Friday, June 29, 2007

FRANCE: Diaspora Trade Strengthens Communities

FRANCE: Diaspora Trade Strengthens Communities

By Michael Deibert

PARIS, Jun 29 (IPS) - In the northern Paris neighbourhood of Chateau Rouge, a casual visitor could be forgiven for a moment for feeling that one had gotten off the city's storied metro and ended up in Dakar or Abidjan.

Here, percolating soukous tunes from the Congo pump out of storefronts such as that of Rythmes & Musiques while women attired in weaved damask robes and men in West Africa's traditionally colourful dashiki vest go about their business in one of the city's most vibrant open-air markets.

But, say observers, "foreign" as they may seem to some French, it is also, empathically, as much the face of modern France as any of the postcard images of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe that tourists usually associate with the country.

Read more here.

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