COLUMN: Guillaume Rivain — July 12, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Guillaume Rivain

French student Guillaume Rivain is spending a month in the Prince Albert Daily Herald’s newsroom during his visit to the city, which was brought about by the Rotary club of Prince Albert.


On Monday, France celebrates its national day.

You call it Bastille Day but for us it’s the 14th of July ; we don’t have a particular name for it.

I was already in Canada for Canada Day so I can discuss both our national days.

Historically this is our national day because on July 14, 1789, revolutionies took the Bastille Prison, which was a royal prison. It was an important day for the revolution because that showed the king that the revolution was a real danger to him.

But first it’s important to know that in France we aren’t patriotic like in Canada. A large part of the population don’t know the lyrics of our national anthem; it’s mostly the young because we don’t learn it at school and also because we don’t sing it often.

On Canada Day, people are dressed in red and white, but this is very different in France because not too many people wear clothes with French colours.

Here the parade is friendly; loads of kids and normal citizens can parade on the street on Canada Day while in France the parade is only military on the Champs Elysées. The president makes a speech and we can say that the “official” part is done.

After that, loads of people pass the afternoon with friends, have fun, frequently eat and drink together at dinner and wait for the fireworks at night.

Very often they pass the night together, have a party or celebrate our national day.

France and Canada’s national days are almost equivalent in the date they’re celebrated, but this is mostly a patriotic culture and that makes this different.

But in France we remember why our country is like it is and we are proud of the revolution, so maybe we aren’t as unpatriotic as we think.

Geographic location: France, Canada

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