| James Kon |
A UNIQUE Franco-themed open air night market was set up at the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Silver Jubilee Park over the weekend to mark the official launch of 2017 Francophone Week.
Francophone Week hopes to promote the languages of France and Brunei, as well as the cultural relations enjoyed by both sides.
Launching the event, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism cum guest of honour Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong said, “The events of Francophone Week serve as a great platform to showcase the beauty of the culture, heritage and attractions of Brunei Darussalam.
“I encourage greater participation from the private sector to continuously engage in organising international events such as this, which helps contribute towards growing tourism products, generating employment and spinoffs for Brunei Darussalam.”
The minister looked forward to the line-up of Francophone Week activities in the coming week, organised in support of the French Embassy, with the Swedish Embassy and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, as well as sponsors.
Meanwhile, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Loan Forgeron said, “This year is special for Francophonie under the theme ‘Brunei, je t’aime’ or ‘Brunei, I Love You.’
“This Francophonie edition has provided numerous significances such as opening our minds to share, discuss and promote each other and ourselves.
“The event also promotes many young local talents. This evening we will see not only their short-film skills, but also their paintings and arts,” she said.
Meanwhile, Alliance Française de Brunei Director Yann Carpentier highlighted, “This week is the gathering of different people and different cultures through the understanding of each other.”
He said, to develop understanding, the first step is to learn the language of the other (Malay, English and French) to open up new horizons of friendship.
“Under the theme ‘Brunei, je t’aime,’ we want to express the love for Brunei and for the French Language,” he said.
The ceremony also saw the top three winners of the ‘Brunei, je t’aime’ short film competition receiving their prizes.
Mohammad Hanifi bin Haji Juffri emerged as victor of the competition, bagging a round trip from Singapore to Paris. Haji Yusrizam bin Abdul Tahir and Aaqil Ahmad ranked in second and third places respectively.