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Recit du Voyage

15 Mar Recit du Voyage

As a former colony, Pondicherry retains strong cultural and linguistic links to France, and provides an invaluable resource for French language students in India. In February, six advanced French students joined Mr Laurent Paquereau and Ms Almudena Fesser in a trip to the city, to visit French institutions and explore all the Indian Côte d’Azur has to offer. They diarise their experiences here (in French and English).


Dimanche 18 février

Hier soir, nous sommes arrivés à l’hôtel à 23h40, et nous nous sommes écroulés. Ce matin, nous sommes allés au théâtre òu nous avons fait un atelier de théâtre avec la compagnie Indianostrum. Ensuite nous avons mangé un pique-nique à la plage et aussi nous avons marché dans l’eau. Après ça, nous avons visité Auroville et nous nous sommes promenés dans les rues de Pondichéry. Nous avons pris le dîner au restaurant Madame Shanthés.

Sunday 18th of February

Yesterday night we arrived at the hotel late at night and we crashed. This morning we went for a theatre workshop in French at Indianostrum local theatre. Then we had a picnic at the beach and we walked by the shore. After that we went to Auroville in the afternoon. In the evening, we walked about the streets of Pondicherry and ate dinner at Madame Shantés.

Nupur et Anika


Lundi 19 février

Ce matin, on a visité le lycée français et on a fait des cours de sport, de français, d’économie et d’histoire-géographie en français. C’était une bonne expérience. Ensuite, on a visité l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient pour parler avec M. Goodall, qui étudie les textes anciens.
Nous avons mangé au Café des Arts et puis on a visité une maison d’édition de livres en français.

Monday 19th of February

This morning, we visited the French School of Pondicherry where we played volleyball with the students there. Thanks to our lack of knowledge of the sport, we were thrashed by the other team, that’s okay though, we didn’t expect to win anyways. Next, we had 50 minutes of French. The class came out to be less intimidating than expected, but was quite difficult nonetheless. We then moved on to economics, and finally to history, which were much easier than volleyball. Definitely much easier.

After a morning at the school, we traversed to a French research institute that studied the culture and objects of the east. Mr. Goodall, the director of the institute, walked us through the ancient writings of a Village in Tamil Nadu.

For a well-deserved break, we walked to Café des Arts, a French, artisan cafe that served croques, baguettes, crepes, and the best café au lait in town. To top it all off, we visited a publication house run by a Pondicherrian who spent part of his life in Paris. A tiring, but inherently interesting day.

Shaurya et Araan


Mardi 20 février

Le matin, on a fait une visite guidée des quartiers français et tamoul de Pondicherry . On a vu des bâtiment anciens et modernes dans la ville. Le guide nous a expliqué l’influence de la colonisation française sur la culture et l’architecture de “Pondy”. Ensuite, on a pris le déjeuner et on s’est promenés au bord de la mer. Puis, on est allés à l’Alliance Française où on a participé à  un cours de Français et passé un peu de temps dans la bibliothèque à lire de bandes-dessinées en français.

Tuesday 20th of February

On the last day of our trip, we went for a guided visit around the French and Tamil streets of Pondicherry. We saw old and new buildings in the city. The guide explained to us the influence of French colonisation on the culture and architecture of “Pondy”. Then, we had dinner and walked by the seaside. Afterwards, we went to l’Alliance Française where we did a French activity, attended a French class and spent some time at the library reading French comics and children’s books.

Nawara et Shibani


Top photo: Karthik Easvur/Creative Commons

French is just one of a range of courses on offer at Summer at Woodstock, our two week programme in July. Click here to find out more.



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