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1 Apr 2013

La Francophonie celebrated in Tokyo and Kobe

Over 500 people attended the International Francophonie celebration held at the French-Japanese Institute in Tokyo. The event, which had to be cancelled last year because of the earthquake in Japan, proved very popular with the Japanese public. The Québec Government Office in Tokyo set up an information booth and promoted Québec cranberries – a natural product that is highly-sought after by the Japanese.

Besides the booths representing Québec, Canada, Switzerland, Mali and Cameroon, a program of cultural activities was organized that included Franco-Italian, Japanese and African artists. A film on the Arab spring was also screened. According to organizers, the Japanese are showing renewed interest in French because it is spoken in a number of countries and opens the door to discovering many cultures.

Francophonie Festival in Kobe

More than 150 people participated in the activities of the Francophonie Festival in Kobe, where Québec and Switzerland were featured. Québec Government Representative Claude-Yves Charron gave a presentation on “Creativity and innovation in Québec.

In addition, Québec dancer and choreographer Jocelyne Montpetit, artist in residence at the Québec Studio, gave a performance entitled Nuit/Nacht/Notte.

Ms. Monpetit, a Butoh dance specialist, is very familiar with Japan. After her performance, she talked about her experiences and ties with great Japanese artists. The audience greatly appreciated her presentation. Another event featured Swiss author Etienne Barillier, who presented his latest novel, Le Piano chinois.

Organizers of the Francophonie Festival in Kobe said the dual presence of Québec and Switzerland highlighted the cultural diversity of La Francophonie. Given the event’s success, the Francophonie Festival may well continue on an annual basis.
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