From the beaches of Cannes to the lavender fields of Provence, and the world famous chateaux of the Loire Valley, France is one of the most visited countries in the world. The French “joie de vivre” is renowned, and the country’s capital city Paris has been called “the most beautiful in Europe.”
However, many people do not know that there are other wonderful places to live in France beyond its urban centres. The French countryside is a treasure trove of small villages and towns, where life slows down. The country is also known for its prestigious wine, and it has numerous vineyards that produce some of the most expensive bottles in the world.
In addition, the French have a deep appreciation and respect for art. The country was the centre of innovative graphic art in the first half of the 20th century, and it has a long history of painting, sculpture and architecture dating back to prehistoric times. It was the origin of several important cinematic movements, including the New Wave (Nouvelle Vague) that rejected Hollywood conventions in favour of psychological storytelling.
A sense of beauty is also a key part of the French psyche. Many of the most celebrated talents in fashion are French, and Paris is a mecca for high-end designer labels such as Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. French people tend to dress in a sophisticated and elegant style that is not overly fussy. They communicate with a light touch, using a simple ‘tu’ or ‘vous’ instead of ‘you’ or ‘your’ to show whether they are on a friendly or business footing. This is taught to children from a young age, and it is considered polite to speak respectfully even when talking to people you don’t know.
The French are a highly educated and skilled workforce, and they take great pride in their culture and heritage. They are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and NATO, as well as being part of the G-7, the G-20, and multiple other multilateral organisations. They are leaders in science, technology and innovation, and have a thriving global economy with a reputation for top-notch food and wines.
The French are a proud nation and enjoy their independence. They value freedom of expression and are very tolerant of other cultures and religions, as shown by their acceptance of Muslim immigrants. They are also very adamant about protecting their environment, and they have strict laws to ensure that no development occurs on land designated as natural parks or zones. They have a strong tradition of family values, and they believe that it is not appropriate to use force or violence to achieve goals. There is no Anglo-American neo-Victorian hysteria over sexuality, and women and men are free to pursue their passions in peace. This has led to the emergence of a more egalitarian society that is renowned throughout the world. Despite the economic difficulties of recent years, there is a renewed sense of confidence and hope for the future.