The Culture of France reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Culture of France

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The culture of France is noted for its cosmopolitan, civilised approach to life, combined with great concern for style, fashion and appearances. French people are sometimes perceived as taking a great pride in the national identity and positive achievements of France, although many French people would argue that all nations tend to do that.

French people address each other with formality, calling each other Madame, Mademoiselle or Monsieur in a way which may seem formulaic to outsiders, but signifies a respect for the individual which permeates the French way of life. The French value family life, the art of cooking good food and enjoyment of theatrical and musical arts.

Table of contents
1 Creative Arts
2 Media
3 Institutions
4 Lifestyle
5 Customs and Traditions
6 Food & Wine
7 Sports and Hobbies
8 Language
9 Social reform
10 Transportation
11 See also
12 External link

Creative Arts

Visual Arts

Main article: Visual Arts in France


Main article: Architecture of France


Main article: Literature of France


Main article: Cinema of France


Main article: Theatre of France


Main article: Dance of France


Main article: Music of France


Main article: Media in France


Television & Radio

A mass market cultural export from France that many people (at least some of those who grew up in Canada) fondly rember is a television series called Thierry La Fronde, about a Robin Hood-like heroic figure who lived during the Hundred Years' War, a period of conflict between England and France in the 14th century.



List of French museums


(Art schools)












The Bohemian history of Paris deserves an article in itself. Many culture icons spent some years in Paris, including Hemingway, Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett and many others.

Customs and Traditions


Food & Wine

Main article: Cuisine of France

Sports and Hobbies

Le Foot

regional culture in France


Main articles: French language, Languages of France

French culture is profoundly allied with the French language, expressing a national psychology of high emotion, playfulness, and joie de vivre. The artful use of the mother tongue, and its defense against perceived decline or corruption by foreign terms, is a major preoccupation for some persons and entities. The French Minister of Culture works to promote the French cinema, and the Académie française sets an official standard of language purity.

France counts many regional languages, some of them being very unrelated to standard French such as Breton and Alsatian. Most of them are from the same language group (Indo-European), and some regional languages are Romance, like French, such as Provençal. Many of them have enthusiastic proponents among the people. There is also a language completely unrelated to French, Basque. In April 2001, the Minister of Education, Jack Lang, admitted formally that for more than two centuries, the political powers of the French government had repressed regional languages, and announced that bilingual education would, for the first time, be recognized, and bilingual teachers recruited in French public schools. The real importance of local languages remains subject to debate.

Social reform

The revolutionary ideal is a powerful totem in the French psyche. Some ideas of Situationism were realised in Disneyland Paris, although doubtless this would be denied by its builders. The French Revolution was itself an extreme form of social change, and its reverberations are everywhere apparent in day to day life there. Consider also the 1848 Paris Commune, and the 1968 student riots. Parallel to these events, it is possible to discern deeply conservative trends in French life.


Main article: Transportation in France

The TGV high speed rail network, train à grande vitesse is a fast rail transport which serves several areas of the country and is self financing. There are plans to reach most parts of France and many other destinations in Europe in coming years. Rail services are punctual, frequent and user friendly, in contrast to some other European networks.

See also

External link