New scheme to upgrade French ties

New scheme to upgrade French ties

The Embassy of France in Thailand has launched a new cultural exchange programme dubbed "Sawasdee France", to further promote the longstanding relationship between the countries.

The programme was launched over the weekend with a reception at the French Embassy.

There, the public was invited to enjoy various stalls and exhibits set up by businesses, education institutes and members of the Franco-Thai community. Visitors were also able to view the artworks around the ambassador's residence.

Eve Lubin, Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation at the French Embassy, said the embassy has been actively promoting the exchange of arts and culture between the countries since 2004, initially through an event called La Fete ("The Party"). It has now decided to expand the offering.

"It was very successful, but over the years we found the activities had grown beyond parties and artistic exchanges," she said.

Through [Sawasdee France], we want to show what else we can bring to the table for our Thai partners," she added.

"As such, during the pandemic, we decided to rebrand 'La Fete' into something which tells people that Thailand and France are actively collaborating in different areas beyond the festival."

Ms Lubin said Sawasdee France was chosen as the theme for the event for its simplicity.

"We want something that tells the audience what the programme is all about," she said.

"In the past, most attendees were aware of 'La Fete' because they are studying French or had studied French in the past, or perhaps because they were interested in the arts -- but very few were aware of our work with our Thai partners."

This year, Ms Lubin said, the embassy wants to ensure more people in Thailand are aware of the collaboration between Thailand and France by holding more events and public outreach programmes as part of the effort.

Hopefully, this will inspire more people to take part in more long-term projects with France, she said.

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