France 4 Essay, Research Paper
France is not a very big country. It is about the size of Texas, if not smaller. It has a lot of different land types. From the mountains all the way to the forest. It holds Europe’s largest mountain, Mt. Blanc. With the varied land types it also has varied climates. Climates range from warm and moist to very rainy weather.
The French History was very interesting. The Celtic’s lived in France until the Romans conquered them in 51 B.C. After they were conquered they took up the Roman customs. Then five centuries later a king conquered the Romans so they were then free. Then later in their history the French were the dominant country in Europe. They had a French Revolution in the 1600’s. This was one of the many tries to get a republic. In the world wars they were the allies along with the United States.
The population of France is approximately 58 million and it grows at a rate of about .5 percent. It is a mix of cultures just like in the United States, but they seem to stay separate. They speak French of course. French is second only to English in use between nation for communication, business, and diplomacy. Eventhough the French government wants the people to speak French; they do still learn other foreign languages. The most common foreign language would be English. Almost all of the French are Roman Catholic. They do not attend church regularly but instead they go on special occasions.
In France it is not only money that makes you successful. They believe that you are successful by your educational level, family reputation, and financial status. They are very proud of their culture. French people want their visitors to know a little about the French culture. People will be more polite outside of Paris and please is a valued phrase. They also take care of themselves very well. They feel more comfortable around people who do the same. The dress is semi-formal to casual.
The French people will usually shake hands upon meeting. They will not shake aggressively though because that is considered impolite. Men offer their hand to shake a woman’s and not the opposite. The use of names is the same here. Amongst your friends you use first name, but someone you just met you use their title.
Gestures in France are very strict. The things we just do without noticing would be improper over in France. For instance, if you were to sit with your legs open then that would definitely be improper. If you were to be in a public area and take out a toothpick or even a nail clipper, which would also be improper. The French are also very discrete when blowing their nose or even sneezing.
Here in the United States we might just go over to a friend’s house without a call. In France it is impolite to just show up. You don’t go into someone’s house until you are invited in, and then you sit where you are instructed. You should bring candy, wine, or flowers as a gesture of appreciation. You should never seem to be in a hurry to leave, and the next day you should send a thank you note. If you are invited for dinner you should compliment the host for the great food. You should also remember to put you hands above the table at all times. You should never help yourself to two helpings of cheese. A normal family meal will have two to four courses in it. If you are to invite someone out to eat then you should be the one who pays.
French families are moving away from the real extended family. Even though they do still like to get together and enjoy a good meal. The average family has two children. Pets are a big thing and outnumber children. They get special attention.
The children will usually start to date at an age of 15. The fun things to do in France are dances and going to the movies. Here in America teenagers usually get jobs, but not in France. So since they don t have jobs, their finances are limited. When you go to choose your husband, social class, wealth, and level of education are important. They must get a civil ceremony to be married but they don t have to have a religious one. Before they get married it is normal for them to live together. Many couples also choose to have no children.
Cooking is a very big thing in France. They considered it an art. That is probably why they resist fast food. For breakfast they will eat a light continental breakfast. Lunch used to be a main meal but now dinner is. They eat their lunch around noon or one. Then they eat dinner no later then 9:00 P.M.
Most people like to watch sports but are not very interested in playing them. They would prefer a one-person sport, such as hiking, golf, or many other. People will take about five weeks of vacation a year. It is broke up like this: four weeks in the summer and one week at Christmas.
There are many holidays celebrated each year by the French. Some are the same holidays as here, but there are also many different ones. On New Years they do the same as here except they would exchange gifts. They have Christmas and Easter Sunday. They have Labor Day but it is for a different reason. Of course they celebrate Bastille Day which is the 14 of July. This is just some of the holidays that they celebrate.
The business shops are not open as late as they are here in the United States. The normal is from 9:00 or 9:30 A.M. to 6:00 or 6:30 P.M. Some large stores may stay open till 9:00 one or two evenings a week.
France is a republic; it has 22 regions that are subdivided into 96 departments. The president servers a seven-year term and is head of state and executive head of government. Unlike our president, he has no veto power. There is also a Prime Minister that the president selects. The voting age is the same as here, 18.
Just like they like there good food they also like a high standard of living. France is one of Europe’s leading agricultural producers. The agricultural jobs only employ 7 percent of the workers. More than half of Frances power is made by nuclear power. Unemployment is at 12 percent and is the nation’s greatest problem.
In the United States we mostly use cars to get around. While in France you would probably be more likely to see more buses. Trains are usually for long distant traveling. France has the fast’s passenger train in the world and it goes at about 300 miles per hour. They do have a subway and most people do own a car. They also have a modern communication system.
They do not go to school as much as we do here in the United States. It is free, but they go from ages 6 to 16. Twenty percent of children attend catholic schools. Then there is a secondary schooling that last seven years (11 to 18). This would add up to about us going to a junior college. Not everyone can go on for more education. You would have to take a test and see if you were able to go on to a university. There are 60 universities. It is not like here where you pay an arm and a leg. It is practically free.
When you get sick in France you would have a good medical care. It is available to all citizens thorough a socialized system. The government makes the prices. Even though the government pays for a lot of the medical bills most citizens carry private insurance cards for the rest of the bill.
French Onion Soup
3 large onions
2 oz. Butter
1 TB. Flour
2 C. White Wine
3 C. Chicken or Beef Broth
3 thin slices of bread
8 oz. (2 thick slices) SAFR Port Salut Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Peel onions and chop roughly. Melt the butter in the pan and saut the onions. Once they are brown, sprinkle in flour and stir well. Pour white wine and water over them and allow boiling. In a large ovenproof bowl, place one slice of bread, then one slice of cheese and so on. Then pour the contents of the pan over the bread and cheese. Cook in oven approximately 30 minutes at 315 degrees. Ladle into four individual bowls and serve immediately
Shrimp Au Gratin
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 TB. Olive Oil
2 TB. Washed, chopped parsley
7 oz. Balvreso French Feta
2 TB. Tomatoes cut into chunks
2 Cloves garlic, minced
12 Tsp. Salt
2 LBS. Large raw shrimp, peeled
1/4 Tsp. Ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, saut 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, garlic, 1/2-tsp. salt and ground pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes to 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degree. Arrange shrimp on 6 ovenproof dinner plats; spoon tomato/onion mixture on top. Sprinkle with Valbreso Feta, and bake uncovered 10-15 minutes. Garnish with extra parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.