1. Religious Customs, 2. Parties, 3. Dining Etiquette and Table manners, 4. Drinking Etiquette, 5. Sensitive topics in France, 6. Dressing Etiquette, 7. Culture. Your trip to Paris is now scheduled. It's time to learn more about the specifics of French culture. French society takes great pride in its history, customs, and, of course, cuisine. You must respect their culture and customs if you want to be regarded seriously in their nation. It will make your vacation more simpler and help you fit in more easily with the locals if you familiarize yourself with French etiquette and manners before you depart.
- Religious Customs
- Dining Etiquette and Table manners
- Drinking Etiquette
- Sensitive topics in France
- Dressing Etiquette
Everyone is free to practice any religion they like in France because it is a nation that is officially devoid of all religious traditions. Both atheism, which rejects the existence of God, and agnosticism, which holds that it is impossible for humans to comprehend God, are openly practiced. There may also be adherents of Protestantism, Islam, or Judaism. The bulk of the population practices and adheres to Roman Catholicism notwithstanding all these freedoms.
The handshake is a typical welcoming gesture. Friends can welcome one another by giving each other a quick kiss on the cheeks, once on the left and once on the right. For family and close friends only, first names are used. Never call someone by their first name unless you’ve been invited. As entering a store, you should use the honorific titles Monsieur or Madame and say “bonjour” or “bonsoir,” respectively, and “au revoir” (good-bye) when you leave. If you live in an apartment complex, it’s courteous to use the same name to address your neighbors.
French customs and habits place a high value on religious festivals as well as historical and patriotic celebrations. Every city and town fills to capacity during Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, when the Last Supper of Jesus is recalled, and Good Friday, when the crucifixion of Christ is remembered. Easter Day, a beautiful day for kids who hunt for the hidden, vibrant, and delectable Easter eggs, begins with the ringing of the bells of all the churches.
One of France’s traditions for its July 14 holiday is to decorate the Champs-Elysées in its national colors (blue, white, and red). The President of the Republic leads the commemorative procession. The military is visible both on the ground and in the air as they go from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, using the renowned jet aircraft that fly over Paris and fly the national flag.
The shooting of fireworks from the Trocadero Palace at the conclusion of that day is another tradition, with spectators watching the display from the Champs de Mars.
Dining Etiquette and Table manners
If you are asked to supper at a French home: Show up on time. Under no circumstances should you show up more than 10 minutes beyond the scheduled time without calling to let someone know you will be delayed. The more flexible time is, the farther south you travel in the nation. Send flowers the morning before the event if you’re invited to a big dinner party, especially if it’s in Paris, so they can be shown that night. Put on appropriate attire. French people are fashion aware, hence their definition of casual is more formal than in many other western nations.
Continental table manners dictate that the knife should be held in the right hand while eating and the fork in the left. You might be shown where to sit if there is a seating plan. Wait till the hostess says “bon appetit” before starting to eat.
Cross your knife and fork on your plate, the fork going over the knife, if you haven’t completed eating. Even though your hands should be out in front and not in your lap, avoid resting your elbows on the table. Complete the food in your plate. Avoid using a knife and fork to cut salad. Place the lettuce on your fork folded. Before eating fruit, peel and slice it. If you don’t want any more wine, fill your glass almost to the top.
France is known for its gastronomy and fine cuisine, which is one of its most celebrated cultural traditions. Roquefort and Camembert are only two examples of its superb cheeses. You are invited to experience Gallic gastronomy by its wide selection of breads, excellent herbs, tomatoes, sausages, and pork, as well as its unrivaled wine and the renowned and exquisite pate foie gras, a classic dish from the south of France.
It is common to have a baguette spread with fruit jam for breakfast along with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. As the bread that now belongs to the world, croissants are also quite delicious as the first meal of the day. Going out and having a coffee or other beverage with family or friends is one of the customs and habits of the French. They like to linger over a hot beverage and a treat at a neighborhood establishment to talk or just relax.
Sensitive topics in France
The French like pleasant arguments, debates, and conversations in general, however some subjects should be handled more subtly or discreetly than others:
The opinions of French people on a wide range of topics are diverse. You should probably avoid talking about internal French politics, especially touchy topics like immigration, unless you closely follow French news; otherwise, you risk coming off as presumptuous and ignorant.
It may be helpful to read French newspapers to acquire a sense of the diverse range of political beliefs in France, from the nationalistic right to the revolutionary left. Having said that, don’t let this deter you from discussing politics with French people; just be mindful of the disadvantages that come with being a foreigner.
Additionally, it is regarded highly impolite to question someone directly who they voted for in the most recent election (or who they plan to vote for in the one to come); instead, focus on the issues at hand.
Although dress rules are quickly fading, you should still avoid wearing white shoes, baseball caps, tracksuit trousers, shorts, and flip-flops to avoid appearing touristy (except at the beach). Generally speaking, business casual attire is appropriate for all but the most formal occasions in cities. When entering churches, common politeness should be observed. Although you might not be asked to leave, it is preferable to refrain from wearing shorts and halter tops.
Never leave the house in your velvet pajamas. Everyone who sees you will do so with disdain since you will be breaking a procedure and etiquette norm.
France, one of the oldest nations in the world and the product of alliances and unions between dukesdoms and principalities ruled by a single monarch, has managed to construct and develop a rich culture that includes gastronomy, art, fashion, and many other areas.
The word “culture” is French in origin. It derives from the Latin verb “colere,” which means “to cultivate and care for the land.” The Greco-Roman, Celtic, and Franks, a Germanic group, all had a big impact on French culture.
Because of its culture, France is regarded as a nation that can satiate everyone’s curiosity as well as the demands and preferences of millions of people. French traditions and practices have spread around the world and are being practiced today in many other nations.