More than 70 countries each year celebrate March 20th as "Francophone Day." Armenia has been a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie since November 2008, when it officially began taking part in the festivities as well.
This year, Gyumri joined the movement. A series of events that ran from March 19 until 24 were launched at St. Vartanants Square in Gyumri. The city's square and streets were all decorated with French flags, as well as the flags of other French-speaking countries like Canada and Switzerland. A parade from Charles Aznavour Square to Vardanants Square consisted of hundreds of schoolchildren carrying flags accompanied by bands and motorcyclists.
French is the third most widely spoken language in Armenia after Russian and English and it is much loved. Armenian singer Charles Aznavour is considered by Armenians to be the perfect embodiment of a Francophone who greatly supported Gyumri after the 1988 earthquake.
Gyumretsis welcomed honorable guests from places like France and Canada and other countries with songs and dances. "Francophone Days" was organized by Shirak marz's regional administration, Gyumri's municipal government and many international organizations, including Komitas Action Suisse, otherwise known as Armenie KASA. Over the past 4 years, KASA has been Gyumri's unique learning environment center, a perfect place for discovering cultural diversity, acquiring training, and developing personal and professional skills.
By invitation from KASA, FAR's Shirak Department Director Marina Bazayeva, Social Media Coordinator Hasmik Manukyan and Press Secretary Levon Lachikyan visited Gyumri. Levon exhibited his graphic works depicting his native city of Gyumri, which were purchased by the French Ambassador to Armenia Henri Reynaud and the Political Consul of the Embassy of Canada in Moscow Denis Shouinard.