|France fights HIV discrimination with ิfree hugsีFrance will call on its citizens this Sunday to overcome their famous aloofness and reserve by physically embracing perfect strangers who hoist signs in the street saying, in English, าfree hugs.ำ
The initiative is part of the ministry of healthีs ongoing effort to combat discrimination against those infected with AIDS or HIV.
าAIDS has been present in our society for a quarter of a century and we wanted to find a way to renew awareness,ำ explained Philippe Lamoureux, director of the ministryีs national institute for prevention and education, in an interview.
Shock campaigns were effective up to a point, he said, but had reached their limit and started to become counterproductive.
When Lamoureux saw a าfree hugำ campaign on an Australian website, he immediately thought it might work in France.
He and his colleagues, however, did hesitate o n one point: what language to use. A direct translation into French, it was decided, would not work.
าWe looked at what had happened in other countries,ำ including Brazil, where าfree hugำ movements had successfully taken hold using English, said Lamourueux.
These precedents, plus the fact that – for better or worse – าAnglicisms are more and more common in Franceำ, sealed the decision, he said.
As part of the campaign, two short, documentary-style video clips proving that French people are willing to embrace strangers will be aired on dozens of television stations for 10 days starting on March 11.
A website will also go online on Sunday in which visitors can create an avatar and invite others to give them virtual hugs. Home-made video clips can also be posted on the site.
าWe will keep track of how many hugs are distributed,ำ said Lamoureux.
|Vocabularyperfect, adj: complete; absolute; total โดยสมบูรณ์ อย่างสิ้นเชิง
to hoist, v: to lift; to raise; to erect ยก ชู ตั้ง
to combat, v: to fight; to oppose ต่อสู้ ต่อต้าน
a quarter of a century, n: period of 25 years ช่วงเวลา 1/4 ของศตวรรษ ซึ่งเท่ากับ 25 ปี
up to a point; expression: to a certain degree; for some time เป“นสำนวน หมายถึง ถึงระดับหนึ่ง
to hesitate, v: to stop and think; to be indecisive; to delay; to think twice ลังเล
precedent, n: example; something similar that happened before and can be used as an example ตัวอย่างที่เคยมี หรือ ปรากฏมาก่อน
stranger, n: person we donีt know or have never seen before คนแปลกหน้า
avatar, n: an imaginary online person or personality that represents us on the internet บุคคล หรือ ตัวละครตามจินตนาการที่แทนตัวเราในอินเตอร์เน็ต
to keep track, v: to count; to record ตรวจนับ จดบันทึก