then, I have embarked on French learning with other students. This experience has allowed us to discover the infinite charm of this language. Learning French requires a lot of rigor and hard work, but it is worth it.”

Kouame Konan, consul general of Cote d'Ivoire in Guangzhou. [Photo/mois de la francophonie]

“The Francophonie Festival showcases the uniqueness and diversity of French-speaking culture, allowing the public, speaking French or not, to participate in many cultural events and celebrate the grand occasions of French-speaking countries,” added Kouame Konan, consul general of Cote d'Ivoire in Guangzhou.

Siv Leng Chhuor, consul general of France in Guangzhou. [Photo/mois de la francophonie]

Siv Leng Chhuor, consul general of France in Guangzhou, encouraged journalists at the press conference to start or continue learning French, because “then you can have a better understanding of the history, society and creation of French-speaking countries, and communicate well with 300 million more French speakers in the world.”

Consuls general of seven countries in Guangzhou (France, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali), as well as the Director of the Alliance française de Canton, pose for a photo.[Photo/mois de la francophonie]

Consuls general of three other countries (Switzerland, Congo and Mali) in Guangzhou, as well as the Director of the Alliance française de Canton, were also present at the press conference.

For more information, please visit https://www.faguowenhua.com.

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