France - Culture Overview
France has a rich and diverse culture known for its richness in art, architecture, music, language, cuisine, and of course fashion. The cultural heritage of France dates back to thousands of years and is as old as the country itself is. The French population has very diverse origins, contributing to the development of a cosmopolitan culture. France is home to people with various ethnic backgrounds including Celts, Romans, Germans, Russians, Asians, Africans North Americans and recent immigrations. The people of France are known worldwide for their sophisticated approach towards life, combined with great concern for style, fashion and appearances. France had been an important cultural center of the world for many centuries, with Paris being the cultural hub. Even today, France contributes greatly to the fashion culture of the world.
The religion of France is predominantly Roman Catholic with anticlerical leanings. France guarantees freedom of religion as a constitutional right to all its citizens and the government is bound to respect this right in practice. Islam is the second largest religion in France, mostly practiced by immigrants from former French colonies in Northern Africa. Other religious groups in France include Protestant, Jews, and Buddhists. Atheists also form a large percentage of French population.
The French language is considered the most important cultural identity for the people of France. In fact, the culture of France is profoundly allied with the French language. French is the official language of 33 countries around the world, and is the 13th largest spoken language in the world. The French Government has taken several actions for the promotion of French culture and the French language.
The Art in France
France has produced several world-renowned artists, painters, authors, and musicians and the artistic history of France dates back to thousands of years. The cave paintings of Altamira, Font de Gaume, Lascaux, Les Combarelles, Niaux Cave and Les Trois Frères show the artistic richness of France since time unknown. During medieval period, France emerged as an important center of art and architecture in the world. Among famous artists of France include Edgar Degas, Francis Picabia, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. The world-renowned Victor Hugo who wrote Le Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame were also from France. The renowned Spanish painter Pablo Picasso settled in France in 1904 and contributed significantly to the progress of art in France. France is home to thousands of museums including the world-famous Louvre Museum, Osray Museum and Picasso Museum with amazing collections of art and artifacts.
France is known worldwide for its rich varieties of cuisines and wines. French Cuisine is regarded as one of world's most elegant and refined cuisines, renowned for both its classical and provincial styles. The style of French cuisine has influenced almost all Western cuisines, and it forms basis for all other forms of Western cooking. France is known for its varieties of wines and cheeses, which form an integral part of French cuisine, both as ingredients and accompaniments. French cuisine and cooking style is part of culture of France, and people take a high pride in the cuisine of their country.
Music in France
France is also famous for its music, cinemas and sports, especially football. France has long been considered an important center for European art and music. Music in France is characterized by its amazing varieties of indigenous folk music as well as styles brought by immigrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia. France has produced several legendary composers in the field of classical music including famous pianist and composer Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Hector Berlioz. Among popular contemporary composers in France include Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez. Jazz, ballet and opera are other most popular forms of music and dances in France. Sports are also popular in France with soccer being the most loved sport in the country.