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Nitya interviews Olivia about France: Forget berets

“Many people think that we go around wearing hats and go around saying ‘Oui Oui’. This is a misconception that can really annoy many French people. I think this misconception can sometimes be because humans, in general, can be quite judgemental --but also nice!--,” Olivia says. “But we do not go around wearing berets just to make it clear. Another myth people mention is that French people are very unfriendly and rude, which is completely wrong. We like to interact with people and we love food --French cuisine is probably one of the best cuisines in my opinion--.” Olivia adds, “if you go to France and say these types of misconceptions, you are most likely going to be judged by others and it is not going to be a pleasant experience. Don’t do it.”

Is there something that really fascinates you or that you really like about France?
“Yeah, I think I like many things. We have amazing architecture and beautiful beaches. Honestly, the beaches are probably the best I have ever been. You get really nice food right by the beach and a lot of people like to spend their evenings on the beach. And for architecture of course most of them are what makes France popular like Eiffel Tower, Cathedral Notre-Dame and more.” “French people also have a really funny tradition that takes place on the new years. It’s when you eat a grape every time the clock strikes midnight --12 times-- and then you drink a glass of champagne. This tradition is also well known in Spain too. Nowadays a lot of the millennials don’t do that anymore and it's just the elder people, but for the holidays people like to gather around with their families and do it together.”

Is there anything else you would like share that people might not know about in France?
“Many people, when they visit France they wouldn’t think of things like amusement parks. When people think of France, they think of very bourge places but in real life, it's really fun there. There are lots of activities to do and there is a lot more creativity to France. You really have to have an open mind.” “Another thing to add would be that people in France have a great sense of style. Each person has a very beautiful sense of fashion. A cool fact is that a lot of popular stores in the US and most places in Europe are named in French like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, are not that well popular in France. Foreigners like to think that since these stores are from France, there must be a lot bigger and fantastic boutiques, but there really isn’t. It’s the same as any other boutiques.”

Olivia was interviewed by Middle School student reporter Nitya Khandelwal.

Check out our other interviews with students from Argentina, Colombia, Cyprus, Hungary, India, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.