The Embassy of France in Jamaica Blends French and Caribbean Cultures Through Engaging the Senses

The Embassy of France created an intriguing cultural experience at the Ambassador’s residence in Kingston, Jamaica: The Beaujolais Nouveau Party

November 30th, 2016
Michaela Zackova, CD News
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As a result of the successful display of Christina Stiebel’s art exhibition and the Beaujolais Nouveau Party in 2015, the French Ambassador to Jamaica decided to repeat and combine the events this year.

By combining the two events the Ambassador brought together a diverse group of people. This year the plan was to engage three of their senses: "tasting the wine, cheese and ham, view[ing] the painting and the third is hearing the music."

"We see it as a way of reflecting what we call the Republic of France: republic of equality, fraternity, liberty. And so you have a lot of different kinds of people from culture, education, business, media and people from various places in Jamaica. Some come for the Beaujolais and discover the paintings; some come for the paintings and discover the Beaujolais. It's a good mix. Also it is appealing to all the senses," Ambassador Despax said.

Rickie Sterling on keyboard, provided the music amid chatter, while Judy MacMillan exhibited works of landscapes and portraits, from 1968 to present.

The French Ambassador to Jamaica, Jean-Michel Despax and wife, Line Despax, complemented French tradition with a display of Jamaican artworks and live music.

The name of the wine served is Beaujolais. "The wine is a new wine; the grapes are harvested in Beaujolais in the Burgundy region in September. It was elevated and bottled in October. In a tradition that has existed for 60 years, on the third Thursday of November, one week before Thanksgiving in the US, we open the first bottle of the Beaujolais," Ambassador Despax explained.

He further explained that the wine is always served with cheese "and what we call charcuterie, 'cooked' ham." The meat is salted and put in a warehouse in the mountain. And over a period of time, the ham is cooked by wind and the salt. "It is good."


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