“Idole Indienne – 2018”  an All India Competition of French Songs for Students of French, creating waves in Mumbai

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Stevie Wonder has rightly said, “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand”. But for the many students of French, who are struggling to master the language, a new study suggests there may be hope for those who are trying to get to grips with this foreign language – they should try singing it instead. This has been amply illustrated in the last month or so, when the IATF (Indian Association of Teachers of French, – founded in 1953 at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai), has been busy organizing the 5th Edition of its triennial event ‘Idole Indienne’, in association with the French Embassy – an All India Singing competition of French songs for students of French in schools, colleges and other French Institutions. Students who have barely started learning the language have been enthusiastically participating in the Elimination Rounds being conducted in different zones of the IATF.

The teachers in the West Zone, consisting mainly of the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Baroda have taken great pains to motivate their students to participate in the competition. After weeks of preparation and feverish activity, in which several schools and colleges have been holding elimination rounds in their own institutions, the stage has been set for the Mumbai Finals which will be taking place on 11th August at Ecole Intuit.Lab, a French Institute of Visual Communication and Graphic Design at Prabhadevi.

Mrs. Prochy Master, the Secretary of the IATF, West Zone, who has been entrusted with the task of organizing and coordinating the entire event for all the four cities of the West Zone was keen that no student who participated in the event should go home empty handed and succeeded in persuading several friends and acquaintances to sponsor not only cash but also items for a Goody bag. Thus, in spite of operating on a shoestring budget, (the Registration Fee being only Rs. 200), all the contestants received a Certificate of Participation as well as a Medal, snacks and drinks, Discount vouchers from SoundMonk School of Music among others, at the Elimination level. There has been a huge number of students participating from schools like RN Podar School, (CBSE), Santa Cruz and SVKM JV Parkeh International School, at Vile Parle. Students from several other schools and colleges have also registered for the same.

Three winners from each school, (there are two categories – above 18 and below 18 years) will then battle it out at the Mumbai Finals, after which two from each category will qualify for the Zonal Semi-finals being held on 25th August, at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, BKC where a Star Jury comprising of distinguished people who are renowned both in the field of the French Language and in Music, will select the two best Singers from each Category.

The Grand Finale is to be held at Pune on 1st September, 2018 at the prestigious Fergusson College Amphitheatre and will be organized by the President of the West Zone, Mrs. Nandita Wagle and the Project Coordinator for all the Zones, Mrs Jaya Gadgil, and many sponsors like Langers and Goyal Saab Publishers have come forward to help bear the expenses of hosting participants from all the zones.

The above 18 winners will get an opportunity to represent India at Taipei at the AsiaPac Vision Competition of French Songs on 11th November, 2018 in which several francophone countries are participating, in addition to getting a trophy and other gifts. And thus the curtains will be drawn on another edition of Idole Indienne, till the next one rolls around, three years later.