French People and Culture

If you decided to study in France then you would probably want to know more about French culture and lifestyle. The French follow an attitude of 'live and let live'.  You will discover that French people are normally quite relaxed and fun-loving, but at the same time work hard. The French take some things very seriously, in particular - food and a certain way of life. Their language is extremely important to them and for a good reason. It is a beautifully complex and nuanced language, which makes its learing such a joyful process!

 

Values

The French take immense great pride in their nation and government and are typically offended by any negative comments about their country. Visitors, particularly Americans, often interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude. The French embrace style and sophistication and take pride in the fact that even their public spaces strike a regal tone.The French believe in égalité, which means equality, and is part of the country’s motto: "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité." Many say they place a higher importance on equality than liberty and fraternity, the other two words in the motto.

French cuisine

Food and wine are central to life at all socioeconomic levels, and much socializing is done around lengthy dinners. While cooking styles have changed to emphasize lighter fare, many still associate French cooking with heavy sauces and complicated preparation. Some classic French dishes include boeuf bourguignon — a stew made of beef braised in red wine, beef broth and seasoned with garlic, onions and mushrooms -and coq au vin, a dish made with chicken, Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), button mushrooms, onions and optional garlic.

Clothing

Many French people dress in a sophisticated, professional and fashionable style, but it is not overly fussy. Typical outfits include nice dresses, suits, long coats, scarves and berets. Most Parisians do wear sort of business casual clothing when going to work, and more casual, relaxed clothes on the weekends. However they don’t sacrifice style to comfort. It’s not typical to wear yoga pants or running style leggings to walk in Paris. It is comfortable for sure, but not what Parisians would wear, unless they are actually going to a yoga class or running. Teenagers do wear sports shoes, sweatshirts and low-rise jeans, but usually in a very trendy way. It looks like they grabbed the first thing handy, but they actually put a lot of thought into it — boys and girls alike.

French Art

Art is everywhere in France — particularly in Paris and other major cities — and Gothic, Romanesque Rococo and Neoclassic influences can be seen in many churches and other public buildings. Many of history’s most renowned artists, including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, sought inspiration in Paris, and they gave rise to the Impressionism movement. The Louvre Museum in Paris is among the world’s largest museums and is home to many famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Parisian Neighbourhood

Paris is divided into 20 arrondisemonts (districts) that spiral out like a snail’s shell from the center. The Seine River then cuts across the entire city, dividing it into the right (droit) and left (gauche) banks. Each arrondissement offers its own unique character, just like the different neighborhoods and boroughs of New York. Though you’ll get to know your own arrondissement best, you will inevitably spend time in almost all of them, experiencing Paris’ diversity.

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