Culture of France

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I have chosen France because I was in this country therefore this country is after my heart and it is one of the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world. France is the country of tremendous beauty, the country of love and art. In addition France is trendsetter.
I want to begin with definition of the term «Culture». Culture — the way of life, especially general customs and beliefs of a particular group of people at a particular time. Culture or a culture consists of the ideas, customs, and art that are produced or shared by a particular society. A culture is a particular society or civilization, especially one considered in relation to its ideas, its art, or its way of life.


Character of Frenchmen
Dos and don’ts
Culture of France
France Festivals and events
Traditions and celebrations
Good Friday
Easter week
Christmas in France
Kissing in France
Gifts in France
Eating and drinking in France

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Culture of France

Features, character, traditions, customs
















             Sotnikova Nagezhda




Table of contents



  1. Introduction
  2. Language
  3. Character of Frenchmen
  4. Stereotypes
  5. Dos and don’ts
  6. Culture of France
  7. France Festivals and events
  8. Symbolism
  9. Traditions and celebrations
    • Good Friday
    • Easter week
    • Easter
    • Christmas in France
    • Kissing in France
    • Gifts in France
    • Eating and drinking in France














  I have chosen France because I was in this country therefore this country is after my heart and it is one of the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world. France is the country of tremendous beauty, the country of love and art. In addition France is trendsetter.

   I want to begin with definition of the term «Culture». Culture — the way of life, especially general customs and beliefs of a particular group of people at a particular time. Culture or a culture consists of the ideas, customs, and art that are produced or shared by a particular society. A culture is a particular society or civilization, especially one considered in relation to its ideas, its art, or its way of life.

     The more you learn about French traditions and culture, the more you will want to learn. France has a long and varied history to draw upon, and countless legends and customs have been passed from generation to generation. In addition, each region of France is quite unique and proudly boasts its own version of French culture. Learning about these cultural traditions is a richly rewarding endeavour and just pure fun. In this report I will tell to you about culture of France, about character of Frenchmen, about their traditions, habits, stereotypes, about list of dos and don’ts and so on.















     A language is a system of sounds and written symbols used by the people of a particular country, area, or tribe to communicate with each other. 

     Communications are the systems and processes that are used to communicate or broadcast information.

     The official language is French, which is by far the majority language, having been imposed on the regional populations since the nineteenth century. Regional languages and dialects such as Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, Alsatian, and Flemish are still in use, and some are taught in regional schools. In addition Language is one of the parts of culture.


Character of Frenchman

   Frenchmen are polite, affable, kind, but quickly become familiar. 
The main feature of the French character — love to the public. Frenchmen are the public people. Public life, public interests are necessary for them, as air and food. Their ardent temperament, enthusiasm and so on are shown especially sharply in public work. He is capable of anything he may stakes his all for public ideas. Frenchmen can speak clearly and beautifully. The Frenchman has the refined form of conversation and the reference; it is extremely sociable, talkative. The Frenchman differs cheerful temper, cheerfulness, he likes a cheerful life, public amusements, celebrations, the dress, shine of conditions. Thanks to his taste and grace France became a trendsetter. In public life the Frenchman shows an ardency and hot temper. In private life Frenchman has characteristics such as diligence, economy, thrift, he likes a comfort and material welfare. The Frenchman isn't afraid to work and he has great staying power in a work, but his work is means achieve a good, comfortable life. He is a very thrifty and economical for this purpose .




     Stereotype is set concept of people which is driven by both the public perception and the individual experience which is analyzed on the grounds of cultural similarities

The French are arrogant.


“Never trust the French,” they say. When it comes to national stereotypes, the French suffer the most. Only the French think that they are not arrogant. Outside France, ask any random guy who the chestiest people are and they are likely to include the French with a passion.

    However, do they really think highly of themselves to the point that they get the ire of foreign nationals? One argument that is often mentioned is that an average Frenchman do not smile at strangers. The truth is, it doesn’t mean that they are rude. It’s just not part of their culture. Unlike others who wear a smile all day, the French do not show emotions that they do not feel. No one is required to smile in France and it has nothing to do with being polite or rude.


    Moreover, if the French are so drowned in their mightiness, how come they are humble enough to donate to countries in need more than any other European nation? According to “The Economist,” France is the third largest aid donor in the world, after the US and Japan. That is hardly what anyone would call “arrogant.”

