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Culture and History

French society is reflected in its architecture, food, cinema, fashion, and values in their motto, "liberty, equality, and fraternity." This motto is identified as essential to what it means to be `French`. For many, the values of equality and fraternity indicate that the French are a unified and undivided group. On a personal level, many people continue to revise what it means to be French, especially considering the growth of the EU and the influx of immigrants.

French society is rather individualistic meaning that the interests of oneself and one's immediate family take priority. Often, appropriate interaction depends on whether a person is within one's social circle or not. With people outside of their social circle, the French are formal and courteous. It is crucial to follow social conventions and exhibit an appropriate level of formality in France. The French term `faux pas` (`wrong step`) refers to an embarrassing or unsophisticated act or remark in a social situation. An example of a faux pas would be to greet an acquaintance by their first name. Sometimes, the formal and reserved nature of the French people coupled with the directness of the French language may unintentionally come across as cold or arrogant to a foreigner. However, the proper decorum generally loosens and relaxes a lot around good friends and family. A French person is likely to show warmth and friendliness once they have properly acquainted themselves with you.

To learn more on French culture and know France’s history, click on the links below.


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