Regions in France
One of the things I like about France is that it has such a diversity of culture. There are many small regions with different cultures and traditions, and even traditional languages that are different from French.
I live in the Southwest of France in a region called Ariege. Here the regional language is Occitan. Occitan is an old language that is not spoken much anymore. Some older people still speak it, but the number of people who can speak or understand it is becoming fewer and fewer. Here in Ariege there are traditional dishes that are special to this region, and traditional houses are made of stone.
Recently my husband and I took a trip to the Atlantic coast of France to visit a friend. The town, Capbreton, was about a 3-hour drive west of where we live. I was surprised to see that the architecture was quite different from that in Ariege. The traditional style of house in that part of France is made of painted white wood with red window shutters and red stripes painted down the sides of the house (sometimes the shutters and stripes are blue or green). They are really pretty! There are also unique traditions and cuisine in that area that we do not have in Ariege. And the seafood is delicious!
A little north of our friend’s house is French Basque Country. (There is also Basque Country in Spain.) The Basque people have their own culture, and a language that has no relation to any other language in Europe. The Basque people are very proud of their heritage and they speak both French and the Basque languages fluently. We went to a lovely seaside town in Basque Country called Saint Jean de Luz. I have included a photo below. Saint Jean de Luz is only a 30-minute drive from our friend’s house, but the culture, language and cuisine are very different!
These are only a few examples of the diversity in culture you can find in France. There are many more regional languages and unique traditions. It is really interesting!