Former French Prime Minister visits local kindergarten

France's former Prime Minister visited a local kindergarten in the Pudong New Area for its French culture week event over the weekend.

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former Prime Minister of France, visited a local kindergarten in the Pudong New Area Saturday afternoon to unveil its French culture week.

Raffarin made his way to Shanghai just after meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing. 

Citing the words of Wang Jiasheng, the founder of Freesoul Kindergarten, Raffarin came here to meet "the future of China."

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Raffarin is greeted by kids at the gate of Freesoul Kindergarten.

After visiting classrooms where children were preparing for French Culture Week activities, Raffarin heard the children's chorus of traditional Chinese song "Jasmine" and tasted jasmine tea brewed by the children in an elegant Chinese tea ceremony.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Raffarin talks with students preparing for French culture week activities.

During a relaxed chat with Raffarin, the children raised some questions about French cuisine, the kindergarten's French name, and Raffarin's Chinese name, which all received his patient replies.

In replying to a question related to the snail, Raffarin used a French proverb to encourage the children to take small steps to achieve their goals.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Raffarin giving gifts to the kids.

Raffarin hoped that the friendship between China and France would be handed down from generation to generation. He said he looks forward to more educational exchanges between China and France, especially between children.

"The arrival of Raffarin opens the doors to French culture, informing the children of current events and the great efforts our generation have made in the friendship between China and France," said Wang. 

Wang also mentioned that the children’s innocent and brave talks with Raffarin let them know they are the future and that they can change the world.

"There is still a long way to go to have kids embrace the world and that’s why the stage of early childhood is very important."

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Raffarin signs on a board displaying pictures and other works the children made for culture week events.

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