The International Francophonie Day – La Journée Internationale de la Francophonie was created on March 20, 1970 in Niamey (Niger), with the birth of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to celebrate the French language around the world in Francophone countries.
This year the 2021 Francophonie theme celebrates women: “Francophone Women – Resiliant Women.” or “Femmes francophones, Femmes résilientes“.
During Francophonie Week, a wealth of virtual events, cultural activities is organized worldwide and I encourage you to participate and check out the calendar of events here.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Francophonie flag (just like the Olympic flag) represents the colors of the 5 continents (blue for Europe, yellow for Asia, black for Africa, green for Oceania, red for North /South America).
- French is spoken by over 300 million Francophones (aka French speakers) all over the world on 5 continents.
- There are over 2.1 million Francophones in the United States.
- In the United States, French is recognized as a cultural language in both Maine and Louisiana.
- French is the official language in 29 countries. French is the only official language in 13 of these countries and the co-official language in 16 countries
- There are 54 full members, 7 associate and 27 observer states. In 32 of these countries, the French language has the status of an official language or the second official language.
- The most populous country where French is the official language is the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, followed by France and Canada.
- French is the co-official language of Belgium, along with German and Dutch.
- French is the official language of a dozen dependent entities such as French Polynesia.
- The motto of Francophonie is: Equality, Complementarity, Solidarity?
- March 20th is Francophonie Day, but it’s also the International Day of Happiness – Le Jour du Bonheur , the First Day of Spring, and drum roll … National Macaron Day!
And finally, did you know that there’s a new digital dictionary that just came out called Le dictionnaire des francophones containing 500,000 words and expressions from 52 different countries which collaboratively illustrates the variety and wealth of the French language? Merci OIF!
Yes, I know this post is in English, but I promise I will have a new post filled with French proverbs and expressions from different countries to celebrate the French language in all its glory in an upcoming post.
“Ma patrie, c’est la langue française ” Albert Camus
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