Willamette World News

Willamette World News

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Cats are not the only ones with several lives… »

With this issue on social life in France, there are so many things I want to tell you about that I know I will forget some of them along the way. I want to speak about chameleons, cats, bubbles, about mirrors leading to other worlds, and about a thousand other things that are important to [...]

Ecological Politics or Political Ecology? »

Is France really going Green? Or is Green simply “the new black”? Is ecology the new “à la mode” thing or are we about to witness a dramatic change in the Hexagon?
With the presidential elections coming up in just seven months, the words “ecology” (“écologie”) and “sustainable development” (“développement durable”) are everywhere in [...]

Marianne who? »

Looking for an icon
I have to say that I had trouble finding a “national icon” for France.  Looking at French history, several names come to mind: Jeanne d’Arc (but she is used in a political way by the far-right nowadays), Napoleon (but he was also a bit of a dictator), De Gaulle (but he’s closer [...]

Bonjour ! »

Hi everyone !
My name is Fabien, and I am from the city of Lyon, which is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille. Incidentally, Lyon is also between Paris and Marseille on the map of France.

‘Life is Good’ is my motto »

So, my name is Baptiste, and it is said Batist (Bah-tist), but you can say it the way you want. I was born in Bayonne in the South West of France, and I grew up in that same region, in the Bordeaux country-side. When I was 14, I moved to the city, and even though it was very hard for me at the time to leave the country-side and my home and all I knew, it is also part of the things that started my wandering around the planet. I am a traveler and an adventurer. I traveled within France with my parents a lot, and twice outside of the country (Greece and Tunisia). I mostly traveled by myself, though, starting with England at the age of 14.

People make places »

“Are French people mean?” is the first question that I’ve been asked during a presentation about France in a high school. So, are French people mean? My reply was that life is very different in cities like Paris from cities like Salem, so you just don’t meet the same kind of people in Paris and [...]

The origins of an informal word »

There are some informal words, -slang words-, that we use far more than the “normal” or common words, like, for instance, the word “mec” (it means “guy”, but is perhaps more pejorative).

La gastronomie à la française »

France is well-known in the world for its gastronomy. I am not myself an expert on the topic (I think some people expect all French to be wonderful chefs) but like many people, I know a few things about French food. First, it is characterized by its diversity. There are many French dishes that are [...]

The collapse of The French soccer team during the FIFA World Cup of 2010 »

Soccer is the French “national” sport. It is and has always been very important in France: we really live soccer. The proof is that, after the last World Cup in South Africa, from the chaos that was brought about at the defeat of the team, the French government had to intervene.

Molière: a great playwright »

We often say that English is the language of Shakespeare. In the same way, we say that French is the language of Molière. That’s why I wanted to talk about one of the most famous playwrights in France: Molière. In middle and high school, we study lots of his plays. Every French must have read [...]

Three worldwide famous French movies »

Unlike America, whose film industry is famous all over the world, France has a limited number of movies that have such a broad influence. However, a few ones have had a lot of success, and more and more find their way to the international.
Here is my selection of three French movies which have had a [...]

Over the Atlantic: the French Political System »

France is a democratic country whose motto is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” It conveys the values of people gathered in the same Nation. Once Monarchy was abolished in 1789 by what is known as the French Revolution and the decapitation of king Louis the 16th, there were different successive Republics. The Fifth Republic was approved in [...]

Politics in France »

The actual president of France is Nicolas Sarkozy. He was elected in 2007 for a five-year term, so the next presidential elections will be in 2012 but we can already say that the election campaign has started…

Superstitions in France: top 3 »

Like many countries in the world, France has its superstitions. I think that five of them are still very present nowadays and if you mention them to the French, they will know exactly what you’re talking about. So, here are our top 3 popular beliefs:
1. The number 13 can be seen as a bad or [...]