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Canada: the English & the French ...

 
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 12:37 pm
@Foofie,
there's quite a substantial french catholic community near me in southern ontario, a lot of them transplants from quebec in the last 100 years, most came for work, sometimes as seasonal farm work and after a time they settled.

i worked with one such family and got to know many of their friends and extended family, all had friends and extended family in quebec, all spoke french in their own homes, all were catholic, but almost all had little love for the sovereignists or they're silly language laws

as for schools, i'd just as soon see a secular school system, but what are you gonna do
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 12:51 pm
Here we have been speaking of nations which are divided in this fashion, and i never thought of Spain.

Spain, as a nation, is only a little over three centuries old. When Ferdinand (the junior partner) married the lovely, blonde, blue-eyed Isabella, it combined two of the then several kingdoms in the peninsula, Aragon and Castille. It would almost two hundred years before the peninsula was "united," or even called Spain.

Of course, most people have heard of the Basques, and of ETA, the militant political organization deemed terrorists, who are responsible for bombings in Spain, and to a lesser extent in France. The ethnic Basques regions straddle the border.

But many people may not know of the Catalans. Catalonia, with its capital at Barcelona, is one of the many autonomous communities within the Kingdom of Spain. But more than that, the Catalans speak a distinct language, has a distinct history, cuisine, musical and art heritage and many other distinct cultural expressions. In the 12th century, the "royal family" of Catalonia married into the royal family of Aragon, so that Catalonia became a part of the inheritance of Juana la Loca (Mad Jean), the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, whose marriage to the son of the Duke of Burgundy eventually established the Spanish Monarchy.

But the Catalans have been uneasy partners in Spain. They have struggled against assimilation into a "Spanish" nation (modern Spain recognizes that it is a patchwork of languages, dialects and cultures), and were especially repressed by Franco and the Falange, who forbade the use of Catalan (the language) in government or public functions, even if privately sponsored. Catalonia is the most industrialized part of Spain, and arguably the most prosperous.

The Catalans have long discussed not just autonomy, but separation. It is thought that this movement may become stronger because of the attitudes of young Catalans. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that Spain and the Spanish people have been essentially conservative for most of their history, even when ruled by Liberals or Socialists. This is true as well of the Catalans. Spain, as re-organized after the death of Franco, has "leaned over backwards" to accommodate autonomy with the national framework, and in the case of Catalonia, which is really the economic jewel of the nation, that may have succeeded in keeping them a part of the nation.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 12:56 pm
@djjd62,
In northern Qu├ębec, evangelical Protestants have worked very hard in recent decades to proselytize the Inuit. They have been very successful, too. It is a measure of the extent to which the successive governments and the bureaucracy of the province have been tolerant and non-interfering that these fundamentalist Protestant missionaries have succeeded.
0 Replies
 
mushypancakes
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 01:40 pm
@ehBeth,
EhBeth - What you said so succinctly, we share feelings about it "We've all got to move on."

Technically, the gov't considers little me a Metis. My father's side French Canadians (those Acadians ehBeth talks about), and on mom's side the complicated mess which is Aboriginal culture nowadays.

It's really interesting how moving through this country you can encounter such a wide range of worldviews. Let's take the French in Canada; even from Montreal to northern Quebec you will encounter a lot of cultural differences.
There are french here in northern Manitoba; shouldn't be a surprise to many people and yet it seems to be.

Personally I'm tired of separate this and that depending on how a set self identifies and what they are able to eek out with the gov't. I'm tired of all the old blood feuds that go back before the people fighting about it were even alive. I'm tired about the fights about language and culture.

I've seen a lot of racism about it and am feel like Ms. Sandwich in the Middle. When people look at me they can't instantly identify me as anything. My mamere sees me as French, but I don't think of my self strictly in that way and certainly do not identify nor carry on many of the cherished values which many of them fight for.

Interesting thread. I know I didn't contribute much to help the understanding of it here, it's more a personal release this morning. But i do agree with much that has been said. It's a complicated thing, both complicated and so annoyingly simple.




Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 02:12 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
It's interesting that most people tend to think of European countries as being homogeneous (except, of course, Switzerland, or Belgium or . . .) when the truth is quite the opposite. Even in the UK, not even mentioning the Scots or Irish or even Welsh, there has always been Cornwall, a quite distinct culture.

