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"I attended the Cérémonie d'Installation of new French president François Hollande"

Politics Not vetted story Vetted story Paris, France - 15 May 2012

François Hollande was sworn in as new French president on May 15, 2012. Our former intern Isabel Leon was there.

"I attended the Cérémonie d'Installation of new French president François Hollande at the Elysée Palace. Here, the powerhold of France would be officially handed over from President Nicolas Sarkozy to Socialist President-Elect François Hollande. I accompanied some people from the press to this event at the palace, which is usually closed to the public but open to journalists during special events like this one.

As a foreign student, I feel I got to see a lot of France's culture and traditions by attending this event. The Republican guard, wearing impressive costumes, did many routines and ceremonies, important figures (which none of the journalists around me recognized but snapped photos anyway) walked dully through the red carpet (one man who must be no younger than 85 walked at the pace of a snail, so others passed him), and some even waved and posed for the cameras, which made me strangely feel like I was at the Cannes Festival.

Crowds outside cheered "Sarkozy...merci" showing their ongoing loyalty to the former president. When Hollande and Sarkozy met and shook hands, they went inside for an hour and everybody just waited patiently. I guess all you can do is wonder what they are talking about behind closed doors, secrets to be shared?

Then they came out, walked out their final walk down the red carpet, and it was over. The press did their live shots and cleared out quickly. This historical ceremony began, and it ended."

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