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Celebration To Give Bearkats Taste Of French Culture

Oct. 30, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe, which sits at the end of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. It is one of the most famous monuments in France.  —Stock photos

Sam Houston State University’s French Club will showcase the pervasiveness of the French language, while highlighting various aspects of the culture through poetry, film and food, during its annual National French Week celebration Nov. 4-7.

“French Week represents international, multicultural and cultural sensitivity for students with a view to broadening knowledge and appreciation of French and Francophone cultures,” said Shirin Edwin, French club adviser and associate professor of French. “French is not only spoken in France but in every continent in the world. Our students thus are ambassadors of this international language and its culture on campus.”

Activities will kick off on Monday with the ninth annual French poetry reading contest, at 4:30 p.m. in the Academic Building IV Olson Auditorium.

During the contest, current French students will share works written in the language, and the winners will receive prizes based on the best French pronunciation, intonation and presentation.

On Tuesday, Joyeux Noel, the first of two “award-winning masterpieces” presented as part of the French and Francophone Film Festival, will be screened at 5 p.m. in the Olson Auditorium.

Set on Christmas Eve during World War I, Joyeux Noel examines what happens when Germans, French, and Scottish fraternize and get to know the men who live on the opposite side of a brutal war.

The 2005 Academy Award-nominated film stars Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann and Guillaume Canet.

Both films are presented in French, with English subtitles.

French cheeseOn Wednesday, students can literally get a taste of the French culture with a food sampling event beginning at 6 p.m. in the CJava Café, located in the Criminal Justice Center.

“The food tasting event, also an integral part of French Week, is a way of bringing delectable delights to SHSU students as we appreciate French and Francophone cultures,” Edwin said. “The event is also a meet-and-greet for French students, as well as for those simply interested in the culture.

“We will be serving different kinds of cheeses, breads, quiche, and other foods of the like, and drinks such as Orangina and Perrier sparkling water,” she said. “This event is a great way for students to experience some French cuisine.”

Finally, on Thursday, the club will present its second film, Lumumba, at 5 p.m. in the Olson Auditorium.

Lumumba is the true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba.

Using newly discovered historical evidence, Haitian-born and later Congo-raised writer and director Raoul Peck renders an emotional and tautly woven account of the mail clerk and beer salesman with a flair for oratory and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of his homeland to build a prosperous nation independent of its former Belgium overlords.

All National French Week events are co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

“We host French Week to offer students a culture they may not otherwise get exposed to while here at school. Some students may need to take a language for their majors, and with French Week, we offer a taste in what they could take and how far it could take them,” said French Club president Holly Kons. “France's influence in the U.S. dates back to the Revolutionary times, when France was even on America's side during the Revolutionary War.

“We borrow many French words and phrases, and we also see it in some of our most favorite forms of entertainment, such as through Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas,” she said.

For more information, contact Kons at hek007@shsu.edu or Edwin at see001@shsu.edu.



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