I love a certain French-speaking Canadian province and I don’t care who knows it. 🙂 In fact, pretty much anyone who knows me, knows that already.
Now maybe I wouldn’t if I lived there, but I’m making a real effort to learn French as it’s spoken in Québec, and to read media so I get a handle on culture and politics, etc. I really want to understand.
It was dismaying to watch the catfight that erupted after Jacques Martin was fired as the coach of the Canadiens and the search was on for a replacement, and I’m half afraid I’ll see it again now that they’re looking for a new GM. Some ugly things got said about French-Canadians, and some of it, at least that I saw, came from people I thought were of French-Canadian extraction. In fact, some of it was so vitriolic that if you replaced “French” in the things I read with any other ethnic group, you’d have been accused of racism and/or hate speech.
Here’s what I don’t get (and if I’m not seeing this right because I’m on the outside, please be kind — I appreciate getting new insight so I understand things, but not if it’s the kind that comes with insults and four-letter (or more) words). Canada’s a big country. If you want the Canadian experience, there are 9 provinces and 3 territories, no waiting, that are not Québec. So if you:
- Don’t want to learn to speak French
- Don’t like French-Canadian culture and
- Don’t like French-Canadians
why on earth would you want to live in Québec? (not counting the folks who have lived there for years — mean newcomers) And once you get there, why do you feel the need to change it to suit you? Don’t want to teach your kids in French? You could move west and go to Ontario or east, and head toward the Maritimes, all very Canadian.
I’m not talking about separatism here — that’s politics, and (in my opinion), misguided. This is just me not understanding the interaction — some of which is no doubt driven by history.
So, would someone explain? Calmly? Thank you.