Culture in France 2

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It is customary...

It is customary for guests to bring a gift when invited to a meal in a French home. Candy or flowers (other than chrysanthemums which are associated with death) are always acceptable. When engaging in dinner conversation, these are several topics to avoid. These include asking about someone's age, profession, salary, or political affiliation.

a typical teenagers room

You might be surprised at what you'll see- or won't see- in a typical French teenager's room. Some french homes don't have closets in the bedrooms, so clothes are hung in an armoire. Most families have just one television set, and it's in a room where everyone can watch it. In most french homes, the bathroom (la salle de bains) consists of a sink and a shower or bath. You will find the toilet (les tiolettes) in a room separate from the bathroom. On may French beds, you will find a long pillow called traversin that covers the width of the bed. Having a phone is expensive in France; there is a charge for each call made. For this reason, few young people have a phone in their room.

When you compliments a French person...

When you compliment a French person's home or possessions, the response will be the same as if you complimented the person's clothing or appearance. Tu trouves? C'est vrai? Vraiment? or C'est gentil! are standard responses to compliments. Remember that merci is not the only appropriate response.

Gothic Cathedrals

Notre-Dame de Chartres, one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals, was built in the thirteenth century on a site where a cathedral has stood since the sixth century. The cathedral can easily be recognized by its different towers- the plain Romanesque tower on the left and the more ornate Gothic tower on the right in the photo below. Spared in all major wars and conflicts, Chartres still has most of its original stained-glass windows, famous for their rich colors. The cathedral's flying buttresses, its great size, and its light-filed interior clearly illustrate the genius of Gothic construction.
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