In celebration of the French Language and the cultural diversity of the Francophone community, Dhaka and Chittagong are resonating again to the vibrant sounds of promoting the shared values of “La Francophonie”: respect for the rule of law and human rights, gender equality, solidarity and cultural diversity.
Every year, on March 20, the International Francophonie Day is celebrated throughout the world especially in the 77 member countries of the International organisation of “La Francophonie”
The diplomatic missions of the seven French -speaking countries represented in Dhaka — Canada, Egypt, France, Morocco, Switzerland, Vietnam and for the second time Qatar (a new member of the Francophonie since 2012), along with Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) and Alliance Française de Chittagong (AFC) are organising a series of cultural events including film screenings, concerts, art performances, debates, French courses and more as part of the Francophonie week (March 13-22) 2014. A joint press conference was held yesterday at AFD in Dhanmondi, Dhaka to launch the Francophonie Festival for this year.
Michel Trinquier, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh; Heather Cruden, High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh; Mahmoud Ezzat, Ambassador of Egypt to Bangladesh; Said Kasmi, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Morocco in Bangladesh; Caroline Trautweiler, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh; Nguyen Quang Thuc, Ambassador of Vietnam to Bangladesh and Abdulla Khalifa A.A. Al-Fadala, Diplomatic Attaché, Embassy of Qatar in Bangladesh spoke on the occasion.
Michel Trinquier introduced the context of the 2014 Bangladesh Francophonie Week at the press conference. “The Francophonie is about much more than the French Language. In fact, beyond a common language, the Francophone community is about common values and common desires to work together towards a better future. The cooperation is, of course and first of all a synonym of solidarity. This also means to cooperate for a peaceful development that has the defense of human rights at its centre. For over half a century, thousands of students at AFD and AFC are discovering a new language, a new way of seeing the world, a new vehicle of belief and ambition and of hope and inspiration. Francophonie Week is a reminder of the necessity to protect linguistic diversity, the crucial importance of preserving cultural heritage.”
Heather Cruden said, “In the coming days, Canada and other participating countries will be showcasing French culture through film, music, discussion on French language and other activities. This Francophonie Week will provide an opportunity for us to celebrate not only the French language and the rich and diverse Francophonie culture, but also its core values of peace, democracy, and respect for human rights, education and development. To help celebrate, a Canadian film titled “Nadia's Journey” will be screened at AFD on March 13 and 20.”
Mahmoud Ezzat said, “This cultural week is focusing on the cultural diversity as a source of innovation, creativity and exchange –is the key to a mutually enriching future for humankind. Cultural diversity does not constitute an unchanging deposit that just needs preserving, it is a setting for continuous, unifying dialogue between all expressions of identity. What really needs to be asserted and preserved is acknowledgement of this daily dialogue as a founding principle. There is a reciprocal relationship between diversity and dialogue.”
Caroline Trautweiler said, “Being a part of the French-speaking world, this is particularly appealing to Switzerland, a country built on linguistic and cultural diversity, and where French language is one of the three official languages. This year, the festivities of Francophonie in Bangladesh will not be confined to Dhaka city only. People of Chittagong will also have the opportunity this time to revel in the festivities.
The International Organisation of “La Francophonie” represents one of the largest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language; they also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. Created in 1970, the organisation's mission is to embody the active solidarity among its 77 member states and governments, which together represent more than one-third of the United Nations' member states and account for a population of more than 890 million people, including 220 million French speakers. At present French is the official language of 32 countries of the world.