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Spotlight on France

Kids' chorus shows the path to co-existence in French suburbs

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The 'Cité des Marmots' is taking place in Aubervillers on 11 and 12 May, 2016.
The 'Cité des Marmots' is taking place in Aubervillers on 11 and 12 May, 2016. Willie Vainqueur

The Paris terrorist attacks have put a strain on what’s known as 'vivre ensemble' in France, a kind of co-existence between different ethnic and faith communities, especially in France’s poor working class suburbs known as 'les banlieues'. But this week, 440 children from the '93' area north-east of Paris, which includes some of the region's poorest towns, are showing adults the way.

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The primary school kids are performing songs in seven languages, to reflect the richness and diversity of Mediterranean culture. The event, called the Cité des Marmots, is organised by non-profit Villes des Musiques du Monde along with the Ministry of Education. Marseille-based band La Cie Rassegna took care of coaching the kids, but the six-month project goes way beyond music.

La Cité des Marmots, 12, 13 May at l'Embarcadère, Aubervilliers

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