The Green Card lottery registrations just closed on May 8th. It brings up old memories, when foreign college friends in Boston in the nineties applied to the lottery every year, hoping to get this Holy Grail of residence permits. Although my family never played the Green Card lottery, we did find a home in Boston, yet somehow I never managed to feel firmly planted in this new soil.

Foreigners who hold a Green Card are rarely the kind who travel on a corporate contract with an expatriate package for a couple of years, though some started their journey in Boston that way: they fell in love with the lifestyle, the beautiful fall colors, the intellectual vibrancy of the city, the American work culture, and then one day they realized this was home and they never looked back.

Except they did look back, they do. Most of us uprooted first generation immigrants look back sometimes, or forward. We still hang on to the memories and the cultural aspects of what used to be home, or what we think it used to be, and this is where an often difficult, but exciting and enriching journey begins. Where is the happy medium? How can we embrace our always changing, multiple identities, and make sense of them in a way that allows us to keep balance in our professional and personal lives? How do we approach friendships with the "natives"​? How do we relate to compatriots who are passing through our city, or staying for one, two, three years before going back to Europe? We are French or Francophone, we are American, we are both, and sometimes, usually, we are much more.

To me, it all started with hanging on to my native language, French. It was the glu​e​ that kept my family united through our travels, the one thing we kept in common ​but which also set us apart from others. French culture was also a way to cling to a semblance of roots: music, books, film, art, food. The longer I stayed in Boston the more I craved French cultural experiences. You can imagine that finding the French Cultural Center, which devotes itself to the promotion of French language and French/Francophone cultures, has helped satisfy many of these urges.

With this new blog, the French Cultural Center will be exploring Francophone happenings here in New England and in the Francophone world, we will share articles on cultural trends in such varied areas as fashion or gastronomy, film, literature or art, as well as look into what it means to be of Francophone culture living in Boston, and also how an American francophile can revel in all things French, our cultural differences and similarities. We hope you enjoy it.

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Upcoming Events

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Les Gardiens du Jardin

Gouache and ink drawings by Mary Beth McAllister

From May 18, 2017 To Jul 5, 2017

On view at the Center until July 5

This exhibition features a collection of whimsical gouache and ink drawings of French characters inspired by and fashionably dressed as French packets of garden seeds.

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Bastille Day Party 2017

A celebration of liberté, égalité and fraternité

Friday, July 14, 2017 6:00 PM To 11:00 PM

Bastille Day returns to Marlborough Street on Friday, July 14 for a celebration of Francophone cultures filled with live music, dancing, festive food and drinks. After a sold-out event in 2014, 2015, and 2016, you won't want to miss this signature Back Bay festival.

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Bastille Day VIP Reception 2017

support our community celebration

Friday, July 14, 2017 6:00 PM To 11:00 PM

Celebrate Bastille Day with fellow culture enthusiasts and sponsors at our VIP Reception featuring an open bar, complimentary French hors d’œuvres and desserts and direct views of the concert stage!

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