Sunday, November 9, 2008

Five Randoms About France

We learned some interesting tidbits about French culture on our trip, and I wanted to share just a few of them with you:
  1. In France, your bread (which is served at every meal) does not go onto your plate, it is placed directly on the table. It is perfectly acceptable to mop up your dinner plate with a crust of bread.

  2. The French school system is not meant to be fun and teachers use shame to motivate the students. For example, many teachers return graded papers beginning with the highest grade and ending with the lowest. At the same time, academic achievement is quite high.

  3. Evangelical Christianity is considered a cult, on the same level as Jehovah's Witnesses. Some French parents will forbid their children to befriend Christian missionary children.

  4. Whining is a national pastime, depression is epidemic, and the French tend towards hypochondria with a strong affinity for pharmaceutical drugs.
  5. There is a new openness to the Gospel--the French are more willing to hear and accept the message of Jesus Christ than they were 20, 10 and even 5 years ago. This was communicated to us most passionately by the indigenous Pastors, who eagerly welcomed the help of expat missionaries.
  6. I know, I know...this is number six, but I found it very interesting to discover that the French do not exchange Christmas Cards. I scoured the country for them, and finally discovered that they send "Bonne Annee" (Happy New Year) cards instead. The New Years cards that I found resemble secular Christmas Cards--they are decorated with trees and gifts. I saw none--NOT ONE--with a spiritual bent, such as a manger or wording that celebrates the birth of Christ. I also found it intriguing that a box of cards contained a whopping 5 cards--as opposed to the 25-50 cards in a box in the US.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the pictures!!! Chan's smile speaks a volume in this one!