16/03/2018 16:03 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Activities mark Francophone Day in Vietnam

A variety of activities, including art events, concerts, film screenings and a writing contest will be held nationwide to celebrate International Francophone Day 2018 in Vietnam.

International Francophone Day, celebrated every March 20, is an opportunity for Francophones globally to demonstrate their strong attachment to French language, confirm their aspirations to live together in their diversity and honour humanity’s global values.

“French language, connecting for action” is the theme chosen to honour the French language this year.

The theme aims to highlight the diversity of the language and the importance of solidarity as Francophone countries and governments face the challenges of a new era.

The theme also allows each nation, city, organisation and individual to exercise creativity as they plan activities to celebrate Francophone communities and to highlight the richness and liveliness of the French language.

An official ceremony is due to take place at 6.00pm on March 16. The event is jointly held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) and the Group of Francophone Embassies, Delegations and Institutions in Vietnam (GADIF) at the Centre of International Conference. At the ceremony, GADIF will present an Award of Honour and an Award of Youth to two Francophones with significant contributions to Francophone communities.

A free-entrance concert featuring the album NU-BASS 6tet by Swiss band NU-BASS will be held on the following day at Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre at 8pm. Founded in 2015 by pianist Francois Lindemann, the band features a unique combination of various musical instruments, including contrebasse, oud, piano and tabla.

The highlight of the celebrations will be the 11th Francophone Film Festival which will showcase the cultural diversity of the Francophonie, from March 17 to April 1.

It will kick off in Ho Chi Minh City on March 17 while in Hanoi from March 18. The festival will present 11 films in genres of drama, comedy, musical and animation from Switzerland, France, Germany, Morocco, Wallonie-Bruxelles, Canada, Lebanon and Burkina Faso.

The films, which have won prestigious prizes, will be screened in HCM City, Hanoi, Hue and Vinh with Vietnamese subtitles, while the Vietnamese movies will have French subtitles.

Besides, a programme Cultural Colours showcasing unique cultural features and cuisines of Francophone countries will be held on the campus of the Faculty of French Language and Culture, University of Languages and International Studies on March 18.

Another highlight of the festival is the international conference entitled Cultural Diversity and National Unity: Sharing Experiences between Morocco and Vietnam on March 27 at the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies. It will be followed by the launching of the book Histoire d’Anh Ma by Pro. Abdellah Saaf, which has been translated from French into Vietnamese.

In addition, the third journalistic writing contest for young Francophones has been launched by Le Courrier du Vietnam, the only French-language newspaper in Vietnam. With the theme Strength of Words, the contest is open to all Francophones from 18 to 35 years old and closes on September 15.

In HCM City, a collection of 60 photos taken by Swiss physician and bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943) during his life in Vietnam will open on March 19.

The exhibition is organised by the Consulate General of Switzerland in HCM City and its partner, the Association of Admirers of Alexandre Yersin, in Switzerland to mark the doctor’s 75th death anniversary. The exhibition will be free for the public until March 23 at the Institute of Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF) on 28 Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1.

The organisers will offer a free screening of a documentary about the life and career of Dr Yersin titled Ce n’est pas une vie que de ne pas bouger (What is Life If You Don’t Commit to Something?) directed by Stéphane Klebb, a renowned Swiss film director, at 6:30 pm on March 19 at IDECAF.

A wide range of other cultural activities are also being organised in Hue, Vinh, HCM City, Da Lat, and Can Tho.

More detailed information can be found on the website http://www.20mars.francophonie.org.

The date of March 20 was chosen as Francophone International Day to commemorate the signing in 1970, in Niamey (Niger), of the Treaty establishing the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT) — today the International Organisation for La Francophonie.

Vietnam was among the founding countries of the International Francophonie Organisation in 1970. Over the years, the IFO has maintained active cooperation with Vietnam including the exchange of training and technical expertise in a number of fields.

French is spoken by 274 million people in 80 countries across the world.

Vietnam is home to the biggest number (674,000) of French-speaking people in Asia.