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The Sound Kitchen

Avignon’s famous residents

Audio 09:39
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade
17 min

Are you one of this week’s lucky winners? Are you ready to try your luck on today’s quiz question? Click on that little “Listen” arrow above, and join in!


 Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday, at 4:52, 6:22, and 7:52 universal time. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and tune in every Saturday.

Did you know there is such a thing as official RFI Clubs? Up until now, they have always been French clubs, but now we want to open them up to all our listeners … and open up we have! There are already seven brand new official RFI Clubs: in Kisii, Kenya, started by Mogire Machuki; in Dhaka, Bangladesh, started by Wali Ahad, and in Holguin, Cuba, started by Ivan Carralero. There are four new RFI clubs in India: in Murshidabad, with Mr Najimuddin as president; in Medinipur, with Dr SS Bhattacharya at the helm; in Hyderabad / Miryalguda, headed up by Mrs P Sreelatha Reddy, and Sandeep Jawale has created an RFI Club in Maharashtra. Welcome one and all!

What about you? You can either transform your existing radio club into an RFI Club, or create a brand new one. Then, anytime you plan special events – be they humanitarian, cultural, or sports-oriented; if you want to host an environmental program, or a day dedicated to health issues - RFI will help you with ideas and free promotional items for your members. If you are interested in either changing your radio club into an RFI club, or if you would like to create a brand-new RFI club, the first step is to read the RFI Club Charter:

If you are willing to abide by the Charter, write to my colleagues in the Listener Relations Department and let them know. They’ll help you with the rest of the process.

Sébastien Bonijol
Chrystelle Nammour
RFI – Relations Auditeurs
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130, Issy-les-Moulineaux

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Click to see the wall of listeners

Which leads me to another item of interest: the RFI Listeners Club. Our Listener Relations department has decided that everyone can belong to the RFI Listeners Club, but you will only be issued a membership number, not an identity card. Only members of an official RFI Club will have identity cards. As an RFI Listeners Club member, you will still win a premium prize if you win a Sound Kitchen quiz. So no reason not to join – although having an official RFI Club is really far cooler.

If you only want to be a member of the general RFI Listeners Club – that’s great, too! Just send me (or Sébastien and Chrystelle) your full name, your postal mailing address, and if you have one, your e-mail address. You’ll receive an RFI Listeners Club number; include that number every time you enter a quiz, and if you are a winner, you’ll get a premium prize!

Nota bene: The RFI Listeners Club used to be called “Club 9516”. So if you are a member of the “Club 9516”, you are already a member of the RFI Listeners Club. Your “Club 9516” membership number still works – no need to reapply. Just include your membership number on your quiz entries.

Look at that beautiful link to the Sound Kitchen Listeners Cookbook! I’m very happy about it, and I hope you enjoy looking at it – and trying out some recipes. Please feel free to send in any comments you have, and we would love it if you’d send in photos – both of you, and of your completed dish. Don’t hesitate to use the “zoom” tool on countries where there are a lot of forks; that will separate them so you can read the titles easier. Click on the title, and the recipe will appear.

Today’s question was read on 6 July, by RFI’s Rosslyn Hyams, who was helping us cook that day. Rosslyn was on her way to Avignon, in the southeast of France, to report on the Avignon Arts Festival, and she asked you a question about Avignon’s history. In the 14th century, Avignon had nine consecutive, very powerful “residents”. Seven of these nine “residents” were considered legitimate, but the last two were not … Rosslyn asked you who lived in Avignon from 1309 to 1403, and what this period is called. She even gave you a hint: many of the Avignon Arts Festival performances take place at their former palace…

The answer is: Roman Catholic popes. It all started in 1305, when a Frenchman, who became Clement V, was elected pope. He decided not to move to Rome, the traditional seat of the Pope, but to stay in France – in Avignon. Clement V was followed by six more French popes, all of whom stayed in Avignon … this all lasted for close to 70 years.

Then there were troubles between the French crown and the papacy, and in 1376, Pope Gregory XI moved the papal court back to Rome.

The drama was not over though: the pope who followed Gregory XI – Urban VI (still with me?) - quarreled with the Italian cardinals, and back to Avignon the papacy went, making a second line of Avignon popes. These two popes were not considered legitimate. There were even three after those two, who were called “anti-popes”. At any rate, everyone kissed and made up in 1417, (or got burned at the stake – just kidding!) and the papacy returned to its traditional seat in Rome. This period is sometimes referred to as the “Babylonian captivity of the papacy” – or in a less inflammatory manner, the Avignon Papacy. Interesting thing is, Avignon remained a part of the Papal States until the French Revolution! It only became part of France, part of the French Republic, in 1791.

The winners are: Gamaliel N. Endjala, from Windhoek, Namibia; Pradip Kumar Basak of the Shortwave World Radio Listeners Club in West Bengal, India; Mrs. Ayesha Zafar from Karachi, Pakistan; Mamun, from Rajshahi, Bangladesh, and RFI Listeners Club member Father Steve Wara, from the Cistercian Abbey in Bamenda, Cameroon.

Congratulations, winners!

This week’s question is about a speech … a very famous speech which was given 50 years ago, on 28 August 1963. In it, we hear the phrase “I have a dream …”. I want you to write in with the name of the man who gave the speech, and where he was when he gave it.

Send in your answer by 30 September, and be sure and tune in on 5 October to see if you are one of the lucky winners! As always, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer … and, if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


To our new mailing address:

Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux


By SMS … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen cell phone !!!!

Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text - and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Remember, it’s not just the quiz which wins you a prize. If your essay goes on the air, you’ll find a package in the mail from the Sound Kitchen. Write in about your community heroes – the people in your community who are quietly working to make the world a better place, in whatever way they can. As listener Pramod Maheshwari said: “Just as small drops of water can fill a pitcher, small drops of kindness can change the world.”

I am still looking for your “This I Believe” essays, too. Tell us about the principles that guide your life … what you have found to be true from your very own personal experience. Or write in with your most memorable moment, and/or your proudest achievement. If your essay is chosen to go on-the-air – read by you – you’ll win an RFI radio!

Send your mini book reviews, your musical requests, your secret “guilty” pleasure (mine’s chocolate!), your tricks for remembering things, your favourite quotations and proverbs, descriptions of the local festivals you participate in, your weirdest dream, or just your general all-around thoughts to:

Include a phone number, so I can call you.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

All the best,


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