Friday, March 05, 2010

Why do the French hate Parisians?!


It's probably like that everywhere in the world: people from the provinces don't like the people from the "big city". In France - a very centralized country - it's particularly true. Up to a point that Mariane, a French news magazine made a cover story entitled "Why do the French hate Parisians?" A survey even shows that the people from the provinces think the Parisians are less welcoming, less tolerant, less generous, less nice, more stressed, more snob... than themselves. Have a look at the results if you can read French. And go back to this post (and click on the "Watch this" link in the caption). You will understand better what people think of the Parisians !

44 comments:

  1. When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, 'farmer' was an insult kids used. Here in Texas the city folks and the country folks don't often trust each other. Of course, the news doesn't help much- they always seem to find the strangest people to talk to where ever the story is! lol

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  2. I have also noticed that natives in a country seem to be united in disliking the inhabitants of their largest city.

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  3. Obviously those responding to the poll have never met our Eric!

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  4. What Mrs. V said! After all: Friendly Parisian—yes, it does exist! But then I've always found Parisians to be friendly and charming. People seem to think that New Yorkers are unfriendly, and that's not true either. Maybe those folks are just envious of our exciting big-city lives—Ha! what a joke!

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  5. Well, I only know what is thought about one Parisian in particular, and he needn't worry about the general provincial view :-). So Eric, is there an equivalent French term for "redneck"?
    -Kim

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  6. I am a firm believer in you find what you are looking for! I found wonderfully friendly Parisians when we were there!

    So much so that my husband got tickled when I wanted to go back to the same restaurant for dinner four times! The welcome as friends was too much to pass up!

    Keep up the great work, Eric. We do so appreciate it! And we WILL vouch for the friendly Parisians!

    mammie

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  7. Very interesting! I must confess all my French friends think Parisians are not very nice, sorry! But, at the same time, they are very proud of Paris and want to show how beautiful it is to their foreign friends, ha, ha! Bon week-end ! :)

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  8. Well caught Eric. But Marianne is wrong. I'm French and I love Parisians!

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  9. Like all popular journals, the headline (on the poster and the magazine itself) somewhat stretches the actual facts. Two thirds of the respondents have a positive opinion of Parisians in spite of their faults. Thus, the article goes on to describe this as yet another French paradox.

    I grew up in the South of the US. It would be described there as "Those city people have some strange ways...bless their hearts". Adding "bless their hearts" gives you license to say the most horrible things about people without sounding rude. (Or at least that's the idea.)

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  10. It's like beer drinkers sneering at wine drinkers, and vice versa. People should (be able to) live where it suits them and drink what they like. If you don't like my peaches, honey, stay away from my tree. I'll grant you the same respect.

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  11. "pourquoi les francais detestent les Parisiens" hmmmm.. they managed to answer that one in just one issue?! ;)


    You know, Eric, it's probably a difficult post for people to comment on because in the vast majority of cases, people here don't really make the difference between Paris and the rest of France. When you say you're from France, they automatically think Paris.

    I know your audience is more sophisticated than the average guy in the street here, but still, it may be a difficult cultural thing to understand, plus they don't want to be rude.

    Also, countless people have told me after visiting Paris for a few days "I don't know why people say Parisians are rude, the people at the hotel were lovely, same thing at the museum, and pretty much everywhere we go."

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  12. Eric, is there an equivalent French term for "redneck"?

    I would say "pequenot" (slang for "paysan") which pretty much means farmer.

    @Alexa: I was told the same thing in California for years about New York and New Yorker. "People will rip you off, they're dishonest, they're rude, they'll tell you to go fuck yourself if you ask them a question, in fact their favorite greating is 'go f. yourself.'"

    hmmm... So one day I went to NYC for a conference at the Javits Convention Center and had opportunity to hang out for a few days. I loved it and ended up going back for fun some months later, just because. NYC is a lot like Paris. I found people to be actually friendlier than here in the Bay Area where people smile a lot and would never say to your face to go f.. yourself, but they think it so loud you can still hear it. I considered moving to NYC for a number of years because I feel much more in my element there, but things didn't work out as planned.

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  15. Ahh, "...people from the provinces...". I watched a documentary the other night, "Battlefield Detectives: Alesia" (2006). I had read about this battle in an old French history book. The battle was described differently in the book than it is described in this film. Perhaps it is because they have uncovered a lot of new evidence since that history book was written. This battle is Julius Caesar's final defeat of the Gauls in what is modern day France. The Gauls were Celtic tribes and they banded together to fight Rome. They had already attacked and sacked Rome once. I guess it had been decided that the Battle of Alesia in 52 B.C. was going to get rid of the Gauls once and for all. After the battle which the Gauls lost, France was under Rome's jurisdiction for about the next 500 years.

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  16. Note: As some of you know, I was home-schooled by my dad. When he was teaching me French history (from a book about as old as he was) I read about the above-referenced famous battle.

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  17. I love my Parisian friends I have been treated with generosity and kindness on each visit. Looking forward to visiting again soon.

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  18. It's a bit ironic actually....since most people who move to a major city come from the "country"...

    Sean

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  19. Why?! Well it's obvious, because they haven't met Eric yet!!!!

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  20. I'm sure the Parisians would all say..."Pfffffftttttt!" LOL!!

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  21. Sabía que lo atrapó con los detalles al final de este día. ¿Cómo y por qué no es un asunto ;-)

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  22. Give me a break !!! Parisians nice ??? I am not french and I've been living in France for over 20 years now. My first 8 years were spent in Paris and when you live in France, no matter where you reside, you have to continue to go through Paris if you want to travel by train or by plane anyway. That being said, I must say that to say that Parisians are obnoxious or pretentious is not an understatement for those who really know them from within. Not the tourists who only come to spend a couple of weeks and their dollars. Most of the parisians these days are what the french call "Bo-bos" (short for Bourgeois-Boheme) Basically well-off middle to upper class pretentious snots often making the geographical mistake of believing that Paris is the center of the universe, that the tiny restaurant or cafe where they hang out the headquarters of the universe and their trendy buddies the future philosophers of the universe. All the while oblivious to the fact that most people could care less of their opinions about the world let alone about food and wine. The pride they take in Paris is very odd. Today, the city doesn't have much to offer anymore. It is a giant dusty museum riding on past glories after they beheaded most of the ones who made that glory. They are quite proud of Versailles and draw in millions every year proudly showing it off. Those of us interested in history, know what happened to most of Versailles tenants.
    Paris has absolutely no contemporary counter culture to offer as opposed to cities of northern Europe. It is extremely conventional and no longer a contender in the fields on which it built its reputation.
    If you want to visit France, it is a beautiful and a vast european country with over 60 million inhabitants and thousands of villages and hundreds of cities. Paris is 10miles long and 10 miles wide.
    Isn't that fact enough to show you that they are egocentrics making people believe that France is Paris ? While their touristic propaganda feeds the popular images of "elegance, refinement, culture etc.", watch out for the dog crap in front of the Louvre museum's entrance !
    Now that's elegance !

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  23. Paris is disgusting. It's smelly. But the Eiffel Tower is the worst thing about it. Eiffel Tower makes me want to puke. More like the I-d**k Tower, lol. Paris is actually depressing!

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  24. To show that I'm not scared of my identity, here's my real name.
    Paris is disgusting. It's smelly. But the Eiffel Tower is the worst thing about it. Eiffel Tower makes me want to puke. More like the I-d**k Tower, lol. Paris is actually depressing!

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  34. I love my Parisian friends I have been treated with generosity and kindness on each visit. Looking forward to visiting again soon

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  35. Obviously those responding to the poll have never met our Eric!

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