EZIAGHALA Nonye wrote from
Paris “On 22 November 2008 France-Nigeria association held its first ‘Get together’. At this get together that had about 15 people in attendance including a 7 month old Nigerian bouncing baby boy, we saw the warmth and appreciation that this association exhumes. All the people attending the association’s event for the first time, professed their satisfaction and gratitude for being invited. This some of them showed by exchanging electronic mails to express their happiness especially of having the opportunity of registering as members of this promising association.
A group of French Professionals who had worked in various top position capacities, because of their love for the country, came together and conceived the France-Nigeria Association. The aim is simply, according them, to keep the memory alive and also to make the French community in
France aware of
Nigeria in a different perspective other than the pictures portrayed by the likes of the Transparency International.
The association was recently registered according the French law number 78.71 of 6 January 1978. Of course before formal registration, there had been efforts towards forming a formidable association. As such, several meetings and programmes had been conducted during the formation stage to create awareness. Top most in such events was the gathering tagged, ‘Exchanges in the world of enterprise’ that was held on the 31st of May 2008. Coincidentally, it was on the same date that the registration appeared in the daily.
The gathering had in its attendance French people, Nigerians and people of other nationalities because the event was held at the ‘Institut des Langues O’ (INALCO). At INALCO, people of different nationalities come to learn African studies especially, the languages. As a Nigerian and a student in
France, it happened that I was chosenas one of the presenters. I made a presentation of my experience- first as a Nigerian and then as a student in
France. Two different orientations and cultures isn’t it?
Nigeria is basically an ‘English’ culture, etc. Therefore, there are cases of culture conflicting which this association will help to douse.
The President of the association, Mme Claude Egnell could not hold her happiness at this first and trial get together shortly after the registration of the association. The get together has been billed to be holding on a monthly basis, exactly every third Saturday of the month. The get together gave an opportunity for people to share their experiences and appreciation and disaffections as the case may be at one time or the other. Issues of language barriers and culture differences carried most of the discussions but there was this understanding that with frequent gatherings and coming together of the people, most of the dichotomies would diffuse into themselves.
Just like in
Nigeria, we enjoy unity in diversity and aculturisation. It is not strange therefore that such exchange of cultures and ways of life and values can also be tolerated and imbibed through the activities of the France-Nigeria association. This will in no doubt complement the bilateral and enterprise relationships that exist between
France. Of course, more of scientific relationships will develop, etc.
There was exchange of culinary and photographs were taken for record purposes and to give an insight of the fun that those who could not attend missed. As that was just the first of the association’s get together, the next one in December will surely attract more persons especially as many would have started their Christmas holidays. It is always good to be where good things happen. In France-Nigeria association, good things happen, new things are learnt. Little wonder, the Ambassadors French/Nigeria including the Ambassador delegate, UNESCO, gave their support to the association by becoming honorary members of the association. What more? It is an association for investors, creatives and ‘curious persons’. After all, humans are curious beings. Why not check it out. “