OSAKA — People in Japan who cannot travel to Europe this summer at least have a chance to sample a bit of its culture here.

Five European organizations are inviting 250 people to a unique event that’s free of charge: European Language Day on Sept. 19. The one-day event offers 16 mini-language classes in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and Catalan. Each class is designed for beginners and lasts just 20 minutes. Participants can take up to two different classes.

A 10-minute flamenco guitar and dance performance will be held three times during the day while European food, including French sandwiches and German sausages, will be served. Bernard Catrysse, one of the event organizers and the director of the Belgium Flanders Exchange Center in Tennoji Ward here, said that as European unification is progressing, Japanese people have become more interested in Europe as not only a cultural entity but also an economic center. “Staying in the Kansai region, we try to contribute to Japanese interests in Europe,” he said.

Other organizers of the event are Alliance Francaise d’Osaka, the British Council English School, Goethe-Institut Kansai and Centre Catala de Kansai. Each organizer is supported by its own government. Those who wish to participate must apply to the European Language Day Executive Committee by Aug. 21. For more information, call (06) 773-8850.

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