Aah France. We love you for your flowery language, your unapologetic sophistication, your fancy food and your even fancier people. You have taught us the meaning of words like classy, and stylish, and soiree… and we will be forever grateful. So to celebrate Bastille Day (French National Day or La Fête Nationale for you fancy francophones), we thought we’d remind you of all the wonderful things France has kindly exported to the world. And I’m betting there’s a lot more to come, they just know we’re not ready yet…
Even after listening to Get Lucky for the millionth time, Daft Punk still rock. This enigmatic robot duo have been filling our dance floors since 1997, and there is currently no sign of them ever slowing down.
2. French pastries
Éclairs, pain au chocolat, mille-feuille, profiterole, croquembouche…and most famously, the croissant (it may have been born it Austria, but let’s face, the French made it famous). Just like it’s people, pastries from this country are beautiful AND delicious. If you’ve never had the pleasure of walking past a sweet smelling French patisserie and drooled shamelessly at the gorgeous treats in the window, well, you just haven’t lived my friend. Get yourself over to France now for a little taste of baking heaven.
3. French fries
Sure the Belgians like to lay claim that they actually invented these strips of potato goodness, but they’re not called Belgian fries now are they? France gets a well deserved kudos for perfecting the one of the most satisfying and versatile foods in the world. They literally go with any occasion. Whether you’re stumbling home from a night of intensive partying and need that fried, salty goodness to finish off your night…or if you’re dying of a hangover the next morning…or if you need something to go with your burger/steak/egg/fish…or even if you’re just bored…
4. French kissing
OK, so we don’t know for sure if the French really invented this, (although there’s no solid proof that they didn’t) but they’re a country so sensually tantalizing that the world just had to put the word ‘French’ before the word kiss. What does that tell us? French people are sexy as hell, and that’s a fact that deserves to be on this list. Don’t believe us? What if we told you that Olivier Martinez, Marion Cotillard, Eva Green, Michael Vartan, Clemence Poesy, Yoann Gourcuff AND Romain Durisare are ALL French. Mmmmm.
5. Coco Chanel
Founder of the Chanel brand, Coco Chanel helped women say good-bye to restrictive corsets and other confining clothes, and hello to little black dresses, female suits and Chanel No. 5. Where would be without the little black dress? We’d be stuck in an eternal vortex of indecision in front of our bedroom mirrors, unable to leave the house because we don’t have anything to wear. That’s where.
This romantic comedy follows a young woman (Audrey Tautou) who decides to make the world a better place by changing the lives of the people she knows. It’s fun, charming, and makes everyone who watches it want to move to Paris immediately. What’s not to like? If you’re in the mood to feel warm and fuzzy and have your faith in humanity restored to the heights it reached when you were an innocent child, watch this film. If you like to feel dead inside, don’t.
7. Tour de France
The world’s greatest bicycle race for professional cyclists in the world that lasts three weeks and covers 3,360 kilometres. This year marked the race’s 100th anniversary, sadly London weather was not very welcoming.
Some English bloke is credited as “the first photographer” but until French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce came along in 1826, photos were just shadows and blurs. As with everything, the French took it and made it awesome. As you can see, Joseph was also a very dapper man with the outstanding ability to pull off a cravat. Not bad France, not bad at all.
9. Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Not only did explorer Jacques Cousteau co-invent the Agua-Lung (an underwater breathing apparatus), but Monsieur Cousteau was also a filmmaker, scientist, photographer, author and fierce nature lover. Plus he was an inspiration for this! Like his country, Cousteau was something of a Jacques of all trades…(ok, sorry, but can you blame me?).
10. The French Revolution
You know, if it wasn’t for that whole upheavel thing back in the 1700’s, you wouldn’t even be reading this post. On 14 July 1789, insurgents dissatisfied with general state of things stormed the prison Bastille, marking the beginning of the French revolution. Thanks to them, we can now enjoy liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality and fraternity) for all!
Happy Bastille Day!
Can you think of any more? Tell us in the comments!
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Thanks to deejayres, You As A Machine, waferboard, chariserin, malias, KaiAlex81, El Bibliomata, raypilla, GJR and notfrancois for the images off Flickr. Please note that all images were used under the Creative Commons license at the time of posting.