Francophone: Celebrating the French language with desi tarka

The National University of Modern Languages (NUML) on Tuesday held the start of a three-day celebration of Francophone Week, one of the biggest events on the French calendar.

The university’s French Language Department, in collaboration with the French Embassy and Alliance Française, are responsible for organizing the festivities, said a press release by NUML.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by French Ambassador to Pakistan, Philippe Thiebaud, Cultural Attaché Frederic Bessat, Rector NUML Major General (retd) Masood Hasan, Director General (DG) Brig Azam Jamal, Head of French Department Amina Niazi, deans, directors, and faculty members and students of Allama Iqbal University, Quaid-e-Azam University and Alliance Française.

Thiebaud stressed the importance of cultural-sharing through avenues such as literature and tradition as this would shed light on the diversity of the French language and Francophone.

He said that French was one of the very few languages spoken in all corners of the globe, while confirming that Francophone Week was being celebrated by a community of over 220 million French speakers, including 72 million “partial” speakers.

Thiebaud said France had shown a keen interest in the social and economic development of Pakistan.

He said the French Embassy and government were thankful to NUML for its efforts in helping to organize the event.

Speaking at the occasion, DG Jamal said celebrating Francophone Week each year highlighted the nation’s commitment to the promotion of the world’s languages and literature.

Students from the participating institutions delivered speeches in French. Saqiba Mishal recited a poem, Mahrukh and Zeeshan sang a French song, and another student performed a skit.

Aamir Hussain bagged first position, Aafia Taskeen took second position while Anum Rafique came third in the French language Speech competition.

At the end of the ceremony, Rector Maj Gen (retd) Hasan presented a souvenir to the Ambassador Thiebaud.

The event will continue on March 20th and 21st during which other competitions and a Cultural Fair will be held.