Things you need to know about French Culture

May 10, 2015


French people strongly adhere to their cultural values. They highly respect and cherish their history, culture, cuisine and language all of which they are an art. For many years French have remained the leaders of the world when it comes to fashion, architecture, art and food. They are eager to embrace innovative ideas and etiquettes as long as they are sophisticated and elegant.

Family Values

The family is considered as the social edifice of French society and each family member is delegated certain responsibilities and duties. In France there is a trend of extended families due to which every member is dedicated to provide both financial as well as emotional support. Although French people have a reputation of being romantics but they still believe in having a practical approach towards courtship and marriage. Furthermore, the French families have few children but the whole family is closely knit and parents take their role of being providers and guardians of their children very seriously.

French Cuisine

One of the biggest passions of the people in France is cooking and making exquisite food. This is the very reason that France has attained a reputation of inventing some of the most unique and distinctive cuisines in the world. French chefs are prone to giving close attention to detail while cooking due to which French cooking is considered to be very refined and includes vigilant preparation. The fact that French food is savory and aromatic is that the chefs and cooks prefer using only the fresh ingredients. The ingredients vary from region to region and are greatly dependent on what is produced and grown locally.

Corporate Culture

In the French business world professionalism is a trait is highly valued and is the key through which outsiders gain acceptance. France boasts a well-educated and skilled labor force and although they admire and appreciate hard work but not work holism Punctuality is given a high regard so it is advised to always arrive on time for all the important meetings and engagements. French business behavior also pays great emphasis on a degree of formality and courtesy so try to maintain a polite and formal tone throughout the conversation. It is also highly recommended to learn a few important French phrases when building business relationships as it demonstrates that you have an interest in developing a long-term business relationship. However, if you don’t know how to speak French then kindly apologise for not knowing their language as it will portray you in a positive light. Always keep in mind that things will only get done properly if there is respect and mutual trust between the parties.

French meeting and Dining Etiquette

Like many other European countries, shaking hands is considered to be a common way of greeting people in France. Friends usually greet each other by placing a kiss on the cheek. Although first names can be used by friends and family therefore always wait until you get invited before you start using a person’s first name. Whenever you meet someone in a shop or street politely greet them by saying bonjour Monsieur or Madame that means good morning or good evening sir/madam. When leaving a shop say au revoir (goodbye). If you are living in a flat or apartment then it is always considered civil to greet your neighbors with a similar salutation. As far as dinner etiquette is concerned always arrive on time when invited to someone’s place for lunch or dinner. In case you are running late then inform the host about the circumstances by telephoning them. If you are invited for a special dinner party or occasion especially if you are in Paris then send a bouquet of flowers on the day the occasion is held so that it can be displayed later in the evening. Always dress well as French are highly mindful of fashion and their definition of casual is different from other western countries.

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