Black skirt and impeccable jacket, Okoh, anor student, who just sang Marseillaise in front of audience, admits: "It's something to see a naturalization ceremony in our high school, and to see emotion of people." This is a first in a school: usually se celebrations of entry into national community take place in prefectures.
At call of ir name, new French citizens stand up and join, in front of assembly, Fadela Belanger, Reeve Delegate for equal opportunities. In a few words, she traces ir course. Here a computer engineer arrived from China seven years ago, a cook from Mali, who wants to start a family with his partner met in France ...
Seated at back of room, a thirty-one naturalized at moment holds her breath. of Central African descent, Sandy has lived in France since her childhood: this is a special moment for me, I am very moved, blow this auxiliary of life 31 years. And n, that it takes place in a high school and not in prefecture, it is even more symbolic, because school is place par excellence of values of Republic, like equality. »A transmission objective
A very symbolic appointment also for hundreds of students who have long prepared it: "This event is part of line of many projects carried out in our high school around citizenship," recalls headmaster, Fabien Eudes.
Upstream of this ceremony, students first studied history of French citizenship. "Few people know that for some time French women who were marrying someone of anor nationality were mselves foreign," says Samia Essaaba, an English teacher who co-organized project."What could be better than practical, concrete experience to show what it means to become French?"
His students also discovered paths of famous personalities and ir families, such as singer Charles Aznavour, descendant of Armenians. "The idea is to show m that basically y are people like many ors who have fought before y can become what y are today," says Ms. Essaaba. This work reminds everyone of importance of handling flag without ulterior motives, of getting involved. »
It was Reeve delegate, Fadela Belanger, who proposed this project, which she intends to reproduce in Saint-Ouen and Clichy-sous-Bois next year. She herself had received French citizenship by naturalization, she wanted to make this ceremony a moment of transmission. "To become French is a commitment to a way of life, which allows to climb all scales," explains representative of State. And what could be better than practical, concrete experience to show what it means to become French? It's a real civic education lesson. »Messages of Hope
In addition to ir participation in ceremony, students organized an exhibition. In particular, we discover black and white photographs, and where many of m advance, in face of objective, strong messages about tolerance, citizenship and discrimination.
Chaturvedi, a senior student, chose to pose with a white sheet on which a message is written: "France is a chance for all." An inscription that has a special resonance for him: I arrived from Algeria four years ago. France allows me to continue my studies. Here I have access to all means to study and pass baccalaureate this year. He is responsible for reception of people who came to attend ceremony.
Not far away, one of her comrades proudly explains that she will file her application for naturalization "today." Portuguese, she insisted on one point: she did not wish to become French by administrative facility, but to be symbolically belonging to national community. And maybe, one day, relive a ceremony like this.
In 2016, more than 119 000 people were naturalized in France.