Bonne fete des meres

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Smokey says: Bonne Fête des Mères - Happy Mother's Day, a little in advance! And please excuse my floppy collar, which serves to balance my floppy tongue! P.S. Check out Pronounce it Perfectly in French - now with more pronunciation exercises!

Bonne Fête des Mères (bun* feht day mair) 

    : Happy Mother's Day

*do I hear giggling out there for the "bun" pronunciation (in parenthesis, above)? Well, bonne sure sounded that way when when I recorded my husband voicing bun feht day mair); better rely on his accent, just below, and not my half-baked parenthetical sound guide!

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's wish:
Download MP3 or Wav file


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

An Unusual Friendship

Yesterday I watched an emotionally-moving témoignage, or testimony, on video. In it, two mothers stand before a stone-faced audience. Hand in hand, fueled by courage, the women tell the story of a remarkable friendship born of tragedy.

Phyllis speaks first. Her son was killed in the September 11th attacks...
Aicha listens. Her son is accused in the World Trade Center killings.

And yet...

Where they would be enemies, hearts filled with vengeance—
Where they would be in opposition, minds filled with distrust—
Peace has overcome. 

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Aicha (pictured, right) understands her dear friend's words only with the help of  a French translator, who is standing beside the women.

Capture plein écran 06052011 095438 Phyllis says: "When people heard that my son was a victim, I got immediate sympathy. But when people learned what her son was accused of... she didn't get that sympathy. But her suffering is equal to mine.

When it is Aicha's turn to speak, the mother of the accused tells of how she approached the victim's mother:
Dans son regard j'ai compris que c'était une mère comme moi...
I saw in her eyes that she was a mother like me...

Aicha's story pours out over the audience, as stone faces dissolve into cathartic tears. Instead of hate, we learn about how these mothers found another way....

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Aicha's story ends with these thoughts on humanity: "We must be hand in hand and do something together..."

Il faut essayer de connaitre "l'autre"...
Il faut être genereux, genereux de coeur, et d'esprit...
Et de la tolerance...
Il faut lutter contre la violence!
Et j'espère qu'un jour on va vivre ensemble dans la paix et dans le respect des uns et des autres

We have to try to know people who are different from us...
We have to be generous in our hearts and minds...
We have to be tolerant....
We have to fight against violence!
And I hope one day we will live together in peace and in respect of one another. 

***

Take a moment to watch the short video (click here, if reading this edition by email) in English and in French and please come back to share your thoughts, in the comments box.

 

Le Coin Commentaires

Capture plein écran 06052011 093735 In one of her many compassionate reactions, Phyllis embraces Aicha, empathising, "I had never met someone with such a hard life, from such a totally different culture and environment than my own...

Thank you for sharing your response to this video. Click here to leave a comment

 *photos taken from the video at Ted.com

 

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We are bound only by our own bigotry. Put aside intolerance and prejudice. Quit assuming. Take a stand to step out and get to know the seemingly exotic humans all around you. Photo taken in Madrid.

 

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A Feast at the BeachA Feast at the Beach. Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the Provence of the late 60s. Sensitively told, filled with humor, tenderness and a beautifully descriptive narrative regaling the reader with the tastes and smells of Southern France, A Feast at the Beach deftly blends the foods of Provence with stories that will touch your heart - and just may inspire you to rediscover your own joie de vivre. See the reviews, here.

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P.S. To my wonderful Mom: Happy Mother's Day! See, I didn't forget that photo you asked me for, of one of the flowers in my garden. (Picture taken with this handy pocket camera.)

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
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