Culture Notes

By Alice Rush

Dinner Behavior

Bringing candy or flowers (other than chrysanthemums, which are associated with death) are always acceptable for guests when invited to dinner. Also, when engaging in dinner conversation, there are several topics to avoid such as asking about someone's age, profession, salary, or political affiliation.

In A French Home . . .

. . . they 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. Having a phone is very expensive because each call is charged, so few teens have a phone in their room. Also in most French homes the bathroom is split into two parts; the toilet in one room and the sink and shower in another room.

When Giving Compliments . . .

. . . remember that merci is not always the only appropriate response to a compliment. And don't forget that when complimenting a French person's home or possessions, it's the same as complimenting their clothing or appearance.

Notre Dame

The genius of Gothic construction helped build the Notre Dame de Chartres in the thirteenth century. it is best known for its richly colored stain-glass windows. It also has easily recognizable towers and a light-filled interior.