architecture, clothing, art

art, literature, museum, manners, artist

art, theatre, cuisine, habits

beliefs, habits, language

food, language, dress

food, music, traditions, religion

important, interesting, "Gone with the Wind"

interesting, different, profound

intricate, rich, enlightening

movies, art, theatre, thought

music, art, custom

music, film, dance, food

poetry, music, literature

pride, passion, community

religion, dance, food

religion, languages, melting pot

salad bowl, ethnicity, pop culture

tradition, family, diverse

traditional, garments, lots of people

unique, strength, misunderstood

vast diversity, accepting, mixture

want, miss, study



épanouissement, Paris, beauté

cinéma, littérature, social

enrichissement, salut, infinie

fondamentale, variée, plaisir

histoire, différente, richesse



littérature, théâtre, musée

livre, film, musique

livres, langue, curiosité, musique

livres, musique, savoir, connaissance

mode de vie , diversité , découverte , groupe

ouverture, enrichissement, plaisir

personnelle, importante, utile

théâtre, lecture, ouverture

universelle, union, tolérance

voyage - échange- découverte - coutumes


It seems French students thought of theater, music, and literature, while US students thought of food, language, diversity, and tradition. It may be that there are very few classical american books, plays or music, since when we think of music, we think more of popular music which we don't consider refined.

I've always thought that food would be more important in France. Is culture thought to be the ancient traditions, or the modern parts of life? In the US, there are many different groups of people living together. Is there little diversity in tradition in France?

There were a lot of similarities between what the American students wrote and what the French students wrote. We both thought of cultural expressions like music, theatre, dance, food, visual art, and religion. We also both thought of positive things that come from these cultural things, like pride, passion, strength, beauty, and union.

Living in the United States or Canada is a little different from living in most other places because we don't have a long cultural history. Our language, people, food, and artistic traditions all come from other countries. Everyone has a different racial history and very few people have families that have lived here for more than a few hundred years. Everyone is an immigrant.

Do you often think about having a French cultural identity? Are people against foreign immigrants for cultural reasons?

ce qui m'étonne c'est que la religion semble etre plus importante pour vous au niveau de la culture que pour les francais car on n'en parle pas du tout.

en ce qui concerne la culture française, je pense justement qu'elle s'enrichie de plus en plus des cultures des migrants. je crois que qui fait peut être peur aux français ce serait une invasion de personne d'une autre religion notamment musulmane.

I find it interesting that the MIT students wrote down food while the French did not; this could be, however, because the MIT students are not just American and relate closely with the food they grew up with; I don't know about the French students.


Maybe the MIT students wrote religion because here in the United States everyone is free to practice their own religion without worrying about any of it influencing the government too much. I guess what I am trying to say is that we have never felt the pressure to accomodate a specific religion by giving them special privileges. From the media, it seems that the French are trying to prevent their culture and government policies from being changed similar to how the United Kingdom is changing. I'm curious to know a French perspective on this?