This blog is primarily written for an Anglophone-Canadian audience.
In Canada, there are Anglophones and Francophones who often think that there’s a line between both our country’s cultures which cannot be crossed (ie: Anglophones are destined to only live and understand Anglophone culture and Francophones are destined to only live and understand Francophone culture).
However, this cultural and linguistic line is rather artificial, and can be crossed. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Anglophones all across Canada are currently learning French (often quite intensively), and over the last few decades hundreds of thousands of Anglophones have come to realize that they too can incorporate bits-and-pieces of Francophone Canada’s culture into their own lives and call it a piece of their own. This blog is to provide a reference point to those who are taking or wish to take this journey.
There are more and more of you who are – and it’s a great thing. We have a great country, with an amazing culture. Our country’s Francophones are amazingly cool people, and Anglophones are amazing cool people. This blog will hopefully give you a comprehensive window into the other half of “our” collective culture! You don’t necessarily have to speak French to be open to understanding our country’s other personalty — so even if you don’t speak French, I wholeheartedly commend your interest in this blog and Canada’s Francophone culture. In the end, it’s simply taking an interest, being open-minded, and being empathetic which makes all the difference 🙂 .
There’s a longer version below, if you’re interested. Otherwise, I’ll leave it here, and welcome to Québec Culture Blog!!
More and more Canadians are bridging the Two Solitudes. In absolute numbers, bilingualism in Canada is climbing upwards. We still tend to use the words “the French” or “the English” to describe in which of the two language spheres we conduct our daily lives — but the reality is that neither the French, nor the English are here anymore. We have founding cultural roots, but so does any other country in Americas. Being a country made up of people from all over the world – our roots are increasingly from everywhere. The French and English left generations ago. Now, it is just “us”. Therefore, regardless if your roots have been in this land for hundreds of years (or thousands of years, with a nod to our aboriginal compatriots), or only one generation, this blog is for you.
I’ve heard many times, from those living in very Anglophone regions of the country (such as Medicine Hat in Alberta or Corner Brook in Newfoundland), that they desire a larger cultural context to help deepen their own feeling of belonging and sense of inclusion in Canada’s Francophone fabric and culture. Fortunately, we live in an age where culture is transmitted more and more at the click of a button. Anglophones in Canada today now have access to wide aspects of Francophone culture, much like their Fancophone compatriots – and this access often comes without having to leave their homes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we’re seeing a greater interest in learning French across Canada, more so now than at any other time in our history. I hope to offer to my Anglophone compatriots various reference points and insights to assist them in their own journies.
This blog serves to add a cultural context to the French-language sphere of Canada. Even if you do not speak French, I still hope this blog helps to enhance a sense of pride, understanding and participation in our French cultural sphere. Our cultural duality makes us unique on the world stage, and it should be cherished and promoted. All Canadians, regardless of the language they were raised in, are fortunate to be able to integrate bits of both francophone and anglophone culture into their lives, and call it part of their own culture. This ability is something unique to be celebrated.
So why choose to use pop-culture to help bridge the Two Solitudes? Because most of us live it, or at the very least are surrounded by it everywhere in our daily lives. It provides a focal point for commonality and belonging. Pop-culture references are instantly recognizable, and French and English have their respective references. Pop-culture is a building block for national identity and belonging. By understanding, sharing and participating in each other’s anglo- and franco- pop-culture — and more importantly — adopting bits of it into our lives as part of our own pop-culture, it can help to tear down walls, and continue to build a sense of “us”, regardless of where we live in Canada. Although francophone pop-culture exists from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the concentration of Quebecois pop-culture media makes Quebec the torch-bearer for francophone pop-culture in Canada (but that does not diminish the importance and vitality of Acadian, Ontarois or Western-francophone pop-culture).
The reality is that language in Canada can be, and often is political. But regardless of political views, very few would reasonably argue that cross-cultural participation is negative. Any degree of involvement, interest, and integration of Francophone culture by Anglophone Canadians is commendable — and helps to eliminate negative politics. Although the odd post in this blog may have a political nature, most posts will only be political to the extent that I seek to make my own contribution in helping to bridge and tear down the walls between the Two Solitudes.
I hope you will enjoy taking this journey of exploring and participating in fun and unique aspects of our country’s culture. Take this journey with an open heart, an open mind, and from the perspective that, regardless of where you live in Canada, regardless of whether you’re anglophone, francophone, new to this country, or have roots here as old as the land itself — you’re exploring another part of your own cultural heritage.
Information regarding post comments:
- The vast majority of my blog posts are politically neutral. Please ensure comment related to those posts likewise remain political neutral. If I do write a post which is political, I will mention it as such — at which point, of course, that particular post is fair game. Regardless, discussion on any post is more than welcome (dialogue and sharing different points of views is a good thing, not a bad thing).
- This blog’s aim is to highlight to Anglophone Canadians our country’s Francophone pop-culture heritage — to bring down barriers, and to give a base reference from which Anglophones can continue to integrate parts of Francophone culture into their own personal culture. Please be respectful regarding comments: respectful of those who are mentioned in blog posts, respectful of others who comment, and respectful of both sides of our linguistic heritage in general. (your understanding is appreciated).
- This blog is primarily an expression of opinion.
- Information contained herewithin is based on personal experiences and an attempt to verify information for reasonable truth.
- Where possible, reference topics will be added to posts which will allow readers to research their own conclusion through comparative information or reference facts from reliable sources.
- See the disclaimer section for more information.
- This site will not contain photos unless they are public domain, nor will it include links unless they are made to officially approved sites or web channels (including official YouTube channels, rather than non-official ones)
- When conducting your own additional research into suggested topics, please do not pirate, stick to sites where videos are official, sanctioned, legal, and not pirated.