Petanque Tournament Brings Southern France's Spirit to Bulgaria

Society | June 25, 2012, Monday // 13:55|  views

The second annual petanque tournament in Bulgaria's Sofia, organized by the French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. Photo by French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce

A petanque tournament has been organized in the Bulgarian capital Sofia by the French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.

The second annual tournament of petanque – a popular game that originated in Southern France – took place in the Doctors' Garden in Sofia on June 23, 2012.

The organizers from the French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce said they increased the number of participants to 40 teams of 3 players each after the tournament's first edition in 2011 attracted substantial public interest.

The teams did feature players from the management of French business in Bulgaria, the French Embassy in Sofia, and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

The petanque tournament in downtown Sofia recreated the atmosphere of Southern France, with each of the nine pitches bearing the name of a French city that is emblematic for the game such as Marseilles, Nice, Montpelier, Aix-en-Provence, La Ciotat. The tournament also featured traditional French drink pastis, French music, and an exhibit of cars by French producers Citroen, Peugeot, and Renault.

In the tournament's final, the team of the Carrefour hypermarket chain triumphed over the team of French pharmaceutical company Servier.

The winners were awarded by French Ambassador in Sofia Philippe Autie.

"Petanque is a great occasion for the entire French community to come together. In just two years, it has become a major event on our calendar," His Excellency told the participants and guests of the petanque tournament in Sofia.

Petanque is a form of boules where the goal is, while standing inside a starting circle with both feet on the ground, to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack. It is also sometimes called a bouchon (literally "cork") or le petit ("the small one"). The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel, but can also be played on grass, sand or other surfaces. Similar games are bocce and bowls.

The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The English and French name p?tanque comes from petanca in the Proven?al dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression p?s tancats meaning "feet together" or more exactly "feet anchored".

The French-Bulgarian Chamber was established in 2004. It is a member of the Union of French Commercial and Industrial Chambers Abroad. It unites 138 members with a total of 20 000 employees in Bulgaria, including some of the largest French and Francophone firms in Bulgaria as well as Bulgarian companies that are active in France.

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Tags: petanque, France, French, petanque tournament, french-bulgarian chamber of commerce, French Ambassador, sofia, Philippe Autie, Servier, Carrefour, Carrefour Bulgaria


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