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March 8, 2011

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Celebrating French language and culture

THE China Francophone Festival is underway through March 24, featuring concerts, films, art exhibitions and talks about French culture and diversity.

The 16th La Francophonie will also include drama, a French-language competition, discussion of French-language education and various lectures.

The celebration of spoken French is sponsored by the embassies of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada in China and supports the French communities around China.

In Shanghai La Francophonie presents French Canadian Alex Nevsky and his band performing on Saturday at the Dream Factory. Three other Francophone bands will also take the stage. They will give concerts in 11 cities.

Nevsky's music is somewhere between pop-rock and modern French songs. He blends rock, pop, kitch and slam.

"I am inspired by poetry and sharing emotion through music. The cross-China tour will definitely captivate and awaken something in my audience," says Nevsky.

Two documentary films will be screened by the Canadian Embassy, Canadian consulates and Quebec offices in China: "Dans le Ventre du Moulin" and "L'enfant Prodige." The first is about the three-month run up to opening of a spectacular show of images and performing arts; the second is about a six-year-old child piano prodigy.

Professor Alain-G. Gagnon of political science at the University of Quebec will give talks in Shanghai universities about linguistic and cultural diversity in Quebec and within Canada. (He speaks in Beijing and Shanghai from March 21 to 25.)

Around 220 million people in the world speak French, an official language in 32 states and governments of La Francophonie. The organization contains 75 states and governments.

Canada, France, Switzerland and Belgium were the first countries to promote La Francophonie by helping establish and develop their institutions.

"Through this network, the members share the humanist values promoted by the French language," says Abdou Diouf, the Secretary General of La Francophonie.

"They have greater opportunities to play an international role in the areas of language and culture, politics, the economy, new technology and co-operation; and the rest of the world can observe their unique contribution to the development of a modern and diverse international francophone community."

For more information about La Francophonie in China, visit (only in French and Chinese).


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