In life, all discoveries and important facts that a person comes across with, they truly nourish your brain and they have the right meaning to be stored in our mind.
Since I joined this class, my mind and spirit have been actively working and willing to know more about France. This country has become really amazing according to how it runs cultural facts and people's lifestyle.
Betwen menToday, during my research hours, I have met interesting reality about people of France and their lifestyle. And I would like you to know this truth and give life a new understanding and value.
The first interesting reality that I have come across with is based on the greeting. Here in Africa and maybe in other continent, there is a specific way of respect that our parents have taught us about greeting. There is a way and manner to greet your agemate and most of all your elders or parents.
But when it comes to France, French people use cheek kiss to greet each others between family and friends, even between men. The number of kisses varies according to the region, from 1 (e.g. in the tip of Brittany) to 4 (e.g. Paris and most of the North), and occasionally up to 5 in Corsica. And this is done with all kind of freedom and that culture or lifestyle has also communicated a peaceful climate between people and above all societies.
In France this type of Cheek kiss has a meaning.
That can mean a healthy, non- controversial kiss that can be planted on cheek of anyone who is dear to you.
And in this case you will see even children in the house with their parents, early in the morning, that is what they use after saying good morning.
This is not forbidden in French culture or considered as sexual harassement.
Also that happens, many times in event and parties. During birthday parties cheek kisses can take place three times.
For example when the guests arrive as you wait for them on the door, you have to greet them with a cheek kiss. During the time of receiving gifts, you have to get another one as a sign of saying thanks to the person who has given it to you. At the end of the party, you have again to stand the first on the door waiting for your guests to come out and get another cheek kiss as a people are going back home.
What I know is that after the Cheek kisses recieved from many people, you have been left on a well combined perfum on your body. Not being so judgemental, this can definitevely have an impact on your skin if proper hygienic conditions are not maintained.
Just to add on the above significance on cheek kisses, the same is used in terms of saying good bye to someone dear to you after spending some time together and wish him or her to be with you in a soon time.
The Second reality that I found interesting about French people is based on attitude and mood.
According to AndréGide, French writer and Nobel Prize of Literature, said "French people are Italian people in bad mood".
When things are not okay with a frenchman, the following 3 things take place.
1. Indirect conversation: Once the introduction is done, you can get a conversation flowing in
French, English, Franglais, or whatever. Using two languages always gives the possibility of getting
some conversation going by simply explaining words, concepts, and differences. If you’re American,
you’ll probably find that although the French are always ready to criticize the US in public, many of
them secretly admire and envy its power and success regardless of the economic crisis ravaging even
the US. You need to be aware that the French often talk indirectly, in complete contrast with the more direct American way. Let’s stereotype a bit and ask for the salt:
US: “Salt, please.”
UK: “I’m terribly sorry, but I wonder if you would possibly allow me to ask you to be so kind as to pass me the salt, please.”
France: “I’d say a bit more salt would perhaps have brought out more of the flavor in this dish.”
The French will not always tell you in direct terms what they want. They have a tendency to speak in diplomatic and indirect phrases.
2. Latin pride and secrecy You will rarely hear a Frenchman admit he made a mistake, and even more rarely apologize for a mistake. According to the Latin roots of French culture, that would be seen as a weakness.
The French care a great deal about their privacy, and it can look like something close to an obsession the way some of them value every single bit of information as if it were something that could put them in prison.
Withholding information and speaking indirectly are both a type of diplomatic behavior that can require great communication skills to match.
3. French Humor
Another minefield is humor, sarcasm, and irony.
The French tend to take things more literally and seriously when they are in a bad mood.
It may seem contradictory that they take things literally, since I just said they speak indirectly, but what they would take literally is their interpretation of what you just said, after a diplomatic decoding, if necessary.
The French diplomatic decoding does not work the same way as the British decoding of subtleties. As you can see, this can become extremely complicated, so watch your step. Try to avoid complicated subjects unless you know what you’re doing.
Let’s end number 3 with a quote by the French Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac actor Gérard Dépardieu who was once thrown off a plane after peeing in the aisle: “[The British] are people who have a great sense of humor. It is the French who are cretins.” Do yourself a favor and do not repeat that in France.
The third reality that I wanted to share with you is all about the issue of gender.
Until some few hours ago French women were not allowed to open a bank account or get a passport without their husband's permission.
This was interesting in term of women have to depend fully on their husbands. In this current generation, I believe that both genders can work together to proote the well being of the family.
At some given point, the work of a man can face challenge and the whole family has to undergo some crisis in all aspects such as health insurance, food provision, transportation, education of children etc.
And according to them, this situation has made some women lazy, and yet they are capable of doing work and support their husbands. Normally the work of man can fall but really the work of both partners can come to an end at the same time.