Francophone Day celebrated in Vietnam with food, films hinh anh 1A Belgian singer and his group will perform in Hanoi, Ha Nam, Da Nang and HCM City from March 17 to March 23 to celebrate the International Francophone Day. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will once again honour the French language through a film festival and concerts to celebrate International Francophone Day, which falls on March 20.

The 2016 campaign, consistent with the operation Tell Me Ten Words launched by the Directorate General of the French Ministry of Culture, strives to promote the importance of the French language, its diversity and the global weight of the words and histories which it promulgates.

Thus, the slogan chosen for this year, The Power of Words, aims to attract the interest of Francophones worldwide regarding the dynamic nature of the French language as spoken not only on a daily basis, but also in a wealth of sectors as diverse as business, education, science and diplomacy.

"The celebrations of the International Francophone Day is an opportunity for us to honour the values of solidarity, cultural diversity and respect for cultural differences," Dr Eric-Normand Thibeault, Asia-Pacific Director of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF), said.

To begin this month-long celebration, a cultural festive day was held on March 12 at the Vietnam National University in Cau Giay district, where participants were invited to watch art performances, fashion show and taste gastronomy of different Francophone countries.

To mark this important celebration, an official ceremony will take place on March 18 at the Hanoi Opera House at 6.30pm. The ceremony will be followed by the concert by Belgian singer Sabino Orsini and his group, Swiss singer Noga, and Vietnamese performers.

In particular this year, audience can watch a ‘hau dong’ (trance ritual) performance, which is one of the rituals of the Mother Goddess worship, known as the oldest belief of Vietnam. In March 2014, cultural authority submitted a dossier on the Mother Goddess worship to UNESCO for recognition as a national intangible cultural heritage. The dossier is expected to be reviewed in December.

A cultural day will also be held at the Hanoi University on Nguyen Trai street on March 19 from 10am to 3pm, gathering together lovers of French culture. They will meet with representatives of key players in the Francophone community involved in education, culture and development co-operation.

Groups of Vietnamese students will perform Francophone songs and take part in diverse contests and games to enrich their French language and share their love of this language with other people.

The highlight of the celebrations will be the Francophone Film Festival which will showcase the cultural diversity of the Francophonie. It will kick off in HCM City on March 16 with the award-winning French film Timbuktu.

The festival will present in total nine films from Vietnam, France, Belgium, and Switzerland, in addition to Egypt and Canada.

The films, which have won prestigious prizes, will be screened in HCM City, Hanoi, and Hue with Vietnamese subtitles, while the Vietnamese movie will have French subtitles.

More information can be found at

A wide range of other cultural activities will also be organised in Hue, Vinh, HCM City, Da Nang, and Da Lat.

More detailed information about this celebration can be found on the website

The date of March 20 was chosen as the Francophone International Day to commemorate the signing in 1970, in Niamey (Niger), of the Treaty establishing the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT), today the International Organisation for La Francophonie.

Vietnam was one of the founding countries of the International Francophonie Organisation in 1970.

Over the years, the IFO has maintained active co-operation with Vietnam including the exchange of training and technical expertise in a number of fields.

French is spoken by 274 million people in 80 countries across the world.-VNA