French 5 | 05.14.21

Welcome to the 12th edition of French 5, where I share a glimpse of France through language, places, food and drink, arts and culture, as well as a random fun fact.


In this week’s edition, Norwegian digital creator Marianne shares how she became an incurable Francophile and what she loves about Provence, pastries and a special little tradition that takes place in May.


A big thank you to Marianne for contributing this week’s content and photos. If you have any feedback or ideas of what you’d like to see or who should be featured, please leave your comment below.


Featuring || Marianne of @myfrenchmap

My name is Marianne (@myfrenchmap on Instagram) and I’m an incurable Francophile living in Norway. I’m currently working as a patient coordinator in the Children’s Department at a hospital in the south of Norway. My spare time is all about photography which has been a passion ever since I was a little girl with my own little Kodak Instamatic Camera. I visited France for the first time only 5 years ago and fell completely and totally in love. It’s been many visits ever since, and hopefully many, many more to come post-covid. 


01 Language || Au Pif

My French is still very limited, even though I’ve been taking classes to improve. It’s truly difficult as an adult to learn a new language, especially when you’re living in a different country with a different language and only get to practice online. However, I’m learning little by little and have picked up some phrases that I love! My favourite has to be “Au pif,” which in the context of cooking means you’ve prepared something randomly, without a recipe. The term can also be used in other contexts in relation to doing something “by feel,” without absolute precision. I just think it’s such a cute expression.


02 Place || Uzès

All my travels in France have mainly been to Provence, and I’ve discovered so many stunning places there, from tiny, little hilltop villages to beautiful, colourful villages by the sea. My all time favourite place has to be Uzès - the most charming, little village situated in the Occitanie region. When I arrived there it had me immediately captured by its striking beauty, its down to earth charm and the relaxing atmosphere everywhere. After spending 5 days in this dreamy little village I was in tears when I had to leave. 


03 Food & Drink || Macarons

In my opinion, the French cuisine is the best in the world. As I have a strong sweet tooth, my love for the French pastries in particular is unconditional. Madeleines, croissants, pain au chocolat, croustades, éclairs... I could go on and on forever! It's almost impossible to pick only one favourite, but if I had to it just has to be the classic macaron. Oh la la! 


04 Arts & Culture || La Fête du Muguet

I actually learned about the Fête du Muguet on May 1st. I had never heard of it before, but I think it’s such a beautiful tradition and just has to be mentioned! As in Norway and many other countries, May 1st is a national holiday to celebrate labour day, and in France it also carries an even older and utterly charming tradition of presenting loved ones and friends a small bouquet of Lily of the Valley as an expression of affection and luck. Offering a little muguet in spring was common in mediaeval times, but it seems that it became official on May 1, 1561 when King Charles IX, having received a sprig himself, decided to return the gesture and offer the flower to every lady in his court. These delicate plants are absolutely everywhere at this time of the year in France. They fill the shelves in shops and perfume the air with their lovely scent. 


05 Fun Fact || Camera phones & Marianne

Did you know that the first camera phone was invented by a Frenchman? It was created by the Parisian Phillipe Kahn, and the very first picture he took and sent to family and friends was of his newborn daughter on June 11, 1997. Another fun fact (at least to me!) is that my name appears to be French. I always thought its origin was American, until a few years ago a French friend told me that it’s an old French name. Marianne has been the national personification of the French Republic ever since the French Revolution, as a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty. She’s displayed in many places in France and holds a place of honor in town halls and law courts. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, is engraved on French Euro coins and appears on French postage stamps. 

Follow Friday || @carolina.ldno

There are several fellow French fanatics that have inspired me through the years, and one of them is lovely Carolina Ldno @carolina.ldno.  In addition to being an amazing photographer, her posts on Instagram are a huge source of information on all the iconic sweet spots (and also the hidden gems!) in Paris you don’t want to miss when visiting the City of Light. She always shares details on locations and how to find these places. Carolina is the sweetest, most helpful person around and is definitely worth a follow. 



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To read all previous editions, visit our French 5 webpage

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