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Breaking the Barrier: The Almond Blossom Festival


On Thursday, April 7, University of North Georgia students can visit the Almond Blossom Festival, hosted by the UNG Arabic and French clubs. The festival will celebrate Moroccan culture and is open to all guests.

Megan DeLaigle, a senior Arabic major, is a student representative of the Arabic club in Dahlonega. DeLaigle says the Almond Blossom Festival is exciting for her because it features different portions of the Francophone and Arabophone worlds. She says that Morocco has its own unique and dynamic identity, which fuses the missions of the UNG French and Arabic clubs.

DeLaigle says this event will enhance the cultural and linguistic understandings of the languages that both clubs study, which will help members become better prepared for the professional realms they want to explore.

She says, “This type of dynamic is also new to UNG’s campus; this is our institution’s first North African event. So that is really exciting for us as well… we’re getting to present this beautiful culture to our entire school.”

Almond Blossom Festival Flyer (Photo by Cooper Huau)

As language and culture-based organizations, the clubs want to create an event that caters to the larger school community’s interests. The festival is famous across la Francophonie and the Arabic-speaking world for its parties, food, art and music.

At the festival, students can expect to participate in cultural activities that engage in a smaller version of the festival that occurs annually in Morocco. There will be painting and doing calligraphy, music, dancing and learning the art of storytelling.

The event will also have traditional food and almond-flavored food, which mimics what attendees would be eating if they celebrated this festival in its home town of Tafraoute.

“We strove to find ways to bring small pieces of the festival to the university, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with our attendees.” -Megan DeLaigle

Grey Nebel, a junior double-major, said he and the other French club officers wanted to ensure that they represent all of la Francophonie, the French-speaking world, in their programming.

Nebel said this event was devised from that goal, as the Almond Blossom Festival takes place in Morocco, a bilingual country speaking both Arabic and French.

One of the main goals is to highlight the cultural diversity of the Francophone world by showcasing a part of la Francophonie that is outside of Europe or North America.

While the event has no sponsors, Nebel says, “The UNG French Club is one of l’Alliance Française’s official partners. We began this partnership during the pandemic as a virtual venue for our club members to explore French culture and collaborate with the alliance.”

Nebel said the club chose to work with them due to their linguistic and cultural proximity to the country and holiday.

The Almond Blossom Festival is UNG’s first North African-focused event held on the Dahlonega campus.

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Breaking the Barrier: The Almond Blossom Festival