From native French speakers to lovers of the country?s language and culture, the francophone community comprises some 220 million around the world. It also gets to celebrate its shared interests every year on March 20, which has been dubbed Journee internationale de la Francophonie (International Francophonie Day).
The international Francophonie community comes together through a network of organizations active in both the public and private sectors. In Greece, Francophonie 2012 is taking place from March 12 to 24 with a series of events at the Athens and Thessaloniki branches of the French Institute.
Events range from competitions for children and young adults to concerts, round-table discussions and art exhibitions. Highlights include a display of works by French author and illustrator Yvan Pommaux (in Athens) and concerts featuring Lynda Thalie from Quebec in Canada and Swiss singer Nicolas Fraissinet in both cities.
Running parallel to Francophonie 2012 is the Francophone Film Festival, a much-anticipated annual event in Athens and Thessaloniki. The festival takes place first in the capital from March 21 to 28, before heading up to the northern port city from March 29 to April 4.
For more information about Journee internationale de la Francophonie, visit www.ifa.gr.
French Institute in Athens, 31 Sina, tel 210.339.8600; French Institute in Thessaloniki, 2A Stratou, 2310.821.231