My own native Latvia is an interesting case in point. It's a very small country, population of well under three million, even if you count all the non-indigenous minorities, e.g. Russians, Ukranians, Romanies and Poles. But even in a country as small as that there is an indigenous minority whose ancestors may possibly have been around longer than the ancestors of present-day Latvians. These are the Livs, found in pockets throughout the country but primarily concentrated in the provinces of Kurzeme (Kurland or Courland) and parts of Vidzeme. (The old name of Livonia derives from the Livs, btw.) They speak a non-Indo-European (Finno-Ugric) language of their own, similar to Estonian and Finnish. Sadly, by slow degrees they are getting completely assimilated into the mainstream Latvian culture and losing their separate identity. My understanding is that today there are only perhaps a hundred or so Liv-speakers left. To me that's sad; the death of a culture always is sad.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 04:53 pm
@Setanta,

Quote:
I sincerely doubt that you'll find any Canadians willing to describe for any good things which they experience from living with the two cultures. The Anglophones mostly wish les habitants would all drop dead, and the sentiment is cordially returned


That's what I heard.

And, the bilingual requirement in the appointment of managerial staff to commerce and industry posts has caused difficulties, I hear.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 05:40 pm
That situation may be improving, McT . . . the standard of the English spoken by many francophones, and the French spoken by many anglophones does not seem to be terribly rigorous. Mr. Harper, the PM, speaks schoolboy French, very badly. But that actually put him ahead of the former leader of the Opposition, M. Dion, who spoke English so badly as to sometimes be almost incomprehensible.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 05:43 pm
@Setanta,
laissez les bon temp rouler dude. ( i frequently repeat that just to piss off Francis )
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 05:44 pm
Qui est-ce que ce cochon qui s'appelle Dude?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 02:56 am
@mushypancakes,
Quote:
Interesting thread. I know I didn't contribute much to help the understanding of it here, it's more a personal release this morning. But i do agree with much that has been said. It's a complicated thing, both complicated and so annoyingly simple.


Good post, mushy!

Well said.

Good on you! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:01 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Qui est-ce que ce cochon qui s'appelle Dude?


I have no idea of what you two have been saying to each other.

All fair & square & above board I hope!

Now I'm going to ask Francis for another translation! Wink

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:10 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
The song title, Miss Kitty Kat, is "Helpless."


I know, I know, possum! Smile

I was just singing that first line that that always gets to me ...

"Helpless" is kinda unavoidable as the point & the title. Wink


There is a town in north Ontario,
With dream comfort memory to spare,
And in my mind
I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there.

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.
Leave us

Helpless, helpless, helpless
Baby can you hear me now?
The chains are locked
and tied across the door,
Baby, sing with me somehow.

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.
Leave us

Helpless, helpless, helpless.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:39 am
A question for Setanta, if that's OK.

We've been talking about French & "English" Canadians. But I've often wondered about the relationship between Canada & the US as well.

I've come across Canadians here (at home) & during my travels who have really resented being mistaken for US citizens (which I can understand). Canadian identity appeared to be very important. There was obviously a big issue about a much more powerful neighbour, who they did not always agree with.

But I was wondering about your perceptions, as a US Citizen living in Canada.

How different/how similar do you find life in Canada, compared to life in the US?

I hope that's not too difficult.



Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:53 am
FM wrote:
laissez les bon temp rouler dude. (i frequently repeat that just to piss off Francis)
In order to piss me off, you have to add religious stuff to it..
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:55 am
msolga wrote:
Set wrote:
Qui est-ce que ce cochon qui s'appelle Dude?



I have no idea of what you two have been saying to each other.

All fair & square & above board I hope!

Now I'm going to ask Francis for another translation!

These guys are chauvinist pigs. Twisted Evil
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:00 am
@djjd62,
Thank you for that, djjd.
I loved the old archival photographs.
But what an amazing achievement, the railways!

A wonderful homage to unsung heroes :

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swinging our hammers in the bright blazing sun
Laying down track and building the bridges
Bending our old backs til the railroad is done


`
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:02 am
@Francis,
But how do I know you're being absolutely truthful here, Francis, & don't have your own agenda, hmmmmm? Wink

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:06 am
@msolga,
(I knew I should've taken French language studies in high school! Neutral )
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:09 am
@msolga,
I'm an ardent defender of relative truth, msolga.

Yes, I have my own agenda but it's a very loose one as it depends on my mood, which is, on Sundays morning, quite bright.

And I can be myself, at times, a chauvinist pig...
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:10 am
@Francis,
It's getting more confusing by the minute, Francis!
 

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