Some Facts About France

France landscape ranges from high mountains plateaux, lush farmlands, traditional villages to modern cities. It’s a country of a variety of climates as well. Very hot and sunny in the south to much cooler and rainy in the north. Even though the country of size of France has nothing to compare with the size of the untied States, the difference in temperature between the north and the south is about the same as New York and Georgia.

France is a very modern country with high-tech advances such as the TGV (high speed train) born in 1983 and its home databank service Minitel, which is a kind of “phone book computer” which has been in French homes since the late 1980’s for free, just like your phone book.

The country of France belongs to both northern and southern Europe with its Germanic Alsace-Loraine and his Pyrennes mountain region border from Spain.  Besides Paris, France ever famous capital, other cities range from the huge industrial conglomeration of Lyon and Lille and Marseille the largest port of the Mediterranean.

France Products And Social Customs

In 1945 one person in 3 in France was a farmer, today the number is only 1 in 16.  The largest good exports in France used to be Cognac and perfumes, but today France exports more cars and telecommunication equipment than any other goods.

Statistics show that there are more French people who own a second home, than any other nationality.  It is very common for the average French family to own their main home in the city and their get away home in the country, beach or mountain areas.

As US citizens, women in France have full legal equality with men, but French attitudes remain traditional when it comes to galantery.

Social customs are very important in France.  The saying of  the “bonjour” (hello) when someone enters a room, the handshake for strangers and acquaintances and the kiss on the cheeks for family and close friends. (4 kisses in the north, 3 in Paris and its region, and 2 in Lyon and beneath)  regardless of genders.

For adult strangers, the formal “vous” rather than the intimate “tu” is used, however, among the younger generation the “tu” is more and more often used, even in an office context.

The dress standard has also become more relaxed, even though the French are still making a point about dressing well and preserving elegance.

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