     Perhaps it’s about time that we stop perpetrating unfounded myths about other people and accept that mankind is a mixture of fine, unique individuals with different ways of living life. We should avoid branding a certain nationality with a negative notion for it can be offensive and dangerous. But maybe for some of us, they are stereotypes for a reason. Maybe there’s some truth in it. Maybe it applies to some people. But the problem with stereotypes is that they tend to generalize.


    And remember that a person is judged not according to his race and definitely not his nationality. Humanity is defined by how good we have been to ourselves and other people, not by the country we live in.


Dos and don’ts


   Don't begin a conversation with a Frenchman in English, no matter how rusty your French is. It's the best way to assure that he'll make no attempt to reply in English, even if he knows some. The French take pride in their language, and the best way to show your respect for that is to do your best to speak French - even if it's just a few, badly pronounced words. What matters is that you've shown yourself as polite. Many a Frenchman will then come to your rescue in English. If you work in a French company, do make an effort to gradually improve your French. English is still seen as a rival language that threatens the position of French as a world language (some still have the illusion) and undermines the purity of French by sneaking in words like ferry-boat, hamburger, and meeting.

   Don't start your day in a French office by walking in, maybe saying "Hi" to everybody, and then heading straight for your desk. Do walk along to the colleagues you work closest with, including the manager if you pass his office, shake their hands and say, "bonjour Jean-Pierre," or whatever the name is (there is a high statistical probability that you will find at least one Jean-something at work). While this may seem strange to you, it's normal for the French, and it's rude not to do it. Throughout the day, when you meet someone you know reasonably well in a corridor the first time, repeat the bonjour-handshake ritual, but never say bonjour to the same person more than once on the same day. It's sometimes difficult to remember exactly with whom you've already shaken hands and you can sometimes find people exchanging opinions on whether or not they've already said bonjour.

    Don't think you can do all your shopping, banking, and administration during your lunch break. Except in major urban zones, everything is closed during the lunch hours, which can last anywhere between one and three hours. Most supermarkets remain open everywhere, though, sans interruption, while banks close even in Paris. As a general rule, you won't be able to get anything done between noon and 2 p.m. but don't call anyone at 11:55 either, as he or she would already be closing down for lunch. In France, closing time means the time by which you must have finished all your matters and left; not the latest time you can begin something. In shops the personnel will round up remaining customers 10 to15 minutes before closing time and chase them to the checkout. The French will not accept your trying to push work into their lunch break, which is sacred.

    Do take your regular lunch and coffee breaks, even if you're busy and working on something important. Working your butt off is not seen as an ideal in France, and you might be considered a bit weird if you do.


   Do take the holidays and vacations you're entitled to. Everybody else does. The lunch break can be an occasion to build up your network that you should not waste. Needless to say, "brown bag" lunches are unknown in France.


    Don't try to impress others with how much wealth you have. It would be seen as bad taste, and it's not an accepted measure for social status. How highly you're considered is based on your position, which university you went to, your diplomas, and who you socialize with. Typical discussion subjects are culture, food, vacation, politics, family, office gossip etc. Not money!


    Don't be disappointed it you're not invited to a barbecue straightaway. The French take their time before they decide whom they want to socialize with. They could find it embarrassing if you invite them to your home too soon in what you would find a friendly gesture. Social relations are much more at a one-to-one level than the American "let's have a barbecue everybody." Building up a network therefore takes time and is more difficult than in the U.S.


And remember-if you are Muslim you must know that in the last year Frenchmen passed a law that Muslim mustn’t wear yashman because it is scares people.


    Don't be frightened by all the rules. The French will help you along to adapt, so long as you show a minimum of tact and respect, but they may be too polite to tell you directly if you goofed. Look out for subtle hints and unspoken words. Absence of approval or polite phrases may be meant as disapproval. The French are less direct than Americans. But in the end, be yourself, let yourself flow along with the French way of life, and you will have a marvelous experience in France.


Culture of France


   France connotes different meanings to different people. While some associate France with romanticism and aesthetic beauty; others link arts and culture with the country. France in fact is a citadel of the Western culture. French Revolution taught the world the concepts of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. The writings of noted French writers like Charles Baudelaire and philosophers like Voltaire and others have left indelible marks on the thinking of not just their contemporaries but to the new age people as well. Thanks to the genius of the French writers, world literature has been enriched with immortal writings like "The Count of Monte Cristo", "Don Quixote", "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" and many more. Arts and crafts of France has further been enriched by the contribution of famous film directors like Jean Luc Godard, Alan Resnais. Read on France travel guide to get a view in a nutshell of the culture of France.

