Oct 07, 2011
Local French influence goes beyond french fries, bread and toast. Nearly 500 middle school and high school students learned about the region's French ties at the Midwest French Festival and Convention. Concordia hosted the first day of the two-day festival focusing on French heritage and culture in the region.
The students played games, sang songs, danced and experienced the daily life of 17th-century French fur traders. Concordia French students guided the student groups and organized games, dances and art activities.
The younger students caught the enthusiasm of the college students, says Danielle Jondal '13, Austin, Minn., one of the student guides.
"It's exciting to see younger people interested in French," she says.
Phil Johnson, a French teacher at Fargo South High School, spent the day enjoying the festival alongside his students. He appreciated encountering French culture in fresh ways and seeing Concordia students encourage his students to continue their French studies.
"I think the students were surprised to see so many other students learning French in the Fargo-Moorhead area," he says.
In addition to the students, the festival featured Tim and Dore Kent, experts on French-Metis family life. They brought hundreds of artifacts they have collected or recreated and taught the students about how they would have been made and used. Representatives from Concordia Language Villages' Lac du bois taught French songs and games.