On September 14, the French Institute in Turkmenistan hosted an Open Day. The event, timed to the beginning of the new school year, was held in a warm, friendly atmosphere.
The Ambassador of France to Turkmenistan, Mr. Francois Delahousse addressed all people gathered.
“This morning I was on the Health Path, and I thought what to say in my speech of welcome to you, the admirers of France?” began the Ambassador. “I compare the presence of France in Turkmenistan with the presence of a human being. French companies are hands and legs, the Embassy is the brain, while the heart is the French Institute. The heart of France beats here. There is a French culture, a true Francophonie here.”
It became a good tradition of the institute to gather after the summer holidays and welcome everyone at open day. The small group of teachers is always happy to welcome their long-time and new students.
Until the end of 2019, the French Embassy schedules a number of interesting cultural events. In October, the French singer Magali Leger (soprano) will visit Ashgabat with a concert. She will perform excerpts from the opera arias by French composers of 19th century.
The fashion designer Patrick Bough with a show of his collection is also expected to come.
“For us at our institute and beyond, it is very important to show the culture of our country,” Neil Pitra, Director of the French Institute in Ashgabat, says. “There are French centers, like this one, all over the world.”
The main mission of the institute is to teach everyone to speak French. The youngest students of language courses are 3-year-old kids.
“We’ve been attending French courses at this center for two years,” says Anna, mother of a little girl Sofya. “My 5-year-old daughter is still poor with the Russian alphabet, but she learned all the French letters. Our family welcomes the study of foreign languages; another my daughter attends German language courses.”
It is worth to mention that thanks to the French Institute, there is a cultural exchange between the two countries. Students who successfully pass the French language exams or win competitions held annually by the institute can win a trip to France, as Aynur Mahmydova who was lucky this year.
A 15-year-old young girl as a romantic person was always dreaming about France and visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Her dream came true thanks to a victory in a vocal competition held with the support of the French Embassy. Having performed the song of Charles Aznavour, Aynur became a winner and she was invited to France.
“I lived in a French family for 2 weeks; it was great to communicate with native speakers. Finally, I tried the taste of the traditional French onion soup, visited Paris and now, after graduating from school, I dream of studying there, at the national conservatory,” Aynur shares her impressions.