A few months before the 2014 European elections, French public radio station France Inter offered its audience the opportunity to (re) discover Europe, through a radio show broadcast from across the continent. Coming from a different European capital every fortnight, the radio show “Tous des Européens” was presented by Hélène Jouan, Jean-Marie Colombani, Eric Valmir and Caroline Gillet with special guest presenter Romain Seignovert. Each show involved two hours of interviews with political and cultural guests, along with reports from the country.
The “Made in Europe” slot, adapted from EuropeIsNotDead, closed the show with a snappy overview of cultural events from all across Europe.
“Ray Ventura popularized the most famous French tongue twister in 1937. Almost 80 years on, the socks are still drying. Elsewhere in Europe, we twist our tongues with rather surprising sentences…“
“And we start our little tour of European nursery rhymes with a beautiful Hungarian melody whose title could not be more appropriate for our show: “It’s the evening now, it’s eight o’clock….”
“With their Guinness, pub culture and St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish see themselves as European champions of the drinking song. But there’s tough competition for that trophy …”
“Does the rooster speak many languages: or do Europeans just hear it differently? Whatever the answer, a simple cocorico is a wake-up call that shows the little differences that make Europe…”
“Romanian children are now gathering in groups to sing colinde, the traditional carols sung door to door during Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, Czech families sing “Let’s go to Bethlehem”
“Between Benoît Poelvoorde, François Damiens, Virginie Hocq and the Talloche brothers, you could say that “Belgian humour” exports quite well. But the sector benefited from a little state subsidy…”
“Did you know ? In Latvia, whistling inside a house brings bad luck… Just like putting your gloves on a table. And it’s always safer to have at least one coin in your wallet…”
79 letters! If you’re looking for Europe’s longest word, the Germans come first with a term which means “Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services”.
“Europe offers us a vast folklore. In southern Italy, the tarantella was originally danced to cure a spider bite, from the tarantula. You dance it in a circle and in a twirling pace. Beware if you are arachnophobe!”
“In May, in Scandinavia, there is no lily of the valley, but a pole decorated with flowers and ribbons in the center of the villages, around which Swedes perform the frog dance…”
“When they do not understand something, the Brits say that “it’s all Greek to me!”, the Greeks say it sounds Turkish, the Finns that it’s a “German pig” and the Germans that “it sounds really Spanish”“…
“Did you know ? The Portuguese often boast about having the most famous untranslatable words in the world. The word “Saudade” refers to a state of deep nostalgia for something which is lost forever…”
“”Tous des Européens” it’s almost the end! But we still have to say “goodbye”. So, from Berlin, we will give you a big German hug. Here, we say goodbye by hugging each other and tapping our backs…”