French is the native tongue of over 80 million people. But many more people interact with it on a daily basis, be it through culture, as a second language or even as a subject being learned in school. The francophone world stretches from Hanoi to Abidjan, bringing together all kinds of foods and customs that aren’t always immediately associated with all things French; this isn’t about baguettes and wine, this is about creole music, saffron infused food and crazy carnivals.
If you haven’t had France on the radar, you may not know that March is the official month of La Fête de la Francophonie. The month long festival is intended to celebrate the international and linguistic community that share French — either as a native language or even a second one — that is referred to by the coined term La Francophonie.
Thursday March 20 is the big celebration, being the official International Francophone Day, and there are a whole lot of global celebrations to take part in wherever you may find yourself, from Cambodia to Mali to Canada.
If you are in the New York area you can check out the Fête de la Martinique taking place today, March 19, which will turn Le Skyroom into a tropical paradise, full of French Creole culture that the island of Martinique is so well known for. This isn’t a conservative event; prizes are being awarded for best carnival costume. Other events going on around the US include a French film festival in Burlington, Vermont and a French Cultures Festival in various cities across Texas.
For more Fête de la Francophone events go here.