Exploring French Culture

France, world-renowned for its artistic, architectural, and culinary achievements is a country of true inimitable charm. It is so much more than the city of Paris, by the beautiful countryside, from the Atlantic, to the Alps, and from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea. With its overwhelming abundance of museums, galleries, bistros, and stunning vistas to explore, it’s easy to embrace the French expression joie de vivre, or, “the joy of living” when exploring French culture.

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French People and Community

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French people like to laugh and joke with everybody. Showing feelings, expressing satisfaction and gratitude are customary in French culture. It is typical in French families for family members to talk about themselves and ask for advice. Dinner time is a very important family gathering in French culture. It is often the occasion for all family members to share about their day and discuss the news.

French parents monitor their child’s social life and school results. Children are often required to ask permission to go out and to say where they are going, with whom and to respect a curfew.

Language and Communication Styles

French is the official language of France, but local languages are also spoken: Provencal, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Occitan, Basque, Alsatian and Flemish.

Food in France


Food is very important to the French culture. When they are not eating, they enjoy talking about food, which is delicious and prepared with great care. French enjoy a wide variety of cheeses, as well as local specialties like foie gras (liver paté), escargots de Bourgogne (snails), crêpes, and cassoulet. French pastries and cheeses are also famous around the world.

In French culture, there are three main meals: breakfast is the smallest meal of the day and consists of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with toast, butter, marmalade, and sometimes cereal. A very light meal, the goûter is very often available after school for children. It’s made of bread, butter, chocolate and juice. Dinner is the most important meal. The whole family eats and socializes together, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Lunch and dinner are warm meals and consist of three or four dishes served one after another: first course (soup or salad), main course (meat or fish and vegetables), cheese and/or dessert.

The French observe certain table manners such as not helping yourself before having been invited to do so, not leaving the table before the end of the meal, and helping to clear the table and wash the dishes.

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