Her Excellency Sonia Barbry newly appointed French Consul General in Mumbai

A former French teacher of Benaras Hindu University (BHU), Her Excellency Sonia Barbry has recently joined as new French Consul General in Mumbai, replacing her predecessor Yves Perrin. It?s a proud moment for India and France as she becomes the first woman to hold this position. The French Consulate in Mumbai was established 153 years ago, in year 1865. As a CG of France in Bombay, she is in charge of prominent states of India namely Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Daman and Diu. She and her entire team would perform their diplomatic duties under the authority of the Ambassador of France in India, His Excellency Alexandre Ziegler, in order to exercise the priorities of France in India. It is worth mentioning here, that she has a good command on Hindi language and speak it with accurate fluency. Her proficiency in Hindi language will neutralised language barrier.


Prior to coming to Mumbai as CG, she was based in Paris, headed the department responsible for the implementation of France?s relations with the countries of South Asia namely India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives. She has also worked in French Embassy in Tel Aviv, capital of Israel between 2011 -2015; she was responsible for press and communication. She was triumphed in maintaining cordial relation with press.


Sonia Barbry began her diplomatic career in 2004 when she joined the French Ministry of Foreign affairs, and never looked back thereafter. She was in charge of France?s policy with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Before being deputed to India, she spent 4 years as a political adviser at the French Embassy in New Delhi. She has handled various important portfolios in developing historical ties between two countries. She was actively involved in meeting of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s visit to France and President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron visit to India.


Sonia Barbry was a French teacher at India?s prominent Benaras Hindu University (BHU). She is graduated from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (in Hindi literature and civilization of South Asia). During her stay in Benaras India, she has learnt Yoga, Bharat Natyam, Dhrupad and Hindi too. After completing her studies in France, she was keen to take a short break of one year and came to India. She was fascinated of Indian culture, so that one year?s period turned out to be two and half year.


Sonia Barbry says ?I am excited to be in historic and lively city of Mumbai, A city that never sleeps. My love for India began 22 years ago when I was a teenager. I was dreaming day and night to come to India, I don?t know why. My affection towards India was so strong that unknowingly, I bought Indian furniture and a small Idol of Shiva Natraja?.


She further added ?While studying in Institute of Political Studies in Paris, I could manage to come to Chennai as intern through UNICEF, for 3 months. During that period I travelled to Tamilnadu, Kerala and other southern areas made me fell in love with country and its culture unconditionally. I have attended many music and dance performances which were really fascinating and wonderful. All these events were turning point in my life and I decided to be a part of India in future, so here I am, to play my second inning after Delhi?.


She also said ?I am a very big lover of India and love Mumbai very much. It?s a culturally diverse and dynamic city, city of dreams full of life. I am delighted to meet people from cultural, literature, artists, curator, gallery owners and people from film industry and others too. So, I am here, in my tenure as CG I will enhance relation between two countries and take it to next level. I am eagerly looking forward to visit different states in my jurisdiction and meet with its wonderful people in forthcoming months?.

Author : Sitaram Mewati - Award Winning Journalist

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