Celebrating the Francophonie

International Francophonie Day, on March 20, will have a whole month of celebrations. Check it out.

By Estela Cangerana

The world has, currently, more than 300 million of francophones (people whose primary language is French) and another 132 million students of French, what makes of it the 5th world language and the 4th most spoken language on the Internet, according to the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), which brings together 88 states and governments around the world. Such relevance is celebrated every year in March, when the International Francophonie Day (March 20) takes place. The celebrations can be found all over the planet, even in countries where the language is not the official one, such as Brazil. Therefore, it pays to know about the programming organized by the Government of Canada, the province of Quebec, and other partners. Everything will be online.

The agenda of events in honor of the date started to be fulfilled still in the previous month, by the Quebec Office in São Paulo (BQSP). On February 25, Quebec Office promoted the event “Rencontre littéraire croisée: langues maternelles et identités” (Inter-literary meeting: mother tongues and identities), conducted by Samian,  Quebec writer, singer, and photographer. However, BQSP has organized other important celebration, which are still to come. It will take place on March 20, with the presentation of Flip Fabrique’s circus show “Blizzard”. The artists promise to transport the audience to an insane, poetic, and affectionate universe, during a cold Canadian winter.

Other than these two great moments, the office will also have a series of new events and actions, which can be followed by Instagram Quebec, in Brazil.

For its part, the Government of Canada in Brazil is bringing, for the fourth year in a row, an entire week of animations, with the AnimaCanada Festival in the Francophonie. The event started on March 8th and will go on until the 14th, with one animation movie per day, available on its Facebook page (access the page and check the complete program here). Each movie will be available for 24 hours.

For those who are interested in gastronomy, the best thing to do is follow the class that will be given by Chef Walter Velazquez, responsible for the kitchen of the official residence of the Canadian Embassy, in Brasília. He will teach how to prepare a typical French-Canadian recipe: the tourtière. The presentation will be online and will include the participation of ambassador Jennifer May.

Details of the events, and the complete program organized by the Government of Canada, are also available at official Facebook profile.

However, if the intention is to exchange ideas about the French-speaking world, job opportunities in countries that speak the language, and the day-to-day life with other languages, it will also be worth attending the chat that will be promoted by the Alliance Française in São Paulo, on March 23. The webinar is part of the celebration week promoted by the school, which offers more details and other events on the institution’s website.

Resilient Women

This year’s OIF celebrations will also be all virtual, due to the pandemic. OIF has brought forward the main celebration to March 19, with the special event “Francophonie, le direct”, broadcast from the institution’s headquarters. The event will include the Five Continents Award ceremony to the 2020 winner, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, for her novel Tous les enfants dispersés, and a special mention to Paul Kawczak for his novel, Ténèbre. The broadcast can be followed at  OIF’s Facebook.

The theme for the International Francophone Day celebrations, chosen by the OIF this year, is “Femmes Francophones, Femmes Résilientes” (Francophone Women, Resilient Women).