Connaissez-vous la France ?
Do you know France?
Charmi Doshi- 9A
Introduction to France.
France , officially the French Republic (French:République
française ), is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western
islands. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean
Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from
the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to
as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of
its territory. It is the largest country in Western Europe and the
third-largest in Europe as a whole, and it possesses the secondlargest exclusive economic zone in the world, covering
11,035,000 km2 (4,260,000 sq mi), just behind that of the United
States (11,351,000 km2 / 4,383,000 sq mi).
France has its main ideals expressed in the Declaration
of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French
Republic is defined as indivisible, secular, democratic
and social by its constitution. France is one of the
world's most developed countries. France is the
wealthiest nation in Europe – and the fourth wealthiest
in the world – in aggregate household wealth. France
enjoys a high standard of living as well as a high public
education level, and has also one of the world's
longest life expectancies. France has been listed as the
world's "best overall health care" provider by the World
Health Organization. It is the most visited country in
the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually.
France has the world's fourth largest nominal military
budget, the third largest military in NATO and EU's
largest army. France also possesses the third
largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world – with
around 300 active warheads as of 25 May 2010– and
the world's second largest diplomatic corps (second only
to that of the United States). France is a founding
member of the United Nations, one of the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council, and a member of
the Francophonie, the G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, and
the Latin Union. It is also a founding and
leading member state of the European Union and the
largest EU state by area. In 2011, France was listed 20th
on the Human Development Index and 24th on
the Corruption Perceptions Index (2010).
National Animal of France- Gallic rooster
National Fruit of France- Apple
National Flower of France- Iris
Motto of FranceLiberté, égalité, fraternité
(Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)
the Latin Francia, which means "country of
the Franks". There are various theories as to the
origin of the name of the Franks. One is that it is
ProtoGermanic word frankon which translates
as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the
Franks was known as a francisca. Another
proposed etymology is that in an ancient
Germanic language, Frank means free as
opposed to slave.
Fashion has been an important industry and cultural export of
France since the 17th century, and modern "haute couture"
originated in Paris in the 1860s. Today, Paris, along with London,
Milan, and New York City, is considered one of the world's fashion
capitals, and the city is home or headquarters to many of the
premier fashion houses. The expression Haute couture is, in
France, a legally protected name, guaranteeing certain quality
The association of France with fashion and style (French: la mode)
dates largely to the reign of Louis XIV when the luxury goods
industries in France came increasingly under royal control and the
French royal court became, arguably, the arbiter of taste and style
in Europe. But France renewed its dominance of the high fashion
(French: couture or haute couture) industry in the years 1860–1960
through the establishing of the great couturier houses such as
Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy.
Louis Vuitton S.A.
headquarters at Paris,
Popular sports played in France include football, judo,
tennis and basketball. France has hosted events such as
the 1938 and1998 FIFA World Cups, and hosted the 2007 Rugby Union
World Cup. Stade de France in Paris is the largest stadium in France
and was the venue for the 1998 FIFA World Cup final, and hosted the
2007 Rugby World Cup final in October 2007. France also hosts the
annual Tour de France, the most famous road bicycle race in the
world. France is also famous for its 24 Hours of Le Mans sports
car endurance race held in the Sarthe department. Several major tennis
tournaments take place in France, including the Paris Masters and the
French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
In the last decades, France has produced a high number of world-elite
basketball players, most notably Tony Parker. The France national
basketball team has won silver at the FIBA EuroBasket 2011, its best
performance in over 60 years. The national team further won two
Olympic Silver Medals, one in 2000 and one in 1948.
FOOD AND POLITICS OF
Presented by – Loveleen kaur
HISTORY OF FOOD
The French have always been proud of their
sophisticated way of cooking. Fertile soil
provides fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains,
and meat, nearly year-round. The soil is also
suitable for growing grapes, which are used for
making some of the finest wines in the world.
Food and alcohol play important roles in French
society—the way a person eats often reflects
their French heritage, region of birth, social
status, and health.
FOODS OF THE FRENCH
The baguette, a long, thin loaf of crusty bread, is
the most important part of any French meal.
Everyone at the table is expected to eat a piece.
