meeting new people & learning new things

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I found a note to invite me to join Mme Remouit for dinner on Thursday night at eight o’clock. When I arrived, she wasn’t prepared for me or the other boarder (Charlotte) to join her (or so it seemed). She had us sit outside and talk with each other while she called down her other two exchange students (that I didn’t know she had) to join us to eat. Mme Remouit did not join us for dinner; she only came to bring us our food…which I found to be very strange. In our group for dinner, the nationalities present were French, American, Italian, and Mexican. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it was interesting because we began discussing and comparing our families and cultures to that of the Remouit family. After talking with the group of students, I found out that the family is very conservative. An aspect of their communication that I didn’t notice, but the other students who have been around longer have noticed, was that the children speak to their parents in the vous form. I didn’t think anything was strange about that until I learned from the other French student that in her home and area, it is very old fashioned to refer to your parents in the vous form. When talking at dinner tonight, Susan mentioned that royalty used to do the same thing…maybe they have a secret castle somewhere?? Anyway, all of the communication with the mother is strictly formal, while for the father, no one really talks with him. When the family eats together, apparently he does not join them. He eats separately later on in the evening. This family upbringing is definitely different than my own, and I am curious to find out what other things the family does that are culturally different than my own family.


Susan said...
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SC said...

I have to say that the Remouits don't seem very typical from what you've been saying so please don't take them as your mental model of a French family Rachael! This is a good example of individual or family-specific culture, rather than aspects of French- or Parisian-ness.