December 18, 2006

French Nativity in China...
Last night I went to Hebei University to check out the French students' Christmas production. It was put together by the two foreign French profs (friends of mine) in only a month. It was quite impressive for a group of university students who have only been learning French for 1-3 years.
It started with a few long-winded speeches (welcome and applause for each prof, history of the French department, success in the past few years, introduction of each prof again, and thanks for coming) before the 1st years who recited a few poems. This was followed by the 2nd years who did a play of the Nativity, which I think was the highlight of the evening. The Nativity in French, by Chinese students. The top picture is Mary and Joseph, while the second is the whole group (angels, Mongolian shepherds, inn keeper/fuwuyuar, and the wise men). They sang a few songs, and even had candles which we were afraid would light the angels wings on fire.
The 3rd years did part of Les Miserables, including a few songs. It was pretty good, but most of the people who didn't understand French (at least half the crowd) got a bit antsy and started talking.


Anonymous said...

how popular is learning french in China?

Stephen said...

Not nearly as popular as English. French and Japanese are the most popular second foreign languages, but English is seen as the most pratical (and essential if you want to go to university) foreign language.
The university has 30,000 to 50,000 students, and 80 study French.