Land of Baguettes!

Have you ever wondered why France seems so “perfect” from the perspective of tourists? Stay tuned and read the rest of the article to learn about French culture!

According to the BBC, France is home to about 70 million inhabitants and 88% of these people speak French fluently. The French language is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world with almost 120 million students. The remaining languages spoken in France include German, Dutch, Arabic, Basque (spoken along the France – Spain border), Catalan, Breton (the Celtic language), Occitan, and languages from French colonies including Kabyle and Antillean Creole.

The main religions of France are estimated to include: 83%-88% Catholic, 2% Protestant, 5%-10% Muslim, 1% Buddhist and less than 1% Sikh. There are also many ethnic groups residing in France, such as Bretons, Basques, North Africans, Africans, Eastern Europeans, and Southeast Asians. Euro is the currency French people use in their country. In fact, prices for most good and services including hotels and restaurants are significantly less expensive in the French regions than in Paris. There are also some minor discounts for senior citizens and students under the age of 18 years for domestic transportation, monuments, and selected leisure activities.

From a French citizen’s perspective, French food is extremely delicious. Many European and Mediterranean dishes have similar styles of cooking. If you compare Western and Eastern cuisine, Asians have a tendency to put a lot of different spices in their dishes to make them smell good. Comparing European food with Asian food, it is evident that Asians have a tendency to put lots of different spices in their dishes to make the odor good, but in European cuisine, specifically French cuisine, people rarely find a lot of spices in their meals.

Some classic French dishes include Boeuf bourguignon which is a stew made of beef braised in red wine and seasoned with garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Other well-known dishes include coq au vin, quiche Lorraine, and poulet rôti. An interesting fact is that although many people believe French Fries are from France, they actually originally come from Belgium. This is a fact that a lot of people aren’t aware of. In Thailand, we all can always find 7 eleven every 500 meters, right? Well, in France, bakeries are similarly common. There are plenty of bakeries containing a wide range of bread choices, sweets, sandwiches, cakes, desserts, and occasionally some specialties. Famous bread in France include croissants, baguette, and pain au chocolat. Famous desserts include eclair au café/chocolat, and mille-feuilles.

French people place a great deal of value on their relationship with family members and friends and take great pleasure in having family dinners and lunches on weekends. Families often attend church on Sunday morning to pray together. Art is also a very important aspect of life in France, and works of art can be seen everywhere within the country, especially in Paris. Famous French artists such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas inspired artists to present their work in churches and other public buildings. The Louvre Museum in Paris, which is amongst the world’s largest museum, contains many famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa.

After learning about some major facts about this country, do you want to visit France and experience the culture for yourself?

  • Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “French Culture: Customs & Traditions.” LiveScience, Purch, 21 July 2017, www.livescience.com/39149-french-culture.html.
  • Diggs, Barbara. “Traditions and Culture in France.” International Living, internationalliving.com/countries/france/traditions-and-culture-in-france/.
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