Paris, France, French | behind the cliches

What is Paris? Who are parisians? I am sure you have your own opinion.

Paris? I hear “romantic”, “historic”, “lovely”, “city of love”, “dreamy”.

Parisians/ French? I hear “pretentious”, “socialist”, “mean”, “well dressed”, “slim”, “stinky”.

Extra note: “The food, OMG the food!”

Alright. I am very often told these assumptions, I find myself too many times unable to answer. Being expatriate for more than 5 years now, I have a fair perspective of the French culture in and out of France.

Let’s start with the basic. France is not Paris, like the US is not New York City. And French are not Parisians like Americans are not New Yorkers. I have lived in many different parts of France (from the capital to the smallest village, from East to West). I also have lived in different cities (big and small) and States in the United States (from East to West).

“Pretentious”

French are not pretentious, not willingly at least. I agree we can give this image. The truth is we have in mind to always be at the top of ourself. We also have a passion for debate. When a French has an opinion, good luck with it, let the trial begging. Both of these elements give an attitude that can look like pretension. We also love our culture, are proud of it and think this is the best. Just like you love your Nation, are proud of it and think this is the best. Read More »

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