Bonjour à tous ! This is my first blog for the Routes into Languages LingoMap, so let me first introduce myself. As you can see from my profile I am currently teaching in two collèges (secondary schools) in Grasse, South of France, which means I am surrounded by 11-16 year olds every day! The topic given for this blog is Technology and Social Media, which is perfect seeing as I see it first-hand with my students all of the time.
In terms of social media, I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference between the UK and France in terms of usage. The French kids I teach love a dog filter as much as we do and use Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. daily. The hashtag #désolépasdésolé (#sorrynotsorry) does actually exist on Instagram too! I would say, however, that in general I have noticed that the French children aren’t always on their phone in the streets (which is a big contrast to what you’d see in the UK). Also, during meal times in restaurants etc. you don’t tend to see people checking their phone every two minutes, but that could be because the French love their food (but that’s for another post!).
One really important usage of technology in France is the website : www.blablacar.fr. This site is used for everyone who wants to travel using covoiturage (car sharing). I have used this many times to visit places all over France as it is really cheap and reliable! The idea of blabla car is that you find someone who is going to the same place as you and you pay them to travel in their car. It is usually a lot cheaper than any other mode of transport and it means that you can meet other people who are travelling to the same place as you (it’s also a great way to practice your French!). Blablacar does also exist in the UK, but you may not have heard of it as it is certainly more popular in France.
Les Fêtes des Lumières: Lyon
I thought a good way to explore the theme of technology would be to look at one of the big events in France, the “Festival of Lights” in Lyon. Technology is used in almost every aspect of the event, and it is used in a very cool way! As mentioned, it is held in Lyon which is one of the biggest cities in France and the history of the event is also pretty interesting. The city was struck by the plague in 1643 and the councillors in the city promised to pay tribute to Mary if the residents of the town were spared. Therefore the Fête des Lumières expresses gratitude to Mary with the use of the lights.
The event itself is extremely interesting with the use of huge displays accompanied by lots of music. Each part of the city has a different display which means you will never get bored. It also lasts a weekend, so you have plenty of time to see everything!
These are the girls I went to the Fête des Lumières with, they are a mixture of Language Assistants and students. You can see all of the hats, scarves and gloves because Lyon was freezing that weekend. Having been in the South of France since October, the temperature in Lyon was definitely a shock!
Here you can see the display of lights that look like noodles! This was held in the Hôtel de Ville in Lyon.
This was another part of the city where the lights were projected onto the main statue. You can tell how popular the event is, by the amount of people that were there!
Again, this is another part of town, where one of the biggest light shows takes place. The lights are projected onto the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in time to music.
The huge light displays weren’t the only thing of interest in Lyon. All over the weekend, the streets were decorated and illuminated in some way or another. This is a picture of one of my favourite streets with all of the lanterns and lights! There were also many other attractions in Lyon that weekend including: a huge multicoloured Chinese dragon, a heart that flashed and recorded the heartbeat of volunteers who came up to kiss in front of it and a ferris wheel in Place Bellcour (with the lights and animations projected onto the side of it).
If you are interested in the Fête des Lumières, here is a link to the ‘teaser video’ (35 secs) for 2016. https://youtu.be/WNBHZcUpHQc
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and I will be back soon to talk to you about Food and Drink. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me!
À la prochaine !