French Culture: Customs & Traditions

French CultureFrance is a country with a diverse culture as you will different cities feature different kinds of fashion, art, cuisine, and architecture. On a side note, the word – ‘Culture’ has come from the French term, which means Latin colere. It means the growth of earth, cultivation, and nurture. However, if we consider the history of French culture, you will understand that this culture is heavily influenced by Celtic and Gallo-Roman cultures with Franks (a Germanic tribe). So, in this article, we are going to talk about the French culture, customs, and traditions in detail.

French Cuisine

  • French people are passionate about foods.
  • French cooking is sophisticated and includes refined preparation and in-depth analysis.
  • French cooking varies by region and it is influenced by local culture.

French Family Values

The family is the main social cornerstone of French people where each member carries a particular duty and responsibility towards their family. The large or extended family have both emotional and financial support. When it comes to marriage, French people are practical and selective in choosing their partner.

Relationships Public vs. Private

French people respect privacy and they prefer a private life. They have a different approach to their social circle. Generally, French are polite but they are only free and candid with their close friends.

Etiquette & Customs in France

French people greet with a handshake and they also give light kisses on the cheeks (once on the left cheek and once on the right cheek). All French name’s first name is for family and close friends.

You have to say ‘bonjour’ or ‘Bonsoir’ (good morning and good evening) and you are expected to mention Monsieur or Madame while entering a shop. When leaving, be sure to say ‘au revoir’ (goodbye) when leaving.

Gift Giving Etiquette

French CultureAs a gift, you can use flowers, but it should be given in odd numbers except in 13. French people consider number – ‘13’ as unlucky. When you are giving wine as a gift, make sure it is of the highest quality. All French people appreciate expensive wines.

Dining Etiquette

If you are invited to a French dinner, party, be sure to arrive on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late you must explain the reason behind your late arrival. However, the southern region of France is more flexible about time.

If the dinner party is a large party like in Paris, you must send flowers on the morning of the occasion. Besides, your attire must be appropriate as French people are conscious about fashion.

Table manners

French table manners are similar to Continental culture in which the fork is held in the left and the knife is held on the right.

You must look for a seating arrange and follow it accordingly. You are also not allowed to start eating until the hostess says – ‘bon appetit’. If you have not finished eating, you must cross the knife and the fork on the plate where the fork will remain over the knife.

While resting, you must not put your elbow on the table. But, you can make your hands visible by not keeping them on your lap. Always finish everything on the plate and don’t cut salad with your fork and knife. Additionally, you should peel and slice fruits before eating and leave the wine glass full unless you want more.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is French culture and tradition is different as they are unique and have different traits compared to other nations. It is okay if you don’t speak French but if you want to develop a relationship with them, you can make an apology for not knowing their language. It will in establishing a friendly relationship. Another thing is if you know a few common phrases, it will have a positive impression on them as well. Always remember that you can predict the social status or education level of a French person by observing their communication. All in all, French culture and customers are magnificent and intriguing. So, let us know if you have liked our article by commenting below.