BAL MUSETTE, SANS-CULOTTES, & CREPES - BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATION AT THE ALLIANCE FRANCAISE
Chicago (IL), le 13 juillet 2010. Discours prononcé par le Consul général de France à l’occasion de la célébration de la Fête nationale "Bal Musette, Sans-Culottes & Crêpes" à l’Alliance française de Chicago
Chicago (IL), July 13, 2010. Speech given by the Consul General of France on the occasion of "Bal Musette, Sans-Culottes & Crêpes", a Bastille Day Celebration at the Alliance Française of Chicago.
Dear Friends of the Alliance Française
Because we are celebrating Bastille Day, I considered making a long speech about the greatness of French history, the universal lessons of the French Revolution, or the impact of the French artists on the American culture. However, after reflection, I have decided to talk briefly about a more serious subject-matter. With your permission, I would like to talk about… love.
Yes, about love. In fact, if we are all gathered together this evening, it’s because of love. It is what bounds us, what connects us, and makes us a community. Tonight, we celebrate our shared love for France, the French language and the French culture.
Love is always inexplicable and mysterious. What makes things even more complex is that each of us, loves France for a different reason. For some, it’s quite simple, it’s because we are French and we are passionate about our country. But for most of you, this love was not a given. You fell in love, in one way or another with France, because, at some point, you picked up the language, or were interested in the French literature or cinema, spent your honeymoon in Paris, discovered the beautiful diversity of the French villages and landscapes, admired Louis XIV or Napoleon (I assure you that I know a couple of people who do), enjoyed cycling and following the “tour de France” or just because you happened to have had a French boyfriend or girlfriend, were seduced by the French “art de vivre”, the French “haute couture”, French cuisine or wines or our beautiful high speed train… There are many reasons to love France ; everyone has their own for loving a country. At times, France may be trying but always seductive, like the U.S, they both aspire to personify universal values. Since the XVIII century, our two countries have been bound by a mutual fascination which remains a reality today.
Your presence this evening is a proof of love, of true love. And, as Consul general of France, I would like to express my deep gratitude and my thanks for that. Without you, without your engagement and support, nothing would be possible. We need your love to make the Alliance Française of Chicago thrive and continue the wonderful work it is doing in promoting France, the French culture and the French language.
Merci beaucoup de votre présence et de votre attention.