Tuesday, 7 October 2008

French Facts: Who is Marianne?

The figure of Marianne is the popular emblem of the French Republic, as such she represents the state and its values of liberty, equality and fraternity. 

Although her image is found on stamps, French euro coins and all government stationary, neither Marianne nor the gallic rooster enjoy official emblem status.  The French constitution only recognises the French flag as the official state emblem.

The 1830 oil canvas by Eugène Delacroix entitled "La Liberté guidant le peuple" depicts Liberty, personified by Marianne, leading the people to victory during the French Revolution of 1789. The Phrygian cap she wears in the painting had come to symbolise liberty during the revolution.

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple 

Yes, Coldplay also used this painting as part of the artwork for their fourth album.

 

800px-Logo_de_la_République_française.svg

The logo (letterhead) of the French government.

Paris_République Statue of Marianne on the Place de la République, Paris.

Repas du 6 au 10 octobre

School menus for the week. At Jack's school they had apple, ice cream with hot choc sauce for dessert as it was the cooks birthday: not sure if that translates to Poire Belle Hélène.  Jack raved about it all the same. 

schoolmenu4-10oct

This school year lunch cost has gone up 25 centimes to €1.75 each. Subsidised of course, but what a bargain.

image
A typical lunch serving. In France, school lunch hour includes exercise and lasts for two hours.

I came across an interesting article from Deborah Madison, a US based cookbook author and local-food advocate, who describes her experience with French school lunch.  This is an extract.

"As for those vending machines that we have such a hard time getting rid of, they were banned in France three years ago. Banned.

What impressed me most of all about the French school lunch was not just the deliciousness of the food, but that everything about it — the brightly decorated lunchrooms, the gorgeous kitchens, the lunch moms, the chefs — sent such a deep message of caring. To my ears it fairly screamed, “We care about and love our children. They are us, after all, and we want them to eat well and be nourished.”