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5 Life Lessons With Fabian Forni, Executive Director of Alliance Française de Singapour

How to bring a little bit of France to our Sunny shores


1) Expanding your cultural horizons is key to understanding people

Cultural influences play a role in defining our identity, and impact how we think, feel and act in certain situations. As such, taking the time to explore other cultures – be this through travel, reading, learning a new language, or visiting exhibitions – is key to better understanding others.

As an individual, it is important that we take the time to listen and learn about how others have been raised and taught to see the world. Doing so will have the collective impact of bringing different communities closer together, and ultimately achieving harmony.

This is one of the main reasons that Alliance Française de Singapour prioritises curating a dynamic cultural events programme, including exhibitions, workshops, and films. The most recent is DANCE: A tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, which explores the complexities and intricacies of the world of dance, and specifically ballet.


2) Passing knowledge to the next generation encourages the continued appreciation of history

Passing knowledge to the next generation is vital in ensuring culture and tradition are understood and appreciated for years to come. By sharing what we have learnt, we also help children to be more open-minded and accepting of one another.

It is an honour to work at Alliance Française de Singapour, where a lot of our focus is on teaching the French language. However, to fully embrace the language, we believe it is vital that one understands French culture, which is why we launched our French Excellence programme to share the best of French culture with the local community here in Singapore. Likewise, tying Singaporean influences into our programming helps us to bridge cultural gaps between our two countries.


3) It’s important to be open to trying new things and experiences…

 …whether that’s visiting a new country, tasting a new dish, or meeting new people. I have been very fortunate that my career has enabled me to travel to many interesting places, and I have met some fascinating people along the way. Such experiences enrich our lives, and help us to remain inspired and surprised. Again, understanding how other people and cultures work means that we are able to understand why others behave in certain ways.


4) Continuing to strive for perfection will help you feel fulfilled

Whether it’s through my work at Alliance Française de Singapour, or the pursuit of my personal hobbies and relationships, I always seek to demand the best of myself and to offer the best I can to others. In a work context, this means continuing to ensure we are making excellent experiences accessible for all communities here in Singapore, to enrich the lives of others.


5) Through discovering a new culture, you can be transported to a different place

Many of us have found the recent travel restrictions tricky to live with, however, there are ways for us to continue to explore our cultural horizons and mentally transport ourselves to other parts of the world.

By indulging in French atmosphere at Alliance Française de Singapour, many of our guests have been able to immerse themselves in French culture from right here in Singapore. This certainly helps to keep us feeling positive and excited for the day that we can visit other countries for real!