On Wednesday, April 12 the UTM French Club hosted a French Culture Day at the Martin Public Library.
The students of the French Club, along with their sponsor Dr. Lucia Florido, set up tables in the library’s event room and basement. This event primarily catered to young children, but was open to all ages.
The event was held to, “Introduce the children to some of the aspects of the French culture and also the French language,” said Florido.
French Culture Day had set stations teaching children about France. The booths taught children how to say basic colors, numbers and simple brain teasers in French, while another had face painting activities that taught children the French words for their paintings. The room also featured a slideshow of many well-known landmarks and aspects of French culture.
Downstairs, the children heard and participated in popular French folk songs and performed on instruments used in French music. A group of students from Westview High School in Martin treated guests with a performance of the song “Champs Elysées,” performed on the saxophone, flute and cajón.
Former UTM professor Dr. Bob Peckham was also present and he performed three interntional folk songs, “Trois Poules,” “Edelweiss” and “Vent Frais.” While Peckham sang the songs to the tune of an autoharp, band members and the audience were encouraged to sing along.
After the sing-along, the children were served French bread with Nutella. When asked about Nutella, Florido explained that many French people use Nutella the same way that many Americans use peanut butter: generously.
Finally, “Little Red Riding Hood” was read in a combination of English and French to the children. The story was the original rendition of the fairy tale, but with an alternate ending so as not to frighten or sadden the children.
Afterwards, the children were treated to more bread with Nutella as the event came to a close.
Former UTM professor Dr. Bob Peckham presents music for the children on an autoharp. (Pacer Photo/ Jerry Garcia)