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Spotlight on France

Podcast: Eco funerals, snooty Parisians, and putting out the trash with Monsieur Poubelle

Audio 27:54
Spotlight on France episode 23
Spotlight on France episode 23 RFI

When you die in France you have only two choices: burial or cremation. Neither is particularly green, but you can cut down your carbon footprint by reposing in a eco-cemetery. Paris has just opened its first one, but we travel to the pioneering natural cemetery in Niort to see how the French have taken, or not, to green burials. And we report on Apero de la mort (death aperitif) which is helping break the taboo over talking about death in France.  Also, what makes a Parisian and how do you become one? We unlock the mystery through a show that teaches us - the audience - how to become an aloof, rude, sophisticated Parisian in an hour. Any resemblances to real life are, of course, accidental.  And the history of garbage collection in France, thanks to the visionary Eugène Poubelle, who this week in 1883 signed a decree making dustbins and refuse collection in Paris compulsory. The move was unpopular, but the idea stuck, as did the name: the common word for garbage in French is poubelle.

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In this episode:

- Eve-Marie Ferrer, landscape artist, city of Niort, who designed the Souché natural cemetery

- Sarah Dumont, founder Apero de la mort

- Olivier Giraud, How to become parisian in one hour

Mix: Julien Magouareu.

* Subscribe to the Spotlight on France podcast on iTunes (link here) or Google podcasts (link here).

For more stories about France and beyond, visit www.rfienglish.com.

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