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A Tale of Two Countries. By: Clare Girnus . Learning Target. I can explain how culture defines my chosen group in the world today and how this group shows a unique perspective. . Christmas (France). Christmas is called Noel.

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A Tale of Two Countries


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    1. A Tale of Two Countries By: Clare Girnus

    2. Learning Target • I can explain how culture defines my chosen group in the world today and how this group shows a unique perspective.

    3. Christmas (France) • Christmas is called Noel. • On December 6th Pere Noel (Santa) and his helper Pre Fouettard (this helper checks to see if children are naughty or nice) bring presents to children. • They return to bring more gifts on Christmas Eve night. • A tree is decorated before or on Christmas Eve. • Most have a big meal and attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. • Shoes are left by the fireplace for Pere Noel to fill. • Children may open their gifts on Christmas morning, but adults must wait until New Years day.

    4. Christmas (Italy) • Although Italians traditionally get gifts from La Befanaon the Epiphany (the day the three wise men gave baby Jesus his gifts), getting gifts from BabboNatale (Santa Clause) on Christmas is becoming more popular. • Decorations include Christmas trees with lights and oraments. • Traditionally, Christmas Eve dinner is eaten as a meatless meal with family. • Bag pipes and flute players are a tradition in many Italian Christmases. • Around the Christmas season, many people go to nativity (or manger) scenes.

    5. Easter (France) • Many shops are closed on Easter and the day after. • Church bells are silent from the Thursday before Easter until Easter morning. • Candy stores traditionally have beautiful displays of chocolate and candy. • Easter Bells (the equivalent of the Easter bunny, but not an animal) are bells that fly across France and drop treats for children in the grass. • When French people hear the church bells on Easter morning, it is a sign that the Easter Bell came.

    6. Easter (Italy) • Adults don’t stop working except for on Easter day and the following day. • On the Thursday before Easter friends and families gather together and go to mass. • Easter is celebrated with family. They have a big evening meal including wine and lamb. • For dessert there is a traditional Easter Cake, which translated in English is called “Easter Dove”. • Children get a hollow milk chocolate Easter Egg stuffed with toys and surprises. • Angel’s Monday, or the day after Easter, is normally celebrate by going on a picnic with family.

    7. Food (France) • In France, cooking is considered an art, and most meals include wine. Breakfast: • A light breakfast of coffee, and bread or croissants. Lunch: • Typically eaten at 1 P.M. in urban areas and later in places that are more rural. • Many people eat filled croissants and sandwiches. Dinner: • Cafes offer ham-and-cheese sandwiches and a salad-type-vegetables. • The French population tends to resist fast food because of health concerns about modified food and worries about globalization which is seen as a threat to France’s small farms.

    8. Food (Italy) • Wine accompanies most meals. Breakfast: • A cup of coffee (or warm milk for children) • Cornetto (a cream-filled croissant) • Bread with jam and honey. Lunch: • Fewer and fewer people are eating mid-day lunches, even though it used to be the largest meal of the day. • Many kinds of sandwiches and salads. • Soup or pasta dishes. • Fish or a light meat. Dinner: • Traditionally includes three courses. Pasta, fish or meat, and vegetables. • In the north, pasta or rice is part of every dinner. • Many sauces and dressings on pasta and salad. • Veal, beef, and lamb are popular meats.

    9. Casual Fashion (France) • Known as the fashion capitol of the world. Children: • Jeans, sneakers, and Tee shirts have become very popular. Although French children wear these articles, they take great care that they match and look neat and organized. • Many French schools require uniforms such as jumpers, slacks, polos, a blazer, skirts, and dress shoes. • Although not all schools have a uniform, the majority have some sort of dress code that enforces conservative dressing. Adults: • Even on casual occasions, the French adults like to look put together. Well fitted clothes are normal. • Adults prefer high fashion, sophisticated styles. • They prefer conservative clothes that don’t reveal anything. • French men and women wear scarves often. • French adults do wear sneakers, but not sport sneakers unless they are exercising. • Canvas is a popular shoe material.

    10. Casual Fashion (Italy) • Italians take pride in their appearance and tend to dress up for normal things such as a stroll. Children: • Schools do not usually have uniforms as they are associated with a dictator who required uniforms inside and outside school (Mussolini). • However, some schools require students to wear a kind of doctor’s smock called a grembiulino (pictured below). • Even if schools don’t require it, some parents send their children to school in these smocks anyway. • Girls generally wear these smocks in pink or white and boys wear a short cotton jacket in blue or black. Adults: • A casual outfit for men includes a crisp white or black collared shirt with well fitted jeans. • Although streets are generally cobblestone, women wear high heels often. • Most citizen find sneakers ugly and distasteful. • Baggy clothes generally mean that they are hand-me-downs and you can’t afford anything else. • Women believe in understated elegance. They are always sure to dress their age. • Men and women both look for designer labels. • Dressing well is considered an act of courtesy to others.

    11. Finer Fashion (France) Women: To parties, women often wear: • Straight black skirt • Elegant top in a glitzy material or a V-neck sweater. • For shoes they wear small heels. • Earrings and necklaces. Men: • Wear a smart shirt (many wear stripes) with cuff links • Black trousers • A well cut jacket and a tie.

