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Strengthening ties

Christophe Faucher, the new director of the Alliance Francaise de Hyderabad, is all set to make the place livelier, culturally and intellectually.


BRIDGING THE GAP: Christophe Faucher

THE ALLIANCE Francaise (AF) is the one apolitical link between the land of wines and perfumes — France and the world. The Indo-French Cultural Centre (IFCC) as it is called in Hyderabad has someone to head it after a fairly long hiatus. Christophe Faucher took over as Director of the Alliance Francaise de Hyderabad recently. "The welcome has been very warm from all and it has been smooth going," he says. "I had been to Hyderabad earlier during 1997-98 when I was at CIEFL."

The IFCC in Hyderabad has been vibrant over the years and the new director hopes to improve things even further. Outlining his priorities, Christophe says, "I am planning to reorganise the office here and bring in more people and make the place more lively."

After the UK, Australia and Russia, France is the latest country wooing Indian students in a big way for higher studies. Explains Christophe, "we are planning a massive interaction with the students here and the universities. There will be a major initiative to promote higher studies in France. Earlier, language used to be a problem, but today, France recognises English as the language. France could be a preferred destination for many Indian students for a variety of reasons. A subsidy provided to the universities makes it affordable in comparision with other countries. Moreover there is the high quality and standard of education particularly in fields like hotel management, fashion designing, engineering and to a limited extent, humanities."

There is plenty of heavy duty stuff coming up at the IFCC over the next couple of months. Lots of entertainment too is in the pipeline. The Duo Astor - Gaelle Chiche and Fransisco Bernier - considered one of the finest guitar duos of the new generation will enthrall the audiences of Hyderabad to an evening of melody.

Early 2003, the 16 AFs in India will be coming together to organise a French Rendezvous to showcase French Culture and the French Season to Indians. A part of the Rendezvous will be in Hyderabad too. Says Christophe Faucher, "cultural and intellectual relationship between France and India have been good and have been marked by exchanges as well. There is enough collaboration and we intend to make it even better."

Also in the pipeline is an attempt to introduce a French Language Testing Service. "It is understood that a lot of people are learning French to migrate to countries such as Canada. This test will be offered from perhaps early 2003 and will be in collaboration with chambers of commerce in France. It will also be an incentive for people to learn the language," says Christophe Faucher.

Barely three weeks in Hyderabad, the professor with a doctors in Applied Linguistics and interests in sociology and literature is also keen on teaching the language to beginners and advanced learners alike. His first priority though is to visit the Golconda Fort and Raymond's tombs.

SUDHEENDRA PUTTY

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