Good neighbor day called « La fête des voisins » or « Immeuble en fête » is on today ! Where does this « tradition » come from and how is it this event celebrated in Paris ?
Good neighbor day: where and when did it start ?
It usually takes place on the last Friday of May or first of June. Its origin is actually French (cockadoodledoo !). The deputy mayor of the 17th district (Atanase Périfan) created this event in 1999 in Paris, after an elderly woman, living in this district, was found in her apartment…4 months later. Its goal is to fight individualism and solitude in large cities. The idea is to strengthen relations with the people next door, look out for them and develop a sense of pride in your neighborhood.
What can you expect on this good neighbor day?
It’s a great way to make contact with French neighbors who often have a real difficulty opening up to others and prefer to appear as plain rude rather than say hello or engage in conversation.
This is your opportunity to reach out and learn about the family down the hall. Tradition has it to bring something to nibble on like cheese, saucisson and a bottle of wine to help warm up the atmosphere. If you’re really feeling neighborly, you can make something yourself and why not a home specialty to start up the conversation.
I personally like to participate to this “fête des voisins”, as it’s an easy going family party which takes place in the building’s courtyard with kids running around (and no dinner to prepare that night as the aperitif IS dinner that night!). It’s also a great way to be informed on what’s going on in your neighborhood and share something new you’ve tried like the great piano teacher you finally put your hands on or the great restaurant that opened in your street.
Good neighbor day outside Paris : did you Know ?
La “fête des voisins” is quite popular in France with 7.5 million participants in 2013. But, OK, it’s not a French thing only now and is actually celebrated in many European countries and all over the world in United-states, Asia (Japan, Taiwan), Togo, New Zealand, Canada, Australia.
Your turn !
It’s your social mission of the month. Run to your supermarket and have fun tonight ! Don’t forget to tell me all about it…