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The Culture of France



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  • 1. France
    By Michelle Saunders
  • 2. Greeting in France
    • Greeting people you don’t know- say your name only
    • 3. Say “bonjour” (hello) without the bisou (air-kiss) if you don’t know the person well or not friends with them
    • 4. Women greeting men or women they know - kiss the right cheek to right cheek and left cheek to left cheek
    • 5. Men greeting other men they know - only shake hands
  • 6. Gestures
    -To show that someone is crazy, put your
    index finger to your temple and turn your
    hand back and forth
    -To promise or swear to something, place
    your hand on top of your head
    -To apologize or indicate that you've made a mistake, cover your mouth with your hands
    -Signal a taxi by snapping your fingers
    Gesture: Form a circle with your thumb
    and forefinger and place it over your nose
    Significance: A person is drunk
    Gesture: Playing an imaginary flute
    Significance: Someone is talking to much
    and is becoming annoying
    (Nickles, Greg)
  • 7. Languages
    • Official language of France is
    • 88% of the population speaks
    • 75 different languages in France
    • 8. 24 of these languages are European
    • 9. Rest of the languages include languages from the South American, South Asian and Caribbean regions
    • 10. The policy of France ensures
    that the citizens of the country
    communicate in French
    • Many French people can speak
    at least one foreign language
    (BBC Home)
  • 11. Religions-Roman Catholic 83%-88%-Protestant 2%- Jewish 1%-Muslim 5%-10%-unaffiliated 4%-Roman Catholic church is under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the Conference of French bishops(Whittaker, Andrew)
  • 12. Eating in France
    Breakfast: Consists of coffee, tea or
    chocolate with croissants and bread with butter or jam
    Lunch: Served from noon until 2 pm
    -Can consist of a five course meal or a
    simple salad or sandwich
    Dinner: Served from 7:30 pm onwards
    -Usually a leisurely event, time to spend with the family or with friends
    Tipping: Tips are usually included in the bill, which ranges between 10% and 15%
    -Not expected to leave a tip on the table
    (Whittaker, Andrew)
  • 13. Dining Etiquette and Table Manners
    -Not allowed to bring any friends or pets without asking
    -Fork is held in the left hand while knife is held with the right hand when eating
    -No elbows on the table
    -Cross fork and knife on the plate with the fork over the knife if you’re not finished eating
    -Leave wineglass nearly full if you do not want more
  • 14. Dress Etiquette
    • Dress with care
    • 15. Fashion-conscious
    • 16. Good quality accessories
    • 17. Men wear dark-colored conservative
    suits to make a good impression
    • Women wear either stylish suits or elegant dresses in soft colors
    • 18. Clothes are elegant and classy
    • 19. Backless long dresses and elegant blazers
    • 20. Look down on sneakers
  • 21. Weather and Climate
    Weather is determined by the balance of power between oceanic weather systems from the west, and continental anticyclones from the east
    • South along the Mediterranean - Mostly sunny days throughout the year
    • 22. Southwest - Fairly sunny, wet spring, and summers can get very hot and humid
    • 23. Northeast - Cold and mostly rainy falls and winters
    • 24. Northwest - Mild summers and winters with rain mixed in
    • 25. Paris - can get extremely hot in the summer with very little wind to cool things down
  • 26. Wedding Traditions
    • Ritual Bath
    • 27. Everything is white
    • 28. Inside the Church, the couple stand beneath a silk canopy
    • 29. Outside the church, laurel leaves are laid down as a bridal path
    • 30. Bride and bridegroom toast each other from an engraved, two-handled cup
    • 31. Chiverie is a wedding night prank
    (World Wedding
  • 32. Family values and relationships
    -Each member has certain responsibilities and duties
    -Extended family provides support
    -Practical approach towards marriage
    -Few children
    -French people are private
    - themselves around family and close friends
    -Friendships have requirements
  • 33. Holidays and festivals in France
    • The French enjoy 11 national
    holidays annually
    • Bastille Day (July 14th) was
    incorporated in 1789
    • Armistice Day (November 11) was
    incorporated in 1918
    • Labor Day (May 1) was
    incorporated in 1935
    • Holiday’s nearly every week in the month of May
    • Many regional festivals throughout France
    • 34. Every French citizen is entitled to 5 weeks of vacation
    (Nickles, Greg)
  • 35. Activities in France
    -Horse riding
  • 36. Government
    • Centralized government
    • 37. President is elected for a five-year term
    • 38. Semi-presidential system
    • 39. Based on the French Constitution of the fifth Republic
    • 40. Declares itself as "an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic"
    • 41. The National Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament
    (Sait, Edward McChesney)
  • 42. Transportation
    -Approximately 478 airports
    -All major cities in France have
    -Approximately 500,000 miles of serviceable roadway
    -Paris region has most dense network of roads and highways
    Public (Metro/Tram/Bus)
    -Railway network of France stretches 19,000 miles
    • All major tourist attractions can easily be reached
  • 43. Works Cited
    1. BBC Home. Languages Across Europe. Copyright 2010 BBC. Accessed Online March 1, 2010.
    2. Transportation in France. Copyright 1997-2010 Accessed
     Online March 1, 2010.
    3. Etiquette in France. Copyright 2004-2009 Accessed
     Online March 5, 2010.
    4. Weather and Climate. Copyright 1995-2009 Accessed Online March
     12, 2010.
    5. FrenchEntré French property, Living in France, Holidays in France, Property for sale in
    France and France rentals. Copyright 2003 – 2010 FrenchEntré Accessed Online
    March 7, 2010.
    6. Kwintessential. France - French Culture, Customs and Etiquette. Copyright 2010
    Kwintessential. Accessed Online March 3, 2010.
    7. Nickles, Greg. France the Culture. Copyright 2000. Ontario: Crabtree Publishing Company.
    Pages 75-81.
    8. Sait, Edward McChesney. Government and Politics of France. Copyright 2009 General Books.
    Pages 38-43.
    9. Whittaker, Andrew. France: be fluent in French life and culture. Copyright 2008. New York:
    Thurgood Publishing. Pages 120-124.
    10. World Wedding Wedding Customs in France. Copyright 2002-2004. Accessed
    Online March 20, 2010.