The Sound Kitchen

Le Tricouleur has the blues

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This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the colour of blue in France’s flag. There’s “On This Day”, listener news, lots of good music – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy! 

Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

I am busy cooking up special shows with your musical requests, so get them in! Send your musical requests to Tell us why you like the piece of music, too – it makes it more interesting for us all!

Be sure you check out our wonderful podcasts!

In addition to the breaking news articles on our site,, with in-depth analysis of current affairs in France and across the globe, we have several podcasts which will leave you hungry for more.

There’s Paris PerspectiveAfrica Calling, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have a bilingual series – an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still part of the RFI English service! Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

To listen to our podcasts from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose "Listen to RFI / Podcasts", and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our podcasts from your mobile phone, slide through the tabs just under the lead article (the first tab is “Headline News”) until you see “Podcasts”, and choose your show. 

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

Another idea for your students: my beloved music teacher from St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, Br Gerald Muller, has been writing books for young adults in his retirement – and they are free! There is a volume of biographies of painters and musicians called Gentle Giants, and an excellent biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are also a good way to help you improve your English - that’s how I worked on my French, reading books which were meant for young readers – and I guarantee you, it’s a good method for improving your language skills. To get Br. Gerald’s free books, click here.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department in all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to her so that I know what is going on, too. N.B.: You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

This week’s quiz: On 27 November, I asked you a question about a colour: specifically, the blue of the French flag, which we call “le Tricouleur” for its three colors of white, red and blue. The shade of blue of the original Tricouleur was changed from dark blue to a lighter blue in 1976 by former president Valery Giscard d’Estaing – he switched to the lighter blue so that it matched the colour of the European flag, which displays yellow stars on a light blue background. RFI English journalist David Coffey wrote an article that week about that blue because Macron changed it back to its original blue (and hardly anyone noticed!). I asked you to answer these two questions: what is the name of the new/old blue, the dark blue that Macron changed from the light blue, and why did he change it back? Who does the Elysée say the navy-blue color honors?

The answer is: Pantone Reflex Blue is the name of the darker, original, blue. An official from the Elysée Palace said that the navy blue colour evokes the memory of the heroes who fought in the French Revolution, the trenches of World War I, and in the Resistance during World War II.   

The winners are: Mahesh Jain, the president of the RFI Club Delhi in Delhi, India; Najim Uddin, the president of the RFI International DX Radio Listeners Club in West Bengal, India; RFI Club member Jean-Maurice Devault from Montreal, Canada, and two RFI English listeners from Bangladesh: Rasheduzzaman from Rangpur, and Niloy from the Friends Radio Club in Naogaon.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s programme: “Rose Garden” from Paul Klee: Painted Songs by Jonathan Posthuma, performed by the Mostly Modern Festival; “Aux armes et caetera” by Serge Gainsbourg, based on “La Marseillaise” by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Suite on Estonian Dances for violin and orchestra by Eduard Tubin, performed by Mark Lubotsky (violin), and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 10 January 2022 to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 15 January podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile 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.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here

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