There are a variety of stereotypes that come to mind when people think of other cultures. Among the numerous stereotypes of French culture, one of the biggest categories mentioned are their obsession with food.
According to American Association of Teachers of French, National French Week is held from Nov. 4 through the 10 and is a nationally recognized week in the United States with support from Barack Obama.
Dr. Elisabeth Sauvage-Callaghan, a French instructor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, took the initiative to broadcast this week by setting up a display in Carlson Library with the theme of history of French food and cuisine.
Sauvage- Callaghan said, “It dawned on me that it would be cool to do something in the library [for National French Week] and I approached the director of the library asking if I could do something [on display]. He said sure immediately and gave me names of two library staff members to help me.”
The display shows a variety of books including: “The Woman’s Day New French Cookery” by Sylvia Schur, “The New Larousse Gastronomique- The Revised American Edition of The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine, and Cookery” by Prosper Montagne and “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” by Simone Beck, Louisete Bertholle and Julia Child.
She also added a variety of movies including the Disney Pixar “Ratatouille,” the true story of “Julie and Juliet” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, and “Le Chef,” a film by Daniel Cohen starring Jean Reno and Michaël Youn.
In the middle of the display was a huge basket with a fake baguette, grapes, fruit and Brie Prèsident cheese that further emphasized the food culture.
The poster on one side of the basket explained the history of French food icons including a French baguette, French onion soup, escargots, foie gras, crêpes, cheese and of course, wine. On the other side there was history that brings attention to famous “Le Cuisinier’s.”
French is an increasingly important language to learn for a variety of reasons.
Sauvage-Callaghan said, “Studying [a] language has a lot of resistance on this campus because [students] think it’s too hard, it’s not useful, everyone speaks English anyway, and we are a country that is privileged… but it is a big assets to be proficient in another language.”
She brought up a controversial Forbes magazine article prediction. “It’s predicted that French will become a crucial language to learn because by 2050 there will be 750 million people in the world that speak French because of Francophone Africa and will be the dominant…[French] will only continue to grow. ”
This information came from Forbes Magazine Article, “Want to Know the Language of the Future? The Data Suggests It Could Be…French.”
Sauvage-Callaghan will continue to bring attention to the importance of French at C.U.P.’s campus. She said, “This is the third time I have done something for National French Week] and next year we want to do something bigger that involves the French Club.”
She revived and now advises The French club so that it is a fully approved university organization. Anyone is invited to be a part of the Club.