It is eaten in a variety of ways, including being
used to make sandwiches. The regions of France
have varying cuisine: in Brittany (northwestern
France), the main dish is crêpes (thin pancakes)
with cider; and in the Alsace region (eastern
France near Germany)
a popular dish is cabbage with pieces of sausage,
called la choucroute . The French from the Loire
River Valley eat a special dish made of the Lotte
fish that can only be found in the Loire River. On
the coasts of France seafood is plentiful, including
mussels, clams, oysters, shrimp, and squid. The
French enjoy escargots (snails) cooked with garlic
and butter, roast duck, and rabbit.
POLITICS OF FRANCE
France is a semi-presidential representative
democratic republic, in which the President of
France is head of state and the Prime minister is
the head of the government , and there is a
pluriform, multi party system . Executive power
is exercised by the government. Legislative power
is vested in the government, senate and National
assembly. The judiciary is independent of the
executive and the legislature.
Government- Unitary semipresidential constitutional
President- François Hollande
Prime Minister- Jean-Marc
There is a Victor Hugo street in every
town in France.
At the time of the French Revolution, 75%
of French citizens didn’t speak French as a
France has won the most Nobel Prizes for
Literature than any other country in the
France produces 400 types of cheese.
Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years.
The Eiffel tower was originally intended
to be dismantled and sold as scrap after
French toast and French fries aren’t
The most visited attraction in Paris
isn’t the Eiffel Tower (5.5 million), or
the Louvre (5 million), but Disneyland
Paris at 13 million people.
Gothic architecture's old name was French architecture
The Gothic architecture was the first French style of architecture to be copied in all Europe.
Northern France is the home of some of the most important Gothic cathedrals and basilicas,
the first of these being the Saint Denis Basilica (used as the royal necropolis); other important
French Gothic cathedrals are Notre-Dame de Chartres and Notre-Dame d'Amiens
The kings were crowned in another important Gothic church: Notre-Dame de Reims
Aside from churches, Gothic Architecture had been used for many religious palaces, the most
important one being the Palais des Papes in Avignon.
Some of the greatest examples of Romanesque churches in France are the Saint Sernin
Basilica in Toulouse(largest romanesque church in Europe) and the remains of the Cluniac
The end of the Hundred Years' War marked an important stage in the evolution of French
It was the time of the French Renaissance and several artists from Italy and Spain were
invited to the French court; many residential palaces, inspired by the Italians, were built, but
mainly in the Loire Valley.
Such residential castles were the Château de Chambord, the Château de Chenonceau, or
the Château d'Amboise. Following the renaissance and the end of the Middle Ages, Baroque
Architecture replaced the traditional Gothic style. However, in France, baroque architecture
found a greater success in the secular domain than in a religious one.
The earliest French literature dates from the Middle Ages, when what is now known as modern France
did not have a single, uniform language. There were several languages and dialects and writers used
their own spelling and grammar. Some authors of French mediaeval texts are unknown, such as Tristan
and Iseult and Lancelot-Grail. Other authors are known, for example Chrétien de Troyes and Duke William
IX of Aquitaine, who wrote inOccitan
An important 16th century writer was François Rabelais, whose novel Gargantua and Pantagruel has
remained famous and appreciated until now. Michel de Montaigne was the other major figure of the
French literature during that century. His most famous work, Essais, created the literary genre of the
essay. French poetry during that century was embodied by Pierre de Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay. Both
writers founded the La Pléiade literary movement.
During the 17th century, Madame de La Fayette published anonymously La Princesse de Clèves, a novel
that is considered to be one of the very first psychological novels of all times. Jean de La Fontaine is one
of the most famous fabulist of that time, as he wrote hundreds of fables, some being far more famous
than others, such as The Ant and the Grasshopper.
Jean Racine, whose incredible mastery of the alexandrine and of the French language has been praised
for centuries, created plays such as Phèdre or Britannicus. He is, along with Pierre Corneille (Le Cid) and
Molière, considered as one of the three great dramatists of the France's golden age. Molière, who is
deemed to be one of the greatest masters of comedy of the Western literature, wrotedozens of plays,
including Le Misanthrope, L'Avare, Le Malade imaginaire, and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. His plays have
been so popular around the world that French language is sometimes dubbed as "the language of
Molière" (la langue de Molière), just like English is considered as "the language of Shakespeare".