    12. Finer Fashion (Italy) Women: • For a party, a women wears: • Dress • At least 4 inch heels. Men: • Wear navy suit jackets and a blue shirt buttoned all the way up. • Designer clothes are super important at any social event for both genders. Popular designers include: Gucci, Versace, Cavalli, and Armani.

    13. Pets (France) • The French generally keep pets for a purpose such as mouse catching, guarding their homes, or fashion as well as companionship. • Many hotels and restaurants allow pets. • Dogs are very popular in France. For every 100 people in France, there are 17 dogs. • Some of the most popular pet names are: Jean, Céline, and Channel.

    14. Pets (Italy) • In all, the country of Italy has 45 million pets. That includes: • 7 million dogs • 8 million cats • 16 million fish • 12 million small birds and snakes. • One very popular dog is the Italian Greyhound (pictured above). • Some of the most popular Italian pet names: Francesco (free), Aida (happy), and Massima (great).

    15. Landmarks (France) Eiffel Tower: • It is the tallest building in France and the most visited paid monument in the world. • The structure was built between 1887 and 1889. • The entrance arch for a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. • Three hundred workers put together 18,038 pieces of puddle iron (a pure iron). • When it was first built, citizens called it an eyesore and newspapers were filled with angry letters from prestigious art communities.

    16. Landmarks (Italy) Leaning Tower of Pisa: • It is a freestanding bell tower for the cathedral in Pisa. • It is 183.27 feet tall and has 296 steps. • The construction of the tower took place in three stages over 177 years. • The work on the ground floor began in the year 1173, a period of military success and prosperity. • The tower began to sink after construction began on the second floor due to a small foundation laid in weak, unstable soil. • Then construction halted for almost a century because the Republic of Pisa was almost always engaged in battle. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would have toppled. • In effort to get rid of the tilt, engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is curved. • The last floor was completed in 1319.

    17. Dating and Marriage (France) • Young people start dating around the age of 15. • Favorite dating activities include dances and going to movies. • The average age for marriage is 30 for women and 32 for men. • The dating process is almost opaque. French will be out in groups then pair off. • If a French girl or boy do not like each other, they wouldn’t be afraid to show it. • Public displays of affection are rare.

    18. Dating and Marriage (Italy) • Italians date either in groups or as a couple. • Dancing and going to movies are popular dating outings. • Women usually marry by 26, while the average age for men is 29. • A man will rarely marry before he has finished his education and found employment. Therefore, engagement lasts several years. • Some couples live together before marrying. • Divorce is only granted after three or more years of legal separation.

    19. Greetings (France) • Hand shakes are customary. A French handshake is a light grip and a single quick shake. • Generally a man extends his hand to a woman. • If hands are dirty or wet, French offer an elbow or arm to shake. • Women are generally kissed on the cheek by friends. When giving kisses, they generally touch cheeks and “kiss the air”. • A general greeting is Bonjour (Good Day). Good bye is Au revoir. • However, young people may use Salut, a greeting for both hello and good bye.

    20. Greetings (Italy) • It is normal for men and women to greet using a hand shake. • When in groups, Italians avoid crossing other people’s handshakes. • If a person’s hand is dirty, they may offer a forearm, finger, or simply an apology. • When a man and a woman are introduced to each other, a man bows his head and waits for the woman to extend a hand to shake. • Close friends hug or lightly kiss on both cheeks. • A formal greeting is Buongiorno (Good day) and Buonasera (Good afternoon or Good evening.) • Friends of the same gender usually walk arm in arm in public.

    21. Health (France) • The Frenchenjoy good health and have a high life expectancy. • Medical care is generally good and is available to all citizens through a socialized system. Prices and fees are fixed by the government. • Many French people carry private insurance to pay fees not covered by the government. • In addition to public hospitals, private clinics are available. • The government has recently raised taxes on cigarettes in attempt to bring down the number of smokers in the country..

    22. Health (Italy) • Healthcare services are coordinated through government agencies. • Individuals can choose their family physician, and the government pays for most services. • Private care is also available, but the patient must pay for it themselves. • Smoking is quite common but has decreased somewhat since a 2005 law banned smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as restaurants. • Many Italians refuse to wear seat belts when driving, although a 1998 law made it mandatory.

    23. Recreation (France) • The French are enthusiastic spectators, but fewer participate in team sports than might be expected. • Soccer and rugby are popular spectator sports. • Participation is highest in individual sports such as cycling, fishing, tennis, hiking, skiing, sailing, hunting, and horseback riding. • Leisure activities include watching TV, visiting museums, or attending plays and concerts. • The annual Tour de France cycling race and French Open tennis tournament are popular events. • Many people take five weeks of paid vacation each year – four weeks in the summer and one week at Christmas. • Camping is very popular in summer. • Summer music festivals are very popular.

    24. Recreation (Italy) • Italians enjoy going to the beach, countryside, movies, dances, or sport events. • Soccer is by far the most popular sport. Avid fans follow the World Cup competition, which Italy’s national soccer team has won three times. • Bicycling, horse racing, skiing, tennis, boxing, fencing, swimming, and track and field are also popular sports. • During the day, Italians often go to bars to socialize. Bars, which are more like coffee shops, have a light open atmosphere and serve both coffee and drinks.

    25. Thank you for joining me in a tale of two countries' cultures!

    26. Citation • Dale, Lucy. “What Kind of Clothes Do Children in France Wear?” E how. E how, 2011. Web. 25, Feb. 2012.