March is Francophonie Month, but the official celebration starts March 20, designated as International Francophonie Day. Because it’s the 50th year of feting this event, the Organization International de la Francophonie (OIF) will celebrate until the rest of the year on five continents. [AFTulsa Editor’s note: Alliance Française chapters in the United States have postponed celebratory events due to safety precautions of Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic as of March 13, 2020.]
The goal of Francophonie Month is to celebrate French as an international language and the promotion of worldwide cultural and linguistic diversity in today’s era of globalization. The focus of the celebration, according to Secretary General of OIF Louise Mushikiwabo, is the vitality of the French language and how it is constantly being enriched by new words to take into account changes in today’s world.
“En Français…s’il vous plait,” is Mushikiwabo’s slogan.
Martha Sessums is the France Today Ambassador for San Francisco. Intrigued by France since her first stroll along the Seine, Martha and her husband often travel to Paris to explore the city and beyond. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, delighting in its strong Francophone and French culture community. She was a high-tech public relations executive and currently runs a non-profit continuing education organization.