France has been since the Middle Ages a major focus of knowledge and discoveries.
The University of Paris, founded in the mid-12th century, is still one of the most important
universities of the Western world.
In the 17th century, René Descartes defined a method for the acquisition of scientific
knowledge, while Blaise Pascal became famous for his work on probability and fluid
mechanics. They were both key figures of the Scientific revolution which erupted in Europe
during this period.
The Academy of Sciences was founded by Louis XIV to encourage and protect the spirit
of French scientific research. It was at the forefront of scientific developments in Europe in
the 17th and 18th centuries. It is one of the earliest academies of sciences.
The Age of Enlightenment was marked by the work of biologist Buffon and
chemist Lavoisier, who discovered the role of oxygen in combustion,
while Diderot and D'Alembert published the Encyclopédie which aimed to give access to
"useful knowledge" to the people, a knowledge that they can apply to their everyday life.
Famous French scientists of the 20th century include the mathematician and
physicist Henri Poincaré, physicists Henri Becquerel, Pierre and Marie Curie, remained
famous for their work on radioactivity, the physicist Paul Langevin or virologist Luc
Montagnier, co-discoverer of HIV AIDS.
As of 2012, 64 French were awarded a Nobel Prize and 11 received the Fields Medal.
Although the musical creation in France dates back to the Middle Ages, it knew
its golden age in the 17th century thanks to Louis XIV, who employed several
musicians and composers in the royal court. The most renowned composers of
this period include Marc-Antoine Charpentier, François Couperin, MichelRichard Delalande, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Marin Marais, all of them
composers at the court. After the death of the "Roi Soleil", French musical
creation lost dynamism, but in the next century the music of Jean-Philippe
Rameau reached some prestige, and today he is still one of the most renowned
Among current musical events and institutions in France, many are dedicated
to classical music and operas. The most prestigious institutions are the stateowned Paris National Opera (with its two sites Palais Garnier and Opéra
Bastille), the Opéra National de Lyon, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris,
the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. As for
music festivals, there are several events organized, the most popular being
the Eurockéennes and Rock en Seine. The Fête de la Musique, imitated by
many foreign cities, was first launched by the French government in
1982. Major music halls and venues in France include Le Zénithsites present in
many cities and other places in Paris (Paris Olympia, Théâtre Mogador, Élysée
France has historical and strong links with cinema. It is two Frenchmen, Auguste
and Louis Lumière (known as the Lumière Brothers) who created the cinema in
1895. More recently, in 2006, France produced more films than any other
European country. Cannes Festival is one of the most important and famous film
festivals in the world.
France was for centuries, and not so long ago, the cultural center of the
world. But France's dominant position has been overthrown by American culture,
and thus France tries to protect its culture. France has been a strong advocate of
the cultural exception. France therefore succeeded in convincing all the EU
members to refuse to include culture and audiovisuals in the list of liberalized
sectors of the WTO in 1993.
Moreover, this decision was confirmed in a voting in the UNESCO in 2005, and the
principle of "cultural exception" won an overwhelming victory: 198 countries
voted for it, only 2 countries, the U.S and Israel, voted against it.
According to a 2010 BBC poll based on 29,977 responses in 28 countries,
France is globally seen as a positive influence in the world's affairs: 49 %
have a positive view of the country's influence, whereas 19 % have a negative
view. The Nation Brand Index of 2008 suggested that France has the second
best international reputation, only behind Germany.
According to two Pew Research Center polls in 2006 and 2011 based on
around 14 000 responses in 15 countries, French were found to have the
highest level of religious tolerance (when asked about their opinion about
Muslims, Christians and Jews) and to be the country where the highest
proportion of the population defines its identity primarily in term of
nationality and not of religion.
In January 2010, the International Living ranked France as "best country to
live in", ahead of 193 other countries surveyed, for the fifth year running,
according to a survey taking in account 9 criteria of quality of life: Cost of
Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health,
Infrastructure, Safety and Risk and Climate.
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