Relations between France and the United States have not always been perfect, but this week at Linfield, students have been celebrating the best parts of French culture.
The nationally celebrated French Week proposes to extend Americans’ knowledge of the culture beyond wine, cheese and the Tour de France.
“America and France have a little bit of this hate-love relationship,” French Assistant Amandine Vitti said. “I kind of want to show [Americans] we’re not evil.”
Vitti is a Fulbright Scholar from France. She worked with junior Sarah Poppino, president of the French Club, to plan the week’s events.
French Week started featuring events with a food-centered day Nov. 5. Students passed out free cheese samples and offered information on French recipes and typical French meals. They also gave away buttons that said “I kiss better than I cook” in French.
“I’m so excited about all the food events,” Vitti said.
The week will also close with a food event: dinner at Bistro Maison. Vitti is still working on the details, but it is expected to cost about $5 for students. To sign up, e-mail Vitti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The influence of a myriad of other cultures on life in America is evident, but the impact of the French culture is often overlooked, which French Week intends to highlight through daily table presentations in Walker Hall.
On Nov. 6, students learned about how French science, technology and careers influence our daily lives.
“There’s a lot of French in their daily lives, but they don’t really know it,” Vitti said.
For example, Bic pens are French, as are the band members of duo Daft Punk, who sing “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” Many English words were originally borrowed from the French language. A host of other influences are evident in every American’s daily life, though they may go unnoticed.
Vitti said many French bands, such as Daft Punk, sing in English. Thus, American audiences don’t realize they are French.
Music by Daft Punk and other French bands will be featured at tonight’s “Ball Night.” The French dance party will be held in the Walker Hall Foyer at 8 p.m. Co-sponsored by Informed CHOICES Friday Night Live, the party will offer free snacks, drinks and door prizes.
“People should come dressed in the colors of the French flag,” Vitti said. “Blue, white and red.”
It turns out France and the United States have more connections than one may think, such as the colors of the flags.
The events also intend to inform people about all areas where French is spoken outside of France, Poppino said.
“The French language is the most interesting part of their culture,” she said.
The table Nov. 10 will feature study abroad information, and information on French sports will be showcased on Nov. 11, notably petanque. Petanque is a popular summer pastime for the French and is similar to bocce ball.
The French Club also sponsors movie nights and cooking lessons. For more information, e-mail Poppino at email@example.com.