The Alliance Francaise of Jaipur opened its doors recently with a scintillating cultural evening at Pink City’s multi arts and culture centre, Jawahar Kala Kendra.
EXPANSION OF FRENCH LANGUAGE & CULTURE
“The opening of an Alliance Française in the historic city of Jaipur reflects the deep links between France and the Pink City, and will contribute to our growing cooperation with Rajasthan. It will provide language courses to students of all ages and backgrounds, and will allow everyone to engage with French culture in its manifold aspects, including history, gastronomy and the arts. The Alliance also hosts the office of Campus France, the French agency that helps foreign students access higher education in France, as France is keen to welcome more students from Rajasthan.”This was stated by the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain on the occasion of the opening of the Alliance Française of Jaipur recently. With the opening of this center, which is the 15 th Alliance Française network in India, French language and culture will now be more accessible than ever to the citizens of the Pink City.
History of Alliance Française
The Alliance Française (AF) is a non-profit organization established to promote French language and culture throughout the world. It was founded in 1883 by two French historians, Pierre Foncin and Pierre Cambon, who were deeply committed to the development of Francophonie and the expansion of French culture globally. The Alliance Française network in India comprises 15 Alliances Françaises, AF Jaipur being the latest to join the ranks. The promotion of Francophonie and the French language remains one of the biggest objectives othe Alliances all over the world. The AF of Jaipur will regularly host events including exhibitions, seminars, online and offline meetings with eminent French personalities, concerts, French cinema showings, French theatre performances, literary readings, etc. What is particularly significant is that all of these events happen in a true spirit of collaboration with Indian partners, cultural practitioners, artists, students, etc. and not as an imposition of one culture over the other.
A cultural treat
The inauguration of AF Jaipur was marked by a remarkable cultural evening. During the cultural performance, the French story ‘The Little Prince’ by the renowned french author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was adapted into the ancient Urdu art of storytelling, Dastangoi. The performance was given by Poonam Girdhani and Rajesh Kumar of the Dastangoi Collective. The evening also witnessed a special opening act by the celebrated puppets of Barefoot College, Tilonia where the iconic Jokhim Chacha led the audience into the evening.
The Minister of Art & Culture, Government of Rajasthan, Dr. BD Kalla was also present on this milestone occasion. After witnessing the performance, he said: “ This performance of the Dastangoi of ‘The Little Prince’ is a true example of the culmination of our two cultures – an essentially Indian performance embracing a French story. It is indeed a moment of pride for us to open the doors to this new chapter in the history of the bilateral relationship between France and Rajasthan. I sincerely believe that the Alliance Francaise will add new dimension to the historical city of Jaipur.”
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