‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (Zimmermann). France adapted their motto during the occurrence of the French Revolution to which it soon became officially quoted in the Third Republic. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, which means life, liberty, and fraternity, was finally written into the “1958 Constitution and is nowadays part of the French national heritage” (“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”). France, being officially known as “The Republic of France,” is a very diverse country with a little over 60 million people residing there. Undoubtedly, their most common language is French as it is spoken within 88% of its population while also being the second most learned language behind Spanish. Not only does France have an elected president who serves a five-year term, they also have a Prime Minister who represents the head of their government system. Many people in France practice catholicism with Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism also being commonly known religions practiced.
Most people have a general idea on what a certain nation is like. Not only is Paris the capital of France but it is also the main representation for its culture. For example, Paris, and France in general, is very well known for its fashion, gallery arts and sculptures and just like the USA, France has many historical events that helped in representing where it is today. One of the most remembered events in French history is the Prise de la Bastille, The Storming of the Bastille. Happening on July 14, 1789, Bastille Day is being mainly “represented [as] a revolt of the people against royal authority” (Myra). With Bastille day being a day of celebration for the French it is also a representation of France and its soul for an equal society and uprising against injustice. France fought for what they believed in and what they, collectively, as a society believed in. France has a background just like every other nation and it is important to understand a background to understand a lifestyle.
What is Culture
Culture is defined as a common set of similar ideologies and lifestyles that make up a society and “its value as a word depends on the tension between them [and] each time we use the word “culture,” we incline towards one or another of its aspects” (Rothman). Culture can mean different things to different people but, however, it is a word that has similarities between all of its definitions. Each culture comes with its own customs. Let’s take a look at French cuisine. Most of their socioeconomic and cultural levels focus on wine and food as well as having conversations while at the dinner table. While it is commonly mistaken that France is the place that started French fries it was actually Spain that originated it. Although something can be related or references to something else it does not mean it is where it originates from. French cooking can be associated with many sauces and complex preparations. Boeuf bourguignon, which is basically stew, is an original French dish that is consistently made. Just like one can relate a hamburger to the USA or sushi to Asia and so on, France’s most common food is a baguette which is, in English terms, bread….
Everyday looks help define culture. One of France’s cultural customs is their clothing choices. A beret is one of France’s most common examples of fashion and with Paris being known for its fashion, there are very “high-end fashion houses, such as Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel” (Zimmermann). France can also be recognized for its haute couture, or fancier clothing. Many French people are dressed formally and mature which can also be a defining characteristic to their culture. Different cultures have different styles attached to them. Whereas one may label the French style as snobby, their customs as a culture match the environment they live in and make France the society it has come to be. As well as clothing, food and other customs, one of France’s traditional dances is the Breton dance. Brittany, where the Breton dance originated from, is the northernmost region in France that gets its dancing tradition from different forms of French festivals such as Bastille Day. Many cultural dances originated from old customs that turned into traditions. For every place these customs are different but at the same time similar in their diversity and it is important to understand that it is the diversities between nations that help people to understand the differences in cultures.
Fashion and Beauty
Some nations can be recognized for their poetic beauties. The Louvre Museum, found in Paris, is one of the world’s largest museums that carries the Mona Lisa and other famous works such as Venus de Milo. Many of the bigger pieces of art are mainly found in Paris as well as many artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro. Not only is France known for its art but its folklore as well. One of France’s most popular folklores is Lutin. Just like other nations have their own cultural folktales, Lutin is a type of goblin who “is also referred to in other cultures as dwarf, elf, fairy, gnome, imp, leprechaun, pixie, sprite, and many other things. But the lutin figures primarily in the folklore of Normandy and they may either be good or evil” (Bibard). Every culture has their own background stories and fairy tale stories that relate to what they represent and it is those stories that are often misunderstood for other purposes. Although some stories can be similar to others they each have a different background and meaning to it.
France is a very beautiful European nation. Take a look anywhere in France and one can see it’s undeniable beauty and structure. This image depicts the beauty and layout as it shows some of the structural clutter and architectural, historical, buildings that France represents (see fig. 1). It shows the beige aesthetics that symbolizes the diversity in its nation. A culture is not just lifestyles and other cultural customs, it is an environment that makes up and helps create those lifestyles.
If you take a look at a culture you can see it’s true beauties and lifestyles. Culture is misunderstood a lot in its meaning but what it truly is, is a group of people who come together through many aspects and similar ideologies that many people mistake and label it for. While France is mainly recognized for its capital and its fashion and the Eiffel tower, there are so many more aspects and beauties to it that create its culture. France should be recognized by its people who created it and not the beauties that picture it. ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ (Zimmermann)
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