National French Week

Posted on November 5th, 2021 by

What is it?

National French Week is an annual celebration of the French language and francophone cultures. It is organized by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). The AATF contacts different organizations, branches, and French departments across the country to promote such a culture and language. 

What is the purpose?

The main purpose is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the francophone world, by creating fun activities and events that reflect its beauty. 

There are two links for a trivia game at the end of this post. If you feel adventurous to take it, go ahead and have fun!!!

 

***NOTE!! The Francophone world includes many countries and cultures. This post will focus only on some interesting facts about France, but we also invite you to learn about the broader francophone world. To get you started, you can follow this link that has several games with great content!

 

French Cuisine!

  • France is in second place worldwide for wine production! (3,641,900 liters/year).
  • French gastronomy has been included in UNESCO’s list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” since 2010.
  • French fries were not invented by the French!!! This confusion was created when the french fries recipe was brought to the US by Thomas Jefferson after serving as the American Minister of France (1784-1789).
  • Most restaurants in Paris serve baguettes as a free side in UNLIMITED quantities. 
  • There are over 1,500 different varieties of cheese. France produces around 1.7-1.8 million tons of cheese a year. 
  • In France, it is illegal to throw away spare food. Spare products most of the time are given to charity.
  • Ketchup in French schools is banned! The ban went into effect in 2011, in order to preserve Gallic cuisine and improve students’ diets. Students are not allowed to bring ketchup in lunches. 
  • There is a special law for the bread called the Décret Pain” that was passed in 1993 by the government. The law states that traditional baguettes have to be made on the premises where they’re sold and can only be made with four ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast.
  • The most famous cooking school in the world was founded in France and is called The Cordon Bleu.

 

Science, Technology, and Community!!

  • Did you know!? The French healthcare system covers both public and private hospitals, doctors, and other medical specialists who provide healthcare to every resident. This is regardless of age, income, or status, which makes the French healthcare system highly accessible.
  • According to recent figures, France is the highest spender on healthcare within the EU, in terms of GDP percentage. It currently spends around 11.5% of its total GDP.
  • A median of 53% of French citizens says that the development of AI, or computer systems designed to imitate human behaviors, has mostly been a good thing for society, while 33% say it has been a bad thing.
  • French people value the environment and the natural world!! A median of 71% would prioritize environmental protection. In France, seven-in-ten think protecting the environment should be given priority, even if it causes slower economic growth and some loss of jobs. 

 

Some Famous Individuals in France!

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)  was born in the Vosges of Northeast France. She is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War by reclaiming the original French land. Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Louis XIV (1638-1715). He was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France (September 5, 1638). King Louis XIV of France, also referred to as the Sun King, was crowned King of France at the age of just 4 years old. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in history. In 1653 Louis XIV created his first dance performance, “Ballet de la Nuit” or “ballet of the night.” He formed the Royal Academy of Dance, a precursor to the prestigious Paris Opera. He helped codify the five main foot positions used in ballet today and helped make French the art form’s official language. 

 

 

 

 

 

Marie Curie was a famous physicist born in Poland (November 7, 1867). She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prizes in two different categories, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris. She discovered polonium and radium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Pasteur was a famous chemist and microbiologist born in Dole, Jura, Franche-Comté, France (December 27, 1822). He is considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. He also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918). Claude Debussy was a famous  French composer who developed a unique system of harmony and musical structure and inspired many other musicians. His major works include the wonderful Clair de lune (“Moonlight,” in Suite bergamasque, 1890–1905), Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and La Mer (1905; “The Sea”). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arts and tradition!

  • France is known to be a romantic country because of its strong prominence on passion, not only in a love relationship, but also for things like food, wine, living well, and less commercialized life. 
  • Art is highly regarded in France. France has a lot of famous collections in museums and the most famous art gallery in the world, “The Louvre”, is located in Paris. It is home to the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
  • Many high-end fashion houses are located in Paris. Paris is home to multiple fashion shows, for instance, Chanel was founded in 1910 in Paris by Gabrielle Coco Chanel, this is by far the most popular luxury fashion house in the world. 
  • Every one of France’s 22 regions has its own traditional dress.
  • 88% of those living in France speak French as their first language. Most minorities in France also speak French as a second language. 
  • La bise is an exchange of kisses on the cheek and the traditional greeting in France. It’s something most French people engage in at least once or twice a day, whether with family or friends or with colleagues.
  • French is the second most studied language. Around 300 million people speak French around the world. 
  • France has a rich literary heritage. For example, Victor Hugo wrote “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831)”  and  “Les Misérables (1862).”
  • French authors are like stars in France. French authors have more literature Nobel prizes than those for any other nation (15 to date).
  • French dining etiquette is considered a form of art. The art of the table is highly significant in France, especially among the bourgeoisie, along with table manners. That is why dinners can take several hours. 
  • Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinématographe and their “L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat” in Paris in 1895 is considered by many historians as the official birth of cinematography.
  • French people like giving flowers to family and friends. The florist industry is quite significant in France. Over 22 million bouquets are sold every year. 
  • For 130 years, the Eiffel Tower has been a powerful and distinctive symbol of the city of Paris, and by extension, of France. At first, when it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, it impressed the entire world by its stature and daring design and symbolized French know-how and industrial genius.

 

*** I hope you enjoy the post!! Thank you so much for reading a little bit about France and its society. I hope you have a nice day 🙂 

 

Links to Trivia games:

  1. TRIVIA GAME 1 🙂
  2. TRIVIA GAME 2 🙂

 

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