MARCH IS THE MONTH OF FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Feb 24, 2022, 13:45 PM by Jennifer McCommons

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MARCH IS THE MONTH OF FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Flag-raising at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, March 3, 2022

Lafayette, LA - March is Le Mois de la Francophonie, a global celebration of the diversity of those who speak French. There are over 369 million French speakers on the planet. In 1970, the OIF (International Organization of la Francophonie) established March 20 as International Francophonie Day (French: Journée Internationale de la Francophonie) to celebrate the French language and Francophone culture. This was expanded in 1995 by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication to a week or more, and now the celebration extends to the entire month of March.

In 2018, the OIF accepted Louisiana as an observer member. The organization represents over one-third of the United Nations’ member states with a combined population of more than 900 million people on five continents.

French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. Francophone countries and member states account for 16 percent of global gross domestic product. Being a member of the OIF bolsters trade opportunities, offers greater opportunities for cultural exchanges, and paves the way for better funding for French-immersion schools.

Louisiana is home to an estimated 250,000 French speakers. Another 5,500 students are enrolled in French immersion. Considering that Louisiana had a million French speakers just a generation or two ago, celebrating the French language and culture is hugely important for a state with such a rich history and connection to the French-speaking world.

Upcoming Events

This listing of Francophone-related events in the Acadiana area is offered by the Lafayette International Center, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Division of International Trade and Development, in collaboration with the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), Alliance Francaise de Lafayette, and the Consulate General of France in New Orleans.

OIF Flag Raising

Thursday, Mar. 3 | 9:15 a.m. | Lafayette City-Parish Hall

Lafayette Consolidated Government will raise the flag of the OIF, the International Organization of La Francophonie, to underscore the importance and significance of French language and culture for our area. For details, contact Roxsan Godeaux (337) 291-5474, ragodeaux@LafayetteLA.gov.

French Proclamation

Thursday, Mar. 3 | 9:15 a.m. | Lafayette City-Parish Hall

Following the flag raising, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory will issue a proclamation naming March 20 as French Language and Culture Day, coinciding with the annual, international observation of Journee Internationale de la Francophonie (International French Language Day). For details, contact Roxsan Godeaux (337) 291-5474, ragodeaux@LafayetteLA.gov.