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Abby's Awesome Booklet





French Culture

       There are so many different cultures around the world. Cultures can come from what religion you belive in and what you belive norms should be. Different cultures have special customs, rituals, and events that are important to each. In this booklet you will learn about some of the French culture.   



   Culture: The quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholerly pursuits, etc.



   In France they use"tu" and "vous" in greetings, "tu" is informal so you would use this when talking to a friend or family member. On the other hand "vous" is formal you would use this when greeting a teacher, your boss, or someone who is much older than you. Unlike here in America where "Hello" is acceptable no matter. 

    Another greeting in france is a "faire la bise", this is a greeting of a simple kiss on both cheeks of the person you are meeting. This is mostly an exchange between friends or family, wether you do this or not depends usually on how close you are to the person. 

Informal vs. Formal


     In American one of our biggest holidays is Christmas, in France they celebrate very similarly, spending time with family. But instead of  leaving stocking for Santa to fill, they leave shoes by the fire place to be filled by Pere Noel (Father Christmas).

     Another important holiday in France is La Toussaint, or All Saints Day. On this day people go to the cemiteries and vist the graves of deceased loved ones. When visiting the greves you would bring chrysanthemums to place beside the graves, in France this flower would simbolize death so you would not want to give these flowers as a gift. On this day many buisnesses are closed, public transpotation scheduals are changed, and some churches too. But florists are open to buy flowers.  

Holiday Traditions

After Nursery school or kindergarten (école maternelle). The french compulsory system is divided into three more "stages"


Primary School (école)


Middle school (collège)


High school (lycée)

    State education is free for citizens, besides stationary and trips. There is also a way to help parents pay for education for kids six to 18, it is called Allocation de rentrée scolaire a means-tested grant. Many of the schools in France do not have a school uniform, and the grade you are placed in depends on your calender year of birth.


The school year starts in the begining of September, and has a two month summer vacation starting in July. The schools also have longer holiday breaks, two or three weeks at Christmas and Easter, aswell as half term breaks, these breaks also depend on where you live   



    Here in America our most important meal of the day is breakfast, but in France it is lunch that is the most important. Many enjoy a long lunch starting with a salad, a main meal, and a dessert. Lunch is also treated with great importance at schools.

    Many resturants and Cafes have specific times set for each meal at the shop, for example lunch might be served from 12:00 to 2:00 and dinner might be at 7:00 to 9:00. Also the French are not big snackers in between meals that they eat together as a family.  


    People in France do not buy food in big bulk, wanting it to last through the week. Instead they buy a little each day, the food is generaly fresher and does not last a very long time. Many people wake up and walk to a boulangerie to get the bread needed for their meals, and may also go to a butchers for meat. There are markets where you can buy fruits and veggies, but there is a supermarché or Carrfour (similar to walmart) for other errands. 

     Super markets are much different, there are carts but not as big, and you should bring your own reuseable bags to carry your groceries in. Of course this all depends on where you live in France. 


   When traveling between places in france there are lots of different ways you can get around. One is taking a train, this could include nice veiws on the way, and the rail systems in France are preaty reliable. There are metros in many of the cities in France, also a new type of transportation growing called light rails, many of the old trams have been taken out of order, but in some citiesthe older trams still run. 

    Prices in shops that are displayed include tax, so what is shown is what you pay. Many stores have a six day shopping week and some may close the store for an hour or two after midday (12 o'clock) and reopen after. As you move toward the center of a city or town it will have more chain stores that are up-market and mid-market.As you move toward the outside of town there are more small shops and mid-market popular chains. 


    The structure of our homes is sometimes different than the homes in France. For example many homes in America have a porch or deck but in France a terrace is more common, the shingles on our roof tops is nothing fancy designed for basic need, but huses in France tend to have a more elegant roofs with uncommon designs compared to America. Another difference is the entry way when you walk into a house, here our houses usually have a small long hallway, but in France the entrances tend to be more extravagant. Many homes also have the showers in a seperate room than the toliet (cosider it unclean to have both appliances in the same space), also many bedrooms are smaller in France than the ones we have here. 




How French are you?


1. You celebrate:

A. La  Toussaint

B. July 4th, Independence Day

C. Cinco de Mayo



2. At meals, you eat:

 A. A little of everything served

B. My mom makes me exactly what I want

C. I eat some things, but not everything


 3. What meal is most important to you?

A. Lunch

B. Dinner

C. Breakfast 


4. When having a dinner party you would...

A. Go to a local market to buy ingredients

B. Go to a supermarket and get groceries for the whole week

C. Look in your freezer and see what you have


5. When going back to school you expect...

A. to bring all the supplies needed 

B. for needed supples to be provided

C. for the teacher to get you any supplies you want


6. When you go shopping and chose an item, you expect...

A. the price that is listed is the final price

B. to pay an added tax

C. to have to ask an employee the price 


7. When looking for a small shop you would go...

A. more towards the out side of your town

B. towards the center of your town

C. take a train to the next city over


8. When you see someone you say...

A. Bonjour 

B. Hello

C. Ciao 


9. When you go into a bathroom you...

A. expect the shower and toilet to be in seperate rooms

B. wash your hands 

C. expect the shower and toilet to be in the same room  


10. When visiting a grave you would bring:

A. Chrysanthemums

B. Lillies

C. An American flag 


Dictanary. com



The more A's you got the more French you are