Students gather to explore French culture
Published: Friday, February 18, 2011
Updated: Friday, February 18, 2011 00:02
On Thursday, the first French Cultural Night of the year occurred in McMahon Hall's Global House Lounge. Students from all cultural backgrounds gathered to explore French culture with Global Council.
Each month, Global House sponsors an event that centralizes around one particular culture with the hope of exposing students to traditions and customs outside of their own. Future cultural themes include Uganda and Ireland.
"We chose France this month because of Valentine's Day, and France is the romance thing," said Victoria Lance, 2nd-semester linguistics/psychology major and coordinator of the event.
"We try to get speakers and serve food so that people can come and meet new people. I learned new things tonight, and it looks like people really enjoyed it," Lance said.
The atmosphere in Global House was certainly apropos of the occasion: the French flag streamed from the ceiling, crepe fixings lined the tables, and suave French love songs played from the speakers. Also available was a 3-D Eiffel Tower building with marshmallows and a station where students made their significant others belated Valentine's Day cards in the language of love.
"I came for the crepes," said Evan Rollins, 2nd-semester computer engineering major.
Crepes, undoubtedly the most popular facet of the evening, attracted many with the alluring scent of bananas, fresh strawberries and Nutella. The dish originates from Brittany, in northwest France, and is a national dish, but its consumption is becoming increasingly popular in North America as well.
Speaking at the event was Parisian French TA, Thomas Choukron. Choukron was born in France and got his license and master's from La Sorbonne in Paris. He reflected on his teaching experience thus far in America.
"In France, the teacher has the authority. I thought I would be a very strict teacher. I thought about all the French cliches and about how French people hate American people," said Choukron.
Choukron went on to speak of how he set out to dispel some common misconceptions regarding French and American stereotypes. He ended up discovering a portion of himself in the process.
"I like Americans, so I guess I am not a typical French person. I consider myself lucky for having the most amazing students."