French architecture is actually an offshoot of the Gothic architecture. The architectural style evolved dynamically, with the previous Baroque style being replaced by the Gothic style. Even Gothic style of architecture was later phased out and the avant-garde style took its place. Notable examples of the architecture of France are Eifel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame de Chartres and many more. These important architectural examples have contributed in forming a vibrant culture of France.

Cuisine of France is as varied as the country itself. Different regions specialize in different cuisines. Though ingredients differ, with northwest France uses more of butter, cream and apples and southwest France makes more use of pork fat, duck fat, mushrooms and gizzards; the taste too differs considerably.

Though there is no official state religion in France, Christianity is mostly practiced. Music and dance of France equally catches attention of other people. All these factors have enriched culture of France.


                    France Festivals & Events


       France has always been the cynosure of Europe, be it art and architecture, or food and fashion. The country is always bustling with one hot activity, festival or event after another. It is a hard task to narrow down the innumerable activities down to one page. A few of the festivals and events in France have with time become a part of the culture of France. If you are a leisure tourist looking forward to a great time in the country, it is advisable to note beforehand the France festivals and events, forming a part of France travel guide. Here is a brief summary to some of the notable France festivals and events.


Christened the most delectable competition in the world, Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie or World Pastry Cup in France brings together 66 of the world's top pastry chefs from 22 countries in a display guaranteed to provide ample excitement to your taste buds. Each country is represented by a pastry-cook, a chocolate maker and an ice-cream maker, who have nine hours to prepare chocolate dessert, a fruit and ice-cream dessert presented on an ice sculpture base, and a typical plate dessert from their. The pieces are then be marked for their taste and artistic quality by a panel of international judges.

Launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau in France is another of the famous France festivals and events, which celebrates the official release of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine on the third Thursday in November of every year, a significant date among wine tasters all over the world.

For one night only the numerous museums and attractions of the country participate in Museums by Night in France, which means they remain open long past usual hours and offer admission for free. You can spend the days sightseeing and the nights visiting the museums at no charge.

Armistice Day in France or Jour de l'Armistice de 1918 is a public holiday to commemorate the end of World War I. It is also a day of remembrance for the many people who have lay down their lives in the many wars since.

The main France festivals and events are

Armistice Day in France - Music Festival in France - Semaine du Gout (Week of the Taste) in France - The Fete du Nautisme in France - Museums by Night in France - Launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau in France - World Pastry Cup in France

If you are lucky enough to visit the country during some exciting event like the Fete du Nautisme or Semaine du Gout (Week of the Taste), you are in for a magnificent treat.





Numerous national symbols are associated with the French Revolution, which established the nation as a democratic republic at the end of the eighteenth century. They were further reinforced during the Third Republic at the turn of the twentieth century. Known as the tricoleur, the flag is blue, white, and red. White is associated with monarchy, red with the republic, and blue with Charlemagne, Clovis, and other early rulers. La Marseillaise became the official national anthem in 1946.  The Gallic rooster  became associated with the nation during the Renaissance. It was used at first as a royal symbol but during the revolution came to stand for the identity of the nation. Used variously over time and sometimes associated with the figure of Liberty, the rooster came to be known as a symbol of the nation during World War I. Today it is often used by sports teams.

     Marianne is a symbol of the republic as a motherland and stands for the rallying cry of "liberty, equality, fraternity." 


Traditions and celebrations


   Good Friday - the Friday before Easter - is not a public holiday in France, so it's a day for business as usual in shops, museums and restaurants - though perhaps a bit less busy than on a normal Friday, since many Parisians take a long weekend and head off to the country for this first holiday weekend of the year. The official holiday is on Easter Monday which, in France as throughout Europe, is a public holiday.


    Easter week is not necessarily a school holiday week; French spring school holidays do not necessarily include the Easter week or Easter weekend, it depends on the region and on when Easter falls. Easter Monday being a public holiday, many shops and public monuments such as Museums will be closed; but the Louvre is open on Easter Monday, as on Easter Sunday - though beware of the crowds on these days. Check here for other Paris tourist attractions.


    Easter is celebrated in France much as it is in America, with various religious ceremonies commemorating the rebirth of Jesus, and cultural customs having to do with rabbits, chocolates and eggs.



