Regional Culture in Lyon (LingoMap)

Hello everyone! In this post, I will be talking about regional culture. Culture is the way of life of a group of people, so it is pretty unique. When we say “French culture,” we’re actually touching on a very broad subject as Lyon’s culture can be quite different from those of Marseille or Bordeaux. I really enjoy talking about this subject in particular, because I think that culture is one of the best aspects of learning a language.

La cuisine lyonnaise

Alors, on y va ! En parlant de la culture lyonnaise, il faut qu’on mentionne la cuisine lyonnaise, puisque Lyon est la capitale mondiale de la gastronomie. Il y a de nombreuses raisons pour lesquelles la ville porte ce titre. La plus fameuse, c’est parce que Lyon est la maison des bouchons. Un bouchon est un restaurant typique à Lyon, où il est possible de trouver des spécialités lyonnaises. Dans un bouchon lyonnais, vous choisissez généralement une entrée, un plat, et un fromage ou un dessert. Le bouchon vous serve de l’eau et du pain gratuitement. Le vin rouge est un bon accompagnement pour ce type de repas.

La salade lyonnaise est une entrée typique (Chez M’man – Place Bellecour)
Une baguette (Eric Kayser – Place Bellecour)



We all know that France is famous for its pastries. I believe that boulangeries and pâtisseries are also important aspects of not only Lyon’s but also France’s culture.

You can click on this link if you would like to read people’s recommendations on where to eat in Lyon.

Brioche aux pralines (Boulangerie du Palais – Vieux Lyon)

Les traboules

On the other hand, one of the things that is pretty unique to Lyon is its traboules. Traboules are passages that link two or more buildings together. In the old days, when people used to live on the hill Fourvière, they used the traboules in order to get to the river Saône to access water. As years went on, more traboules were built in different regions and people started using them for different reasons. For example, during the Second World War, they were used by the French Resistance to share information and to exchange food and weapons. This must have worked quite well as the foreigners did not know their way around the traboules whereas the locals knew them by heart. Nowadays, traboules are part of cultural heritage. People also use them in warm summer months as it is 3-4 degrees cooler in there compared to outside. Here’s a website that you can use to learn more about the traboules of Lyon.

Un traboule de Vieux Lyon

Le verlan

La langue écrite et la langue parlée sont différentes dans plusieurs cultures. C’est le cas en France aussi. Aujourd’hui je veux me concentrer sur le langage des jeunes et une façon de parler qui devient de plus en plus répandue. Le verlan est une forme d’argot français, où on inverse les syllabes d’un mot. Les origines du verlan viennent des banlieues. Je crois que vous pouvez entendre ce type de parler dans le film La Haine, qui est à propos des jeunes de banlieue. Cependant, le verlan est aujourd’hui au-delà des banlieues. Bien sûr que son intensité varie dans chaque région, mais il est possible d’entendre les jeunes qui disent meuf au lieu de femme, ci-mer au lieu de merci ou teuf au lieu de fête. Don’t use these in your French exam though! 🙂

La fête des lumières

La fête des lumières (The Light Festival) takes place on the 8th of December each year and it lasts for four nights. In this festival, many important buildings in the city get illuminated, notably Cathédrale Saint Jean, Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvièvre, Théâtre des Célestins and Place Terreaux. Originally, it was a religious celebration in order to thank Mary, mother of Jesus. According to a legend, when the city was struck by plague in the 17th century, it was Mary who saved it. Nowadays, I feel like the festival is more cultural and touristic rather than religious. There were tourists from all over the world and it was so crowded everywhere. I love it that some things are universal; no matter where we are from, we all enjoy the same thing and share the same feeling. I am leaving a link if you want to see the major illuminations because  I don’t think the photos I took are that clear, and the illuminations and the music definitely complete each other. I was amazed to see what people were capable of doing, creating short ‘films’ on buildings and changing the city from head to toe.

À la prochaine !

Il faut que + subjonctive It is necessary to + infinitive
Gratuitement (adverbe)
Gratuit (adjectif)
For free
Accompagner (verbe) To accompany
Argot (nom masculin) Slang
Banlieue (nom féminin) Suburb
Parler (nom masculin)

Parler (verbe)

Way of speaking
To speak
A propos de About
Au-delà Beyond
Au lieu de Instead of

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