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The Heart of French Culture

April 13, 2017
by Hannah Kersey
Last night, a few of my friends came to my apartment to make dinner. We put a little extra effort to choosing our foods by going to the fromagerie for a few different types of cheese, the boulangerie for some baguettes and some cranberry bread, the épicerie for a nut and dried fruit mix, and the grocery store for some vegetables, olives, and beverages.
 A true Parisienne

We carefully roasted our vegetables, prepared our cheese plate, and cut our bread in thin slices. By the time we had the food on the table, we had spent over an hour on preparation. When I took my first bite of a slice of baguette with Livarot cheese, some nuts, dried cranberries, and an olive, it was so worth it. It reminded me of the heart of the French culture, and that is to always pursue quality, even if that means giving up time or money.
 My French class took a field trip to a kitchen of a local baker. We got to witness the care and expertise of this amazing baker. The results tasted absolutely incredible, to say the least.
 Parc des Buttes Chaumont. I went put to the 19th arrondissement to do a field study at this park. It was refreshing to not see too many tourists (if felt like a hidden gem). The locals know spending time in the fresh air is healthy for body and soul.

Sure, our dinner of bread and cheese required going to four different stores but it tasted so much better than if we had picked up everything at the super market. Before I studied abroad, I did a lot of research about the culture of the French. As I read and discovered, I found myself identifying with the French people even more so that the American people. Each day I experience little things that show me that the French choose quality over quantity because they realize that the temporary sacrifice will be long term joy. They do this with their food, with their friendships, and with their words.
The French love their cafés and it's very normal for them to spend long afternoons with a friend sipping a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Quality time is very important to this culture. 
 Things such as the arts are also very important to the French. The know the importance of supporting and experiencing things such as
jazz in an underground club can really add to the quality of life.

So far, the French have taught me to prioritize things in life and invest in those things. I am learning to spend money on fresh food that will be both delicious and healthy instead of spending it on snacks. I am learning to invest in a few close friends instead of having surface relationships with many different people. Overall, I am learning to  choose quality over quantity.

Hannah K. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Paris, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying Entrepreneurship at Belmont University.

Hannah Kersey is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Belmont University.
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