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Subject: French culture, traditions and customs.

Question: I would like to know more about the French people, their way of life, their cultures, traditions and customs.
I hope that you can provide me with some valuable insights.

Answer: Your question is not any easy one, but I will give it my best shot. Starting with food and eating, the center of French existence, the French go to great lengths to make their meals as long as possible. The French live to eat and do it very slowly, not fast as in the United States, but slow and deliberate, savoring each bite as they go. French meals are structured as follows, starter or aperitif, main meal, consisting of some short of meat along with vegetables and a sauce for the meat. Then there is the cheese and lastly dissert. The French have to sit at a table down when they eat and concentrate, no eating in front of the TV.
I would also say that the French like to enjoy life and are not workaholics. They take their vacations very seriously, as most French have five weeks vacation a year and numerous paid holidays. The French work to live, and eat, not like in the United States where we live to work.
The French also look for their government to do a lot for them. With most social problems the first though is that the government should so some thing, come up with some type of plan and not just money. Just about everyone and many businesses in France get some type of government subsidy. Every family in France that has children has the right to get a monthly government stipend.
Lastly, I believe that the French are unorganized in groups, i.e. government but on the personal and family level very well organized. The French bureaucracy is a nightmare to understand and deal with. When we tried to register our son for our government stipend, our paper work was lost and there was an almost endless wait. But personally everybody has their own health book that keeps all their health records. Each family has a book that keeps all birth records and acts as birth certificate.

If you would like to have a more indepth look at French culture try Les Francais or the Encyclopedia of Contemporary French.

Related articles: Culture Section

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