Cafe Francophone brimming with words

  • 2004-03-01
  • By Judy Allen Poggi, RIGA
The Cafe Francophone de Riga is a jolly group of about 60 men and women whose simple but very enjoyable raison d'etre is to converse in the language of Moliere while discovering the many facets of the rich and varied Latvian culture. Already more than 15 different nationalities are present in that very pursuit.

The variety of cultures within largely reflects the open-minded spirit of the group while the intellectual stimulation of French conversation is a challenge to most! Modest in our ambitions, enthusiastic in our endeavours and encouraged by our efforts to parler francais s'il vous plait!

Members come from all walks of life and are of all ages. The youngest participant is a Latvian girl currently working as translator in French and Latvian. One of our most distinguished member is an elderly Latvian lady who was sent to Siberia in the 1950's for pursuing her passion for reading French literature at a time when this was considered inappropriate. Meetings take place in a member's home around a table laden with delicious specialities from the host's homeland -- and a coffee bien sur! (hence the name Cafe Francophone de Riga). Often a local guest speaker animates the morning's discussions in French.

French is also the language of gastronomy, so it was no surprise to see a large table of the Cafe Francophone de Riga group present at the first-ever organic luncheon at the well-known restaurant Vincents at the end of January. The Cafe Francophone de Riga has a full and diverse programme of activities planned for the rest of the year. Museum visits, factory invitations, art exhibitions, recitals, concerts, guided tours are all on the forthcoming agenda. Alors, parlez-vous francais aussi ?

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