Osher Course Focuses on French Culture and Etiquette
If you’re ever invited to a dinner party in France, don’t be on time and by all means don’t offer to bring a dish.
“It is a social expectation to be 10 to 15 minutes late for any social invitation except the theater or the opera,” said Amy Saward, an American who spent more than 25 years living and working in France. “If you show up early, you’ll probably find the hostess still in the shower.”
Saward is teaching “The Art of French Living- A Visitor’s Guide to French Culture” through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute sponsored by UCR Extension at the AnnenbergCenter, 39-000 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage beginning April 16. Osher classes are designed for adults, 50 years and older, who want to enjoy intellectually stimulating, college-level courses without worrying about tests and grades.
Saward grew up in the Bay Area and moved to France when she was 21.
“It was a rude awakening for me,” Saward said. “It was not only the fact that I didn’t speak any of the language, I also didn’t comprehend the so-called etiquette and social structure.”
Some things we do as American are perfectly acceptable here but they are not well received in Europe.
For example, never show up empty handed to a dinner party but never, ever bring a salad or pudding if you want to avoid offending your host. Instead, bring chocolate, flowers or pastries.
The course is designed to give a behind-the-scenes peek into the French experience for individuals who are interested in learning about other cultures even if they never plan to visit France.
For more information about the class or about Osher classes in general go to www.extension.ucr.edu/osher/ or call (951) 827-4105.