Bastille Day celebrations [fr]
Bastille Day, celebrated on the 14th of July, is France’s national holiday and marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution.
This year’s National Day celebrations were held at the Ambassador’s official residence in Pretoria.
This celebration was an opportunity to highlight France and South Africa recent cooperation in various fields, such as politics (visit of President Hollande in October 2013, World War I & II commemorations), cultural (numerous joint events organized lately - Fête de la Musique, Week of Taste, European Film Festival, …), economic (participation of French companies in the development of South African infrastructures), educational (French learning, bursaries).
On this special occasion, French and South African national anthems were performed by the choir of Vaal University of Technology (VUT), one of South Africa’s best-known academic choir. Their performances during “French Days” in 2012 and 2014 were always a success. The audience on Bastille Day appreciated their personal interpretation of French national anthem, “La Marseillaise”.
The Embassy of France was glad to have chosen this choir for Bastille Day, as VUT is a strong partner of the French-South African cooperation in the education sector, hosting the French-South African Schneider Electric Centre (FSASEC) and offering French courses to its students.
The best French learners of Gauteng’s high schools was invited to attend the celebration, to reward them for their excellent results in the Delf-junior exam. The pupils are from Rodean High school and Kingsmead College in Johannesburg, and from Diocesian Girl School in Pretoria.
Bastille Day also hosted South-African students preparing to go to France to study as well as students who graduated from French universities. Bursaries funded by the French government are offered annually to promote Franco-South African academic exchange and cooperation. The students pursue their scholarship in numerous fields and in various cities.
Finally, representing the sport sector, the French U20 Women’s Sevens team, at the time touring in South Africa, hosted by the Bulls Rugby Union, attended the event.