Most people could probably tell you a handful of things when you asked them what’s their stereotypical image of France is. They are easy to put down and make fun of. However, there are several myths about France and the French people that are simply aren’t true. That is why in this article, we are going to make a few things clear and debunk some top myths about France.
- French people are rude – Probably the most common stereotype is that they are standoffish and ride, especially if you’re a stranger. However, this all comes down to cultural customs. For example, the Brits are taught that it is important to be polite to strangers from a young age, but this is not so important in French culture. When the French smile at you, they really mean it. That is why if ever you’re in France or you come across a French person, and they do not smile back at you, do not ever think of them as rude.
- French wear beret all the time – When we are asked to imagine an image of a French man, most of us would probably think of a man wearing a beret and a striped shirt while holding a baguet in one hand. But, this is an exaggerated image of the French, and this is actually not a common sight on the streets of France. In fact, hardly any French people wear berets.
- French people always eat frog legs and snails – France is known to have some of the world’s most unique dishes. Even if snails and frog legs are French delicacies, they are not a staple in the French diet. In reality, some of the staple food of French would include some very appealing meals such as fries and steak, cheese sandwiches and grilled ham, and even chocolate croissants.
- French people are lazy because they only work no more than 35 hours a week – There is, in fact, a 35-hour work week law in France; however, as years passed, the law has gone through a lot of changes. Today it is a threshold or a minimum for workers, and once they exceeded the 35-hour work week, it leads to paid overtime for employees. In fact, according to some studies, France turned out to be more productive compared to Germany and Britain. Throughout the years, the number of hours that the French has worked has increased. In 2012, most full-time employees in France worked about 39.5 hours every week. Indeed, the French do not work as much as the Americans, but they do not spend their life on vacation.
- French women are supposed to be fashionable and chic – While you may run into several well-dressed women in the streets of St. Trope and Paris, there’s more to France than just big-name cities. There are plenty of women who live in towns and smaller cities who are not bothered if they are wearing H&M or Dior.
- French men are effeminate – Most people assume that a man is effeminate if he has some sense of style. Notably, some French men like to wear scarves, and in some countries like the US, scarves as seen as an accessory that is used mainly by women than men. But in France, it is a piece of clothing that both men and women can use. Just because French men do not like to be seen in plain T-shirts and basketball shorts does not mean that they are any less masculine.
- France’s economy is in the tank – While it is true that France has a huge debt burden, complicated work laws, bloated civil service, high taxes, and considerable social charges, its economy is considered to the 6th largest in the world. Even if growth is almost non-existent and its unemployment rate is at 10%, the French still work, and they work hard.
- French are relax about infidelity – It is a known fact that nudity is not a big deal in France, and they are great a seduction. But they are certainly not adulterers. France is a Catholic country, and they take their vows of fidelity seriously. In fact, infidelity is a sign of an unhappy marriage in France, and it is not a regular show of behavior.