So far this month, we have celebrated the national days of Argentina, the Bahamas, Burundi, Canada, Curaçao, and the United States (to name a few of the many). Tomorrow, Friday the 14th of July, we celebrate France.

Ah yes, the land of baguettes, rose, berets and Chanel No. 5. The land with so much culture; we say the words with an accent, not because is it the right way, it’s the only way. The land that is so grand, we use 4 names to describe this day; Bastille Day (English term), French National Day (English technical term), La Fete National (French technical) and le quatorze Juillet- 14 July- (French common term). One name is simply not enough.

This annual celebration commemorates the storming of Bastille in 1798 – in simpler terms – the attacking and bringing down of the French fort (named Bastille) in Paris. It marked the beginning of the French Revolution, which meant an end to the monarchy and resulted in democracy.

And what better way to celebrate this great country (before the parties start) then to recap a few of its best achievements and acknowledge some of its contributions to our modern culture.

Which country makes the most wine annually? France, of course! Where is the fashion capital of the world? Paris, naturellement. Who hosts the world’s most famous bike race? Il y a seulement une, le Tour de France. Which monument is the most visited in the world? Eifel Tower.

As well as being a leader, there are some things that France subtly does extraordinarily well. Air France was not only the first flight out of SXM to provide travellers with their own inflight TV, it also gives every passenger a small bottle of red wine (or two or three). The national team has won the World Cup and Euro Cup two times each. The Moulin Rouge and cabaret have entertained the French for centuries. Croissants, strikes, saucisson and smelly cheese, Cognac, and le Coq just to name a few more.

So as we enter this weekend, take a moment to appreciate our northern neighbour, raise a fist and in your best French accent proclaim “VIVE LA FRANCE!”

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