Photo top of page: General de Gaulle wearing his general's kepi
A dictionary of France,
including institutions, places, a few significant people (excluding
film stars and "people" people), French specialities, and a selection
of other useful or intriguing expressions....
Car-bis) : an "Extrait
is an official document certifying that a company is duly registered as
such, and thus has a legal existence. Delivered by the local Tribunal
de commerce, or Commercial tribunal, it provides a brief but detailed
statement of the company's legal status, identity, ownership, and field
of business. It is sometimes demanded by banks and administrations, or
by corporate suppliers who require a guarantee before opening
an account for a new customer
inhabitants of the French south pacific territory of New Caledonia
cylindrical cap worn as formal headwear by soldiers and
in France. As a form of headwear rarely found outside France
areas of French influence, the képi has become one of the
symbols of France. For instance almost all the famous photos and
cartoons of General de Gaulle show him wearing his general's
képi. See photo of General de Gaulle, top of page.
The first year of classes
préparatoires in the litterary stream. Students
who have just passed the litterary or economics/social baccalaureate,
and who want to take the concours (competitive
entrance exams) for certain grandes écoles,
may well choose to stay on for two more years at lycée, in
classes called khâgne and hypokhâgne, rather than
enrol in large
classes in the first two years of university arts or social science
faculties. See Higher
Education in France
: Major chain of off-the-peg clothing retail outlets in France,
founded in 1978. In mid 2008, Kiabi had about 150 outlets in France,
plus outlets in Spain, Italy and the Middle East. Kiabi
to the Mulliez group, one of France's large family companies that also
owns the Auchan hypermarket chain (q.v.). The name is a play on words:
put the name of a town after it, for instance "Kiabi Paris", and
it sounds just like "Qui habille Paris?", or Who clothes Paris?
popular apéritif drink, also known as a "blanc-cassis" or a "blanc-ca", made up
of a dash of blackcurrant liqueur in a glass of white whine.
an alternative version, called Kir Royal,
is a dash of blackcurant liqueur in a glass of champagne or sparkling
white wine. The drink is named in honour of Chanoine Kir (Canon
Kir), a catholic priest who became a Resistance heron in World War II,
and later mayor of Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, and who
regularly offered it to guests. Blackcurrants are a local speciality in
the Dijon area.
born 1939. Doctor, politician. Kouchner was co-founder of the
international medical charity Médecins
(q.v.) . As a politician, he was a leading member of the Socialist
Party, and held ministerial portfolios, as Minister of health, under
four Socialist prime ministers. However, disappointed by the failure of
the Socialist Party to modernise, he was one of the leading Socialists
to accept an invitation to join the "open" conservative government of
François Fillon, following the election of President
remained France's foreign secretary until 2010, when he was replaced by
Michèle Aliot Marie.
(1924 - 2003) Of Polish-Jewish extraction, Krazucki
was born in Warsaw, For four decades he held senior
the French Communist Party, and from 1982 to 1992 was Secretary General
of the CGT, France's biggest trade union.
Alain : (Born
1941) Once one of the leaders of the student uprising in France in
1968, Alain Krivine has remained a militant Trotskyist all his life,
and a member of the extreme left-wing political party, the Ligue Communiste
or LCR. Thanks to the system of proportional representation, he was
elected and sat as an MEP in the European parliament from 1998 to 2004.
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