Culture(s) / The symbols of a country

A1 Breakthrough
The Eiffel Tower makes you think of... Paris, of course! Do you know of any other iconic places in other countries?
What are the symbols of your country and culture? Are they tourist highlights known for their beauty? Are they landscapes or monuments? Is there a famous landscape or monument that everyone must visit? Do you notice a characteristic architectural style? What are the most typical arts? Which musical instrument is played the most? Is a real or imaginary personality often used to illustrate your country? In terms of everyday life, do you have any specific symbols in your country? Are there any typical foods or drinks? What is the most common means of transport? What is the word that could represent the climate? Is there a national sport, for which the results of local clubs are reported in all the newspapers?
What is the stereotype of the Belgian, the French, the Quebecer, the Swiss, the Malagasy in your country? Do you feel very different from Belgians, French, Quebecers, Swiss, Malagasy? Why? If you have already been to Belgium, France, Quebec, Switzerland or Madagascar, what surprised you the most when you arrived? How has your view of these countries changed after you got to know them better?
Popular symbols of France
Cultural, artistic, historical elements, as well as everyday life aspects represent France and form the basis of its identity in the eyes of foreigners. The brand “France” likes to highlight its haute couture and its perfumes. Of course, the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower are inseparable from Paris and therefore from France.
As for the most visited recreational sites, they are Disneyland Paris, the Puy du Fou park, the Asterix park, the Futuroscope park in Poitiers and the Beauval Zoo Park (INSEE, 2017). There is no national dish, but each French region is renowned for a traditional dish, a type of cheese or wine. Foreigners mostly think of the baguette and the croissant as typical foods.

Popular symbols of Belgium
Monuments that are often associated with Belgium are the Atomium and the Manneken-Pis fountain, which are located in the capital, Brussels. Typical foods are fries, beer and Liège waffles. 

Popular symbols of Canada
Canada can be represented by many landscapes and some monuments. Among them, the Biosphère, the Vieux-Port in Montreal and many national parks (Banff, the Thousand Islands, Saguenay-St. Lawrence, etc.). Typical foods are poutine (a dish made of fries, cheese and gravy) and maple syrup.

Popular symbols of Madagascar
The largest island in the Indian Ocean is known for its numerous and unique landscapes (baobab forests, aquatic jungles), its plants (the traveller's tree, orchids) and its animals (chameleons, lemurs, zebus). In the capital Antananarivo, monuments reminiscent of the Merina kingdom can still be seen, such as the Rova, a royal complex dating from 1610. Rice is the staple of all Malagasy dishes, and can be found in traditional dishes such as ravitoto (crushed cassava leaves), or koba (a cake made of rice flour and roasted peanuts).

Practical exercises

Lieux emblématiques Angleterre, France, Canada, Belgique

Culture(s): the symbols of a country

4 exercises
Look • Intercultural (travel)