Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – History and Culture


Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – History and Culture
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – History and Culture


Kelsey Hamilton

I remember sitting in my high school history class learning about WWII, and thinking to myself that’s crazy, but yet blowing it off like “ehh that was years ago it doesn’t matter anymore”. Then I got the chance to stand of the edge of the Cliffs of Normandy, and that Ehh turned into what felt like an emotional bowl of silence, because there are truly no words for it all.  

History has always been one of my enjoyments of life, traveling to Civil war monuments through out the south with my grandfather, and having the opportunity to have many conversations with him about the civil war; discussing Abraham Lincoln’s politics over the dinner table I became a little bit of a history buff over the years. For me though the furthest back my interest into history went,  was only to the civil war. I guess experiencing a place first hand with such history and pride in it drives one to become more interested and want to learn more, that’s what all those years of civil war monuments did for me. Then I got the chance to experience history through out France, from the medieval time buildings, and cathedrals to the WWII monuments, battle sites, and cemeteries. When I got to experience those in real life, it truly brought the history to life for me, bringing questions to mind wanting to learn more. 

The one place through out France that truly did this for me was Normandy, maybe it was because I knew someone first hand who was there and survived it and still lives today. Or maybe because you could feel the emotions in the air as you stepped on the beaches, either way it opened a new door for me. One, which has, led me to learn more about History not only of the United States but other Countries too.  

History plays a large part in the French culture, from occupying old city squares to become large marketplaces on an afternoon, or a hang out spot for a couple of lovers they have never been abandoned, only altered for their use. Cathedrals altered to hold a mass and pass 1,000 plus tourists through at the same time, and medieval buildings still used as shops or apartments. Modern building isn’t quite what they rely on, which is a beautiful thing to me. 

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

The French culture is full of love, and when I say that PDA (personal display of affection), isn’t quite frowned upon, women are a bit more modest, and men a bit more clean cut. They all remind me of an early 1900 movie actors and actresses; always well put together and ready to conquer what ever their day may bring them. Public transportation is a need, and walking ten miles in heels is an everyday occurrence. Their music is a lot like ours only altered a bit for their language, but a lot of it was techno, and pop. Their television had the pop culture shows, and family oriented game shows. What I did discover though was television wasn’t a must do all the time like in our culture, and internet was just as booming in theirs as in ours only they seemed to have more self control on where it was used. It is interesting to see how other cultures adjust to new technology and the lifestyle that comes with it, it truly illustrates what becomes more important to that culture seeing how they control it and handle changes such as technology.

Overall throughout the trip I experienced a time warp, from the medieval ages to the 1940’s to now through architecture, monuments, and artwork. Europe, France holds on to their culture and its past, preserving what its left of it and altering it if need be to fit today’s lifestyle. 

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Kelsey Hamilton

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