Folklore from around the world focuses on Friborg – this week

From 14 to 20 August, Friborg becomes the international capital of folklore. Every summer, the Rencontres de Folklore Internationales de Friborg (RFI) brings together eight to ten ensembles that interpret their country’s traditional folklore in its authentic form or created for the stage.

Fribourg’s International Folklore Meetings are today the only annual event held in Switzerland. Around 300 dancers, singers and musicians join Friborg to transmit the joy and colors of their traditions to the festival public.

In this 48th edition of RFI, the influence of fauna and flora on nature, woodlands and folklore is the focus of the program, with representatives from Easter Island. An event, this is the first time these natives of the small island of Chile have performed in Europe. “It’s that most of the members still live on Easter Island, which is still exceptional. We are very happy to welcome a group from the other side of the world”, reveals the head of the event to RTS, Stephen Renz.

A famous event

Many representatives want to perform on the Friborg scene. For this 2023 edition, the selected nine teams will measure their fortunes. They are coming this year from South Africa, America (Amerindians), Ecuador, Hungary, Easter Island, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova and Zimbabwe. They were selected from 400 applications. For some Mexican dancers, this is their second participation.

“The strong point here is that groups, cultures exchange and have fun. It’s not just about performances. It’s a story of friendship and sharing,” Mexican dancer Eder Santos, a member of Grupo Folklorico Castambres, explains to RTS.

>> Listen: “La Matinale” lesson dedicated to RFI

Folktales from around the world this week in Friborg / The Hourly Journal / 2 min. / Today at 06:03

The art of living

The story begins in 1975 on the streets of Fribourg. Since then, the festival has gained worldwide reputation. To ensure this longevity, Lauriane Zosso incorporates a new generation. Since 2019, the art director has been defying clichés about folklore. “It’s ironic, because in Switzerland, we have an outdated image of folklore. In other parts of the world, folklore is alive and well. Whether you’re a child, a teenager or an adult, everyone is very connected to it”, he points out.

In Switzerland, there is this outdated image of folklore. In other parts of the world, folklore lives on

Larian Joso, Art Director of RFI

This vibrant art scene attracts 30,000 visitors to Friborg every year. It was enough to make the city shine abroad for nearly half a century. Family-friendly and accessible, RFIs are aimed at people of all ages. For over forty years, they have held sharing and living together as their strongest values. The venue for the festival, called the Village of Nations, is organized at Georges Python in Fribourg, animated daily by the festival’s groups and various artists.

TV Title: Schlaffer Hanna

Radio subject: Mehdi Picand

Web Adaptation: ld

From August 14 to 20, 2023 Fribourg’s International Folk Festivals will be discovered.

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