Home » Uncategorized » Europe & Canada – same language, but culturally worlds apart (#102)

Europe & Canada – same language, but culturally worlds apart (#102)

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(Don’t take it too seriously).

In the earlier post “TV5 & European French”I gave some context and details of how European French and Canadian French can at the same time be very similar, but also sometimes very different from one other.  But something I saw today really drives home the point of not only how the French language can have differences, but especially the cultures.

There’s a stereotype out there that Québec and French Canadian culture is much more European… but actually, it’s so so North American (the culture actually screams North America – how can it not… we’re founders of the continent).  Here’s one small example, one which completely shocked me earlier today…

I was changing news channels while getting ready for work, and I quickly passed by TV5.  I wasn’t going to stop on TV5 (I rarely watch it), but something extremely strange caught my eye on a broadcast of RTS Info – the news program of Radio & Télévision Suisse from Switzerland (a large portion of Switzerland speaks French as a first language, and Switzerland is one of Europe’s Francophone countries).

An invitee on the news program was wearing normal female business attire – nothing special or racy about it.  Her blouse was positioned where it reasonably should have been, and she was not exposing any cleavage.  Regardless… they pixilated where the top of her blouse met her upper chest!!!   I was floored – I couldn’t believe it.  Something like that would never ever happen in Canada (French or English Canada).   I watched the program a little bit longer to see if other people were also pixilated, but the top of the blouses of other women were perhaps two inches higher, so no pixels.   But I still think the height of the blouse of this one person who was pixilated had absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I guess it goes to show that just because you speak the same language, it certainly doesn’t mean you share the same culture.

chst Pxltd

But at the end of the day, everybody’s country is strange in it’s own special way – Canada included…  (it’s all relative,and I’m more than certain that Switzerland would have a few comments about this lovely get-up I’m wearing during today’s cold snap… )


Addendum 2 days later:  Apparently I spoke too soon… it’s December and we’re 16C degrees out… that’s the same temperature as L.A.   I guess times are changing (and I guess I can put away that animal on my head — it’s faux… so no need to chew me out).


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