Nothing it seems, divides opinion quite like France and the French. And when it comes to certain customs and cultures, nobody is left on the fence. Some curse La France and others say “vive la difference”, but everyone has an opinion. French culture and customs are so unique that they are the source of endless rows among expats who live here or people who know the country. So we’ve put together this list of ten things about France and its people that expats tend to either respect or reject, admire or abhor. Where do you stand? Find out if you’re a lover or a loather. What did we miss? Let us know what you love or loathe about France in the comments section below.

This feature first appeared in The Local – an English online journal for ex-pats and those who follow French affairs. To view The Local, click here.


EN GREVE ENCORE.It’s hard to love the tradition of “être en grève” (going on strike) when your train home is cancelled or you’re stuck in motorway traffic. You might feel French workers are greedy, having better benefits than most, but striking over anything and nothing. OR maybe you envy and admire how they stand up for themselves. Instead of whining to each other in pubs or online, they take to the streets in all weather, and try to actually DO something.

More to come!


The last Sunday in December is always the traditional Truffle Market in Menerbes. Added on at the end of the day long event, is usually a Concert in the local Church. This year’s performers were the Maitrise des Bouches-du-Rhone – a children’s choir accompanied by a harpist.



A simply stunning winter pic of Menerbes, Luberon Valley

Just outside the Romany city of Apt, lies a little hilltop village, Saint Saturnin-les-Apt (saint Sat, to the locals). Each year the local Church has a Christmas themed nativity creche – all of 120 square metres it takes up the left hand side of the largish Church.

We visited on Boxing Day – the first day of opening.


Traditional Provençal santons – here the local mayor waits patiently to pay homage to the baby Jesus.


Typical village scene


Baby Jesus in the manger


Running water, too!


Provençal lands


a traditional Provençal drum


There are many bories in the area here, typified in the Creche scene

27/12/13. It’s the birthday.


Enjoy the day, with all our love – your friends, family, and your husband xxxx We love you. xxxx

A lone light leads you towards some apartments in the villge of Menerbes, Luberon

Strolling through the streets of Menerbes – Christmas Eve


Clear, crisp wintry skies – perfect for a couple of jet liners winging their passengers on their way. Home for Christmas!

For the rugby van who have everything – Merry Christmas from The Flanker shop in the Luberon: a French rugby chair!

From the glace fruit capital of the world – the Lubero

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