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LE PARISIEN, LE MONDE (France)

NICE - In the French Riviera city of Nice, couples must now marry in silence. Or at least, not so noisily. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi pushed through a controversial decree last week forbidding married couples to celebrate their wedding too loudly within the walls of the city.

Since June 1, whistles, shouting and "folk music" are forbidden during wedding celebrations, with authorities charged with shutting down weddings that flaunt the ban. But what has raised suspicion that the decree targets marriages of immigrant and ethnic French: foreign flags are also now forbidden at weddings in Nice.

According to Estrosi, quoted by Le Parisien, such effusive behavior "disturbs the residents' tranquility and the solemn nature of the occasion." But according to his detractors, such a measure is above all an attempt to stigmatize people from other cultures.

A fake wedding was organized on June 2 to denounce the decree (see video below). The mouths of the married couple were gagged, and about 40 guests were holding signs saying "Hush" or "Silence, We're Getting Married." The idea was to "feign a wedding as quiet as possible," Le Monde reports.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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