Runner-Up is "Mexico versus France" written by Luisa Locatelli.
Hello everyone, I'm Luísa, I’m 12 years old and I live in France, in Les Auxons near Besançon, a nice and very green little town in the east of France.
I love where I live but I also love Mexico. Why Mexico? Unlike my dad and I, my mother was born and raised in Mexico in a town called Guadalajara. At the age of 18 she came to France with her friends for a visit, met my father, fell in love and moved here in 2000 to live with my father and to study here in France. My parents love to travel and since I was baby my parents have been taking me everywhere, mostly to Mexico to see my family in either Mexico City or in Guadalajara, my mother’s hometown where we would stay for about two weeks. So that explains why I have come to love this country and its traditions.
In Mexico there are a lot of traditions and customs. For example La quinceañera. At 15 years old, teenagers can have the birthday of their dreams. This birthday marks the passage to adulthood. I love the quinceañera because almost everything in this party is excellent : the dress, the cake, the huge party, the celebration……. I also love the tradition of the Dia de Muertos. In early November, the Mexicans prepare their deceased family's favourite food in hotels to honour their dead. I'm not going to list them all, but just one example. On this special day, all Mexicans go to buy orange flowers called 'cempasuchil' (traditional orange flowers). These flowers are placed on the ground tracing a path from the house to the cemetery for the deceased to find their way back to the family home where they will take the food left by the family. I found this tradition very heartwarming to remember our relatives who have left us and have gone to another world. It is less sad to remember them this way and this festival helps us keep a beautiful souvenir of them.
France also has a lot of traditional celebrations. Most of them are religious, like Easter. On Easter morning, many children go into their gardens or all over their houses to fetch the chocolate eggs left by the 'Easter rabbits' or the 'Easter Bells'. Mexicans do not really celebrate this. Also, on July 14, the whole of France celebrates its National Day. The Mexicans also have their national day but it is less celebrated than in France. Here, there are military planes that do demonstrations of flying skills in the sky, the president has a speech to make, the soldiers parade along the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; it is always a very grand celebration. Last but not least, everybody knows Christmas. Here in France, a feast is often prepared for the family celebration. It is important that we all get together as a family and we all have our specialty dishes like oysters or salmon. The boucheé a la reine is delicious. In this dish there is chicken with fresh cream in a little bit of puff pastry and sauce. As for dessert, there is the traditional chocolate logcake and this is the perfect Christmas meal for me.
I hope you will discover France and Mexico one day. They are two very different but very welcoming and interesting countries.
In the Age category 12 - 15 years, Luisa's essay was chosen as runner-up - together with Matin's essay.
Luisa's essay "Mexico versus France" has been skillfully structured, after introducing her family, she compares her experiences of living in two different worlds: France and Mexico. Her Mexican heritage shines through her writing as does her love for French customs and traditions. The creativity with which Luisa approached our topic was remarkable while the essay was also pleasantly written spotting similarities and differences between two cultures. Further we want to acknowledge her well composed English essay, as Luisa's home language is French.
Well done, Luisa! Thank you very much for your inspiring story 'Mexico versus France'! Congratulations!
Luisa attends English language classes at EAC School of Languages in Besançon/France.
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