10 Things I love about France

France is in my thoughts and heart today in light of their time of crisis. I am fascinated by many cultures but the francophile in me is surely strong. I feel attachment to France although I never been. In my childhood French culture, far more than now, was celebrated and held as more refined and slightly exotic. That view stay with me. My Great-Grandma passed through there on her way to a better life. She picked up a bit of the language on the way. Two of my Grand Uncles went there in World War II and changed from young men into the greatest of heroes.

Today I am teaching my kids about France and French culture. Here’s ten more things about France I’d clasp a beret to my heart on any day.

10. Art – “Have you heard about the painter Vincent Van Gogh? The man loved color and he let it show.”

9. Music – With apologies to Tchaikovsky and others, as for the Romantic period of classical music, they nailed it.

8. Philosophy and other discourse on what it all means to be alive and human. I think about that Candide nearly every week. Madame Bovary now and again too.

7. Bread. In my opinion lox on a bagel is nice but on french bread is best. They have mastered food from aperitif to dessert and all in between. Coffee too. And the king of soda waters: Perrier.

6. Without any possibility of argument, they have given the world the knowledge of true love. All kinds. The highs and lows. The immutable worth and joy.

5. Automobiles – In a world of generic automobiles they have and still make cars from the left field. Someday I wish to have a Deux Chevaux of my own. Love their planes and trains as well.

4. Their Language along with their pride in it – All other European languages, including English, sound like somebody strangling a goat in comparison to French.

3. Statue of Liberty – You ever notice she just gets prettier as the years pass by?

2. French movies – Got me through some hard times. Made me laugh and make me cry. In the words of a wiser man, “And taught me a little bit about myself.”

1. La Marseillaise – Sends a chill up my spine. Puts a tear in my eye. Make me proud to be free. Reminds me what it takes.

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