From Nov. 4 through 11, BJU will join with universities around the country to celebrate National French Week.
This year marks the University’s first involvement in this celebration of French language and culture.
Festivities on campus include a showing of the French film Le Ballon Rouge in the original language (and subtitles) and lots of French food in the Dining Common.
National French Week was started by the American Association of Teachers of French as a means of promoting French in the United States and is now observed by most major colleges and universities.
Dr. Jeremy Patterson, chair of the Division of Modern Language and Literature, is responsible for bringing National French Week to Bob Jones University.
A French professor himself, Patterson believes National French Week will give all students, especially those learning French, practical exposure to the language as well as an introduction to French culture.
Rebecca Williams, president of the University Language Association, noted the connections that foreign language makes as well as the importance of using language outside of class.
“There are so many people in the world you would never get a chance to connect with or understand at all if you couldn’t speak their language,” Williams said.
“Learning the language opens you up to their culture. Language is a living, breathing thing. It’s not this thing you study just in a classroom. People on the other side of the world are living in this language. They’re speaking it, breathing it.”
In order to involve as many BJU students in the celebration as possible, Patterson went reluctantly where he knew nearly every residence hall student had to go: the Dining Common.
Patterson originally hoped that at least one French dish could be served one night, but he found a much more enthusiastic response.
Aramark executive chef Ralph Macrina, classically trained in French cuisine, was more than excited to take part in National French Week and to share his love of French food with BJU students.
At lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after being welcomed with a French greeting and a pastry sampler, University students will find traditional French dishes scattered throughout the DC.
On Thursday, Aramark will serve crème brûlée table-to-table, and following the custom for the French custard, chefs will actually be torching the dessert in front of DC guests.
On Friday, Nov. 11, at
7 p.m., the French classic Le Ballon Rouge will be shown in Levinson Hall. Free to all, the film will appear with its original language and is the first in a series of French films embracing the theme of childhood to be shown on campus this year.
No matter their proficiency in French, speakers of all languages are encouraged to take part in celebrating National French Week.