My name is Martha, I’m German and I have been working in France for now 5 years. Some differences are still surprising me in the French society: the place of religion for example. One day, at the mairie (the French city hall), I wanted to make my newborn child’s religion clear. They answered saying: “this is none of our business”… and I was very surprised!
In my country, Germany, like in Austria or in Italy, we have to write down our religion on many official documents. At the bank or at the city hall, I had to indicate that I was a Protestant. Actually, a part of my taxes was transfered to my religious community. In France, the situation is very different: religion is considered as something intimate. Therefore, religions don’t receive any money from the State!
In this way, it is true, all religions are at the same level and there is no difference between “recognized” and “not-recognized” religions. But I must say that this doesn’t change a lot in my everyday life: I continue going to church with my family, I donate money myself… and I am still proud of my religion.
To go further
- Martha is a Protestant like about 2% of French people. You are willing to learn the vocabulary of the main monotheist religions in France? Go here! And after learning or reviewing the vocabulary of the lesson, train with this exercise.
- “Quelque chose” is an indefinite pronoun, like “quelqu’un” or “quelque part”. If you want to train to use them, try this exercise!
Discovering more about the subject
- The “mairie” (French city hall) is an essential place for every person living in France. The SamSam guide (the foreigner’s practical guide to France) tells you more about what you can do at the mairie!
- Did you know that “laïcité” also applies in graveyards? In France, dead people can’t be buried in catholic, protestant, muslim or jewish graveyards… More information in this article.
Laïcité is a French specificity: the French State doesn’t recognize any religion. Watch this video for more information!
And for the transcription, click here.