France; Paris for lovers, Eiffel Tower for travel lovers, fashion for shoppers, cheese, and wine for food and drink lovers. No wonder, therefore, that France ranks first among the world’s most visited countries by tourists, right? However, contrary to popular belief, France is not just the city of Paris. In other words, France has a very different history in terms of culture and tradition and has different regions from each other. The French culture, shaped by its geographical location, intense migrations, and historical accumulations, has certain features that attract everyone from past to present. Let’s take a look at the cultures and traditions of France together!
The dominant religion of France is Catholic and 64% of the population is said to belong to the Roman Catholic religion. Other religions in France include Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. 23-28% of the people in France do not have a group’s choice of religion.
The majority of native citizens in France speak French. The language commonly used by nationals may differ by region. For example; About 3 percent of the population speaks German dialects. And there is a small Dutch-speaking group in the Northeast. While those living on the Italian border can speak Italian as a second language, those living on the French-Spanish border speak Basque. Arabic is known to be the third-largest minority language in terms of speech. Besides, Catalan, Celtic and Occitan dialects are spoken in different parts of the country. As a result, France has various languages as it has a different history and region in terms of culture and tradition.
Another issue is: This fact causes many English-speaking foreigners much anxiety, as the French have a long-held and a rather unfair reputation for not liking to speak English. In reality, plenty of French people, particularly in large cities such as Paris, speak English well and enjoy doing so. But, on the whole, French people dislike being addressed in English by foreigners without first being asked whether they speak English. You’d better know a few French sentences. Before you start chatting with a French, say something in French, and then continue in English. You’ll find that this small effort will be greatly appreciated.
The French take great pride in their nation and government and are often uncomfortable with negative comments about their country. Visitors to the city, especially Americans, often find the French attitude towards foreigners rude. French people who believe in equality believe in the principle of “freedom is equality and brotherhood” as a slogan. Many say that, with the other two words in the slogan, they place more emphasis on equality than freedom and brotherhood.
The French embody romance and passion and have an open attitude towards extramarital gender. Even the country’s top politicians have extramarital affairs and are known not to try to hide them. As a reflection of the secular structure of the country, it is an intense situation that children are born to unmarried couples. In addition to traditional marriage, a marriage of same-gender couples is also legal in France.
French art, which has influenced throughout history in numerous fields such as painting, music, literature, and cinema, has a worldwide reputation. Movements such as rococo and romance originated in France. Dutch painter Van Gogh was so fascinated by the city of Arles in the south of France. He made his famous paintings such as “Night Cafe Terrace” inspired by this city. The first art films were shot in France.
In France, which is adorned with museums, and architectural works reflecting the historical texture, art seems to permeate every inch of the country. A large part of the country’s budget every year is allocated for cultural and artistic activities. While in the center of the metropolis, you can participate in art events almost every hour, and admire the performances of street artists. We are sure that Paris will impress you with its cultural life, richness, and diversity.
Celebrations and Holidays
Paris is famous for its colorful celebrations and folk festivals. Like every Christian, the French traditionally celebrate the days of Christmas and Easter. They also celebrate May 1 Labor Day and is an important day for the French. The French have Bastille Day. The day of Bastille, which is celebrated on 14 July, is very important for the French. The Bastille day is the day the Bastille Castle in Paris was suppressed by the revolutionaries to start the French Revolution.
The most important feature of Bastille Day is the military parade on the morning of July 14. The French Army, always an important force of the time, exhibits its advanced weapons with a ceremony in the morning. As you walk through the colorfully decorated streets of the Bastille, you can imagine going back a few centuries and witnessing the Bastille Prison, now the Opera House, and fill your memory with pleasant memories. In short, Paris is another beautiful on Bastille Day.
Another event, June 21, is the day of a prominent music holiday. This event is heavily anticipated by music lovers from different countries of the world. The squares of the city turn into concert venues throughout the day. During the festival, you can listen to music in different styles, from classical to contemporary electronic music and rock.
Hosted by top brands around the world, France is a very successful country in fashion. The French have always been a tasteful nation that stands out with their style. It is known that even centuries ago, nobles in different countries made an effort to dress in French fashion. The country, which owns many brands such as Dior, Paris, Hermes, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, is attracted by the world in clothing. This situation continues today.
Studying fashion in France means reaching a sufficient level, trends first spread from France to the world, most of the luxury brands are French. Organized twice a year, Paris Fashion Week brings together the fashion shows of world-famous brands. The creations of famous French designers are followed with great enthusiasm in these fashion shows that determine the new trends of fashion.
French cuisine stands out in the categories of diversity and wealth. For a period, Italian influences were seen in the French food culture, which has roots dating back to the Middle Ages. Thereupon, during the Napoleon Bonaparte era, genuine French cuisine was switched. Cooking healthy and delicious food with meticulous presentations is almost a passion for French. Although the term “French cuisine” is generally used to embrace all foods from France, each region has its own specialties and styles, usually based on local ingredients. For example, Burgundy, so close to cattle country, Boeuf Bourguignon (cubed beef cooked in red wine) is a well-known classic. The other example: Normandy’s farmlands and Atlantic coast produce dishes featuring seafood, apples, and such as butter, cream, and cheese.