Easter Games

   Raw eggs are rolled down a gentle slope. The surviving egg is declared a victory egg, and symbolizes the stone being rolled away from Jesus' tomb.

Children might play a game of tossing raw eggs in the air. The first child to drop and break his egg is the loser, and in some versions, must pay a penalty.


Christmas in France

    The celebration of Christmas in France varies by region. Most provinces celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, which is a bank holiday. However, in eastern and northern France, the Christmas season begins on 6 December. Epiphany is usually celebrated the 6th of January, but in some places in France it is celebrated the first Sunday after January 1st.


   French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace, in the hopes that Père Noël will fill them with gifts. Candy, fruit, nuts, and small toys will also be hung on the tree overnight. In some regions there's also Père Fouettard who gives out spankings to bad children (sort of the equivalent of Santa Claus giving coal to the naughty).

     In 1962, a law was passed decreeing that all letters written to Santa would responded to with a postcard. When a class writes a letter, each student gets a response.

Kissing in France

     To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question. It’s best to take it slowly when negotiating this social minefield and to take your cue from the French. You shouldn’t kiss when first introduced to an adult, although young children will expect to be kissed. If a woman expects you to kiss her, she will offer her cheek. (Note that men kiss women and women kiss women but men don’t kiss men, unless they’re relatives or very close friends.) The ‘kiss’ is deposited high up on the cheek; it isn’t usually a proper kiss, more a delicate brushing of the cheeks accompanied by kissing noises, although some extroverts will plant a great wet smacker on each side of your face.

     The next question is which cheek to kiss first. Again, take your cue from the natives, as the custom varies from region to region (and even the natives aren’t always sure where to start).

    Finally, you must decide how many kisses to give. Two is the standard number, although many people kiss three or four or even six times. It depends partly on where you are in France. The British travel agent Thomas Cook recently published a French Kissing Guide, according to which four kisses are the norm in northern France, three in the mid-west and southern central areas and two in the west, east and extreme south, a single kiss being acceptable only in the department of Charente-Maritime! However, much also depends on how well you know the person concerned: acquaintances might kiss twice, friends four times and old friends six!

Kissing usually takes place when you take your leave, as well as when you greet someone. (It’s also customary to kiss everyone in sight - including the men if you’re a man - at midnight on New Year’s Eve!)


Gifts in France

If you’re invited to dinner by a French person (which is a sign that you’ve been accepted into the community), take along a small present of flowers, a plant or chocolates. Gifts of foreign food or drink aren’t generally well received unless they’re highly prized in France such as scotch whisky; foreign wine, however good the quality, isn’t recommended!

Some people say you must never take wine, as this implies that your hosts don’t know what wine to buy, although this obviously depends on your hosts and how well you know them. If you do take wine, however, don’t be surprised if your hosts put it to one side for a future occasion; they will already have planned the wine for the meal and know that a wine needs to settle before it can be drunk.

Flowers can be tricky, as to some people carnations mean bad luck, chrysanthemums are for cemeteries (they’re placed on graves on All Saints’ Day), red roses signify love and are associated with the Socialists and yellow roses have something to do with adultery, and marigolds (soucis) simply aren’t de rigueur. If in doubt, ask a florist for advice.


Eating & Drinking in France

You shouldn’t serve any drinks (or expect to be served one) before all guests have arrived - even if some are an hour or more late! If you’re offered a drink, wait until your host has toasted everyone’s health before taking a drink. Never pour your own drinks (except water) when invited to dinner. If you aren’t offered a drink, it’s time to go home. Always go easy on the wine and other alcohol; if you drink to excess you’re unlikely to be invited back! The French say bon appétit before starting a meal and you shouldn’t start eating until your hosts do. It’s polite to eat everything that’s put on your plate. Cheese is served before dessert.



















    In the end I want to say that France is the most visited country in the world as well as Paris is the most tourist city, and, at last, Eiffel’s Tower - the monument most visited in the world: that is France here the indisputable champion that is quite justified, so it is rich with a variety of monuments and sights, valued tourists and frequently the unique. France is a big variety of landscapes, long lines of oceanic and sea coasts, a temperate climate, set of various monuments, and also prestige of the French culture, kitchen and a way of life. To crown at all I want to give a piece of advice – visit this country and I promise you won’t be sorry for it. This trip will be not forgotten!





















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