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A quirky, insider’s guide to understanding France and the French, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Thursday at 1.45 pm.

Latest update : 2016-02-18

Paris arrondissements: Smashing the snail

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 18.02.16: This week, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo caused quite a stir. She presented City Council with a controversial plan to change the capital’s administrative organisation. Currently, Paris has 20 arrondissements, or administrative districts, which spiral out of the centre like a snail’s shell. Hidalgo wants to smash the snail.

She wants to merge the first four arrondissements, Paris’s smallest and least populated, into one super arrondissement. The mayor says this will make Paris more democratic and efficient. Critics on the right accuse her of political and electoral manipulation. They say Hidalgo is trying to secure long-term Socialist domination by reducing the number of arrondissement mayors from centrist or conservative parties and turning Paris into a giant "bobo" paradise. 



2017-02-16 Valentine's Day

Are the French the world's best lovers?

Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, a good opportunity to focus on love "à la française". What is it like to date a French person? Are the rules different? Do all French...

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2017-02-02 French Presidential Elections 2017

A voté! How France elects its president

FRENCH CONNECTIONS – Thurs. 02.02.17: France is gearing up for the 2017 presidential elections. Rarely has there been so much uncertainty surrounding who could be the next person...

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2017-01-26 France

How to cut cheese and the French 'fromage' rules

After wine and bread, we explore something else that's quintessentially French: cheese! With an estimated 400 distinct varieties of "fromage", it’s safe to say that France is...

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2017-01-19 food and beverage industry

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

France is famous for its gastronomy, but some delicacies are a little hard to stomach for first-time visitors. From snails and blood sausage to tripe and frogs' legs, this week...

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2017-01-12 religion

Population studies: France's 'ethnicity' taboo

France is undeniably a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multiracial society. But getting to know more about the exact make up of French society is tricky: it's forbidden by law...

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