Things That Will Surprise First-Time Visitors in France
While 90% of the world inhabitants have heard about France, they know very little regarding culture, religion, politics, and many other things that happen in the country’s background. With the country being stereotyped with unmatched cuisine, high culture, and a chic sense of fashion, your first visit will be dealt with a surprise to find out that not everything is a cliche.
As first-time visitors, imagine you are set for the journey to France, but you know nothing about its background. Here are some surprising facts for first-time visitors to France.
Wine Is Not Widely Drunk In France
While wine is widely acknowledged in most European countries, it’s different in France. Wine drinking has drastically fallen in the past 40 years, and when you in the country, you’ll realize that a third of French doesn’t drink wine anymore.
The belief that the slim and young nature of France inhabitants is brought about by huge quaffing of red wine is not true. In France, people have moved from staunch wine lovers to consuming other drinks that keep them sober hence maintaining their physique that reflects youngness and slim bodies.
Most of Its Establishments Are Smoke-Free
As first-time travelers to France, you’ll notice that French smoke more a lot. However, you can’t eat or take a drink in a mug of Gauloises of fumes like it used to be back in the days. France contemporarily has the most severe anti-smoking policies globally. Thus, as first-time visitors in France, you should abide by the laws since smoking is banned in public amenities. You can’t smoke in cafes, offices, and most importantly, in restaurants & bars.
Money Is a Taboo
It’s no doubt that no one hates money. However, in France, things are somewhat complicated. It is not part of their culture to talk about money. Well, their love for cash is ideal, but they don’t like the idea of talking about it. Again, tracing from their history, earning cash was considered a thing for the bourgeois and commoners. The nobles were regarded above work.
France had a revolution in history that sought to achieve greater equality and meritocracy. Therefore, it is the reason why the French don’t like to talk about money since they believe wealth and money separate people based on a social class.
Eating Meat Is a Thing for the French
Do you know that only 3% of the population in France are vegetarians? Yes, they eat meat a lot. Moreover, any cuisine that is not validly French is viewed with a miscomprehension and distrust. To make it worse, if you are a vegetarian, getting in trouble by the government can be something common. So if you are first-time visitors and you are vegans, you better watch out.
In France, veganism is considered an unhealthy choice of lifestyle that may render the health of both inhabitants and visitors to be at risk. If you are first-time visitors, go to a restaurant with a translator and inquire about the dishes. You’ll find that most of the hotel foods are made of meat. If you find it hard to get a translator, you can use site to translate English to French.
The Locals Love Protesting to Get Their Rights
While in most countries, inhabitants may have no way out to champion their rights, in France, it is different. They use protests and strikes to set the government or their employers on the toe to satisfy their demands.
Moreover, strikes and protests have been part of their culture. This is traced down from their history through the French revolution and the series of strikes, for example, in 1995 and 1968. They have used the avenue of strikes to win their rights via the disapproval display. At the moment, they have reduced, and they rarely affect the national movements, but affect companies and industries.
Faire La Bise
In France, a kiss on the left and right cheek is done every time two people meet. It is usually common for the older generation, and it is done man-to-man, woman-to-woman, or vice versa, but with no sexual meaning.
The bise is also religion-oriented. Some religions consider two kisses insufficient. Thus, in France, people believe it should be done 3 or 4 times. Now try to imagine you are in a big event, and you are doing that more so to same-gender individuals.
The Bottom Line
Now you know the surprising facts that you’ll encounter as first-time visitors to France. When you arrive in France, remember these surprising facts because some such as the strict smoking regulations and talking about money will help you enjoy the trip as first-time visitors.