Article by Razel Suansing
Every year, the ISM community celebrates Francophone week. The French Honor Society does a great job of ensuring that the celebration includes a variety of interesting activities that highlight the diversity of French culture. However, many may ask why this celebration is so important to ISM’s French community.
L’Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie (International Organization of French Speaking Countries) heads the initiative. The IOF, founded in 1970, embodies the solidarity between its 84 member states, which represents one-third of the United Nations and includes 247 million French speakers. They state that though their organization “represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world, its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which the International Organisation of La Francophonie is based.” Essentially, Francophone Week sets out to celebrate the extent of the French culture’s influence; it aims to spread the appreciation of French culture throughout the ISM community. This is the main reason why the French Honor Society encourages the ISM community to celebrate Francophone week- to emphasize the reality that millions of people from different backgrounds can learn the French language and culture as well as build connections through it.
This year, the French Honor Society has some exciting activities lined up for Francophone week. Today, a chocolate mousse eating competition was held. The contestants’ hands were tied behind their backs and they were required to finish the dish without a spoon. There were four rounds held, and the winners were Scott, Max, Simon, and Ben. Tomorrow, there will be fleur-de-lis outlines on four different canvases. Fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily composed of three petals bound together near the bases, it is especially known from its use as the former royal arms of France. Each grade will be able to fill in their outline with blue, red, and white paint.
Sacha B. (11), a representative from FHS, believes that “it’ll be a really great way to express ourselves and promote batch spirit, as well as learn about a key symbol of french history and culture”.
For Wednesday, FHS will be holding a bake sale to celebrate French cuisine. “Food is such an important part of French culture, and we wanted to emphasize this by having a bake sale solely for french food, which is a nice departure from the typical Krispy Kreme bake sales,” Sacha expresses.
On Thursday, it will be the perfect time for history and French culture buffs to show their extensive knowledge on French culture through a French trivia contest outside the canteen.
Friday will boast an exciting Eiffel Tower building competition out of marshmallow and spaghetti sticks. The winner will win a baguette with Nutella!
Francophone Week surely brings the promise of exciting new ways to show great appreciation for French culture, so the ISM community must surely keep themselves involved.