French Culture

Classic French Singers (and Why We Love Them)

“Where there’s music there can be love”
French Proverb

 

French Playing Flute For as long as I remember, I’ve adored the sound and feel of French music. Strange, as until recently, I couldn’t understand a single lyric. Nevertheless, back then; those tiny details didn’t seem to matter. There was something about the tunes, the sound of the language perhaps, that seemed to bypass the rational self and leap at the heart. And so, for a wretched romantic like me, the songs and music induced a world of make believe, a distant memory or imagined love affair. Perhaps, too, it was a sign of things to come. A subconscious prompt telling me I’ve either lived in France in my past life or will do so in the future. Strange, how la vie throws little twists and curveballs in ones direction - and why is it that we only ever realize these things in hindsight?

French women style secrets (Or what to pack for Paris so you don't look like a tourist)

French fashion dressAhhh, the elusive style of la femme française…Subtle, sexy, with a mix of nonchalance, confidence, mystery and effortlessness, her look is never too simple or too sharp.

When I think of an image of her quintessential style, I see a trench, well-worn heels, long hair, red lips, soft fabrics like cashmere, gorgeous shoes and a scarf trailing in the wind, emanating her perfume long after she has passed you in the street.

Her clothes look spontaneous, effortless as if she’s thrown them on without thinking. You see her style is not about perfection as such. There’s something a little neglected about her look, something offbeat, never over-studied.

Her ‘imperfections’ in terms of beauty are thought of as charming. She doesn’t care about her small breasts, she thinks them sexy anyway and shows them off with low décollétes (necklines). No need for a bra.

French Easter (Pâques) Traditions

French Easter TraditionsEaster 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.

The predominant religion in France is Roman-Catholic (90%).  No city, village or town is without a church.  Many of them date back to the twelfth century or before. Most churches have a bell, which is rung joyfully throughout the year marking various events and the passage of time.  On the Thursday before Good Friday, all church bells in France are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus' death.  In fun, children are told that the bell's chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope.

Dating a French Man

French man and woman in the Paris subway

If you haven’t noticed a kind of abnormal obsession about French people you’ve lived under a rock. About the men as well as the women being - how can I say,  somewhat  holier than thou, sexier, better lovers, well cultured, better dressed, cooler, whatever?

I’m not sure where all the excitement stems from but maybe, just maybe there’s a  grain of truth here somewhere.   And even though I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who’s lived in France for the past 3 years - and also from the point of view of being married to one of these fascinating creatures, I promise I won’t be too biased, ok?

Often stereotyped in what the French man is supposed to be like, there are a  number of myths I’d like to examine under Le miscrosope de l’Amour.

A Beginners Guide to the French

French People

A playful Guide to the French, from a "tourist's" perspective.

Tiens! So, you're planning a trip to France and have heard some things (i.e. stereotypes) about the French, right? We offer the following as a light-hearted guide to some typical myths; to share what's true and what's not-so-true, and how to deal with both. Remember a French vacation is one of the best things you can do. The best way to verify these rumors is to go to Paris and France, you will not regret it!

Typical Sterotypes

French Speaking TV & Radio Entertainment Channels

French television and radio broadcast over the web The following list is an excellent source for French television and radio programs broadcast over the web. Listening to them is an excellent way to learn French or simply enjoy music, culture and entertainment.

Where possible, the Live French culture, music, events icon sends you directly to the broadcast.  For news feeds see: French speaking TV & Radio News channels


How to be a Good Guest in a French Home

If you've been invited to stay in the home of a French friend, consider yourself fortunate!  You are about to experience French culture first hand.   This is much more educational and exciting than staying in a hotel as a tourist.  To make the most of your stay and also increase your chances of being invited back, we offer the following suggestions on how to be an excellent house guest.

Guide: Practical advise to the American traveler

Practical advise to the American traveler

In France, like most other countries, the perception of Americans is the same.

Positive stereotypes of Americans:

  • enthusiastic
  • enterprising
  • optimistic

Negative stereotypes of Americans:

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