A Glance At The Modern Day Infusions Of Other Cultures Into The French-Canadian Culture
Modernization of any culture takes place with time, and as with the French-Canadian culture, the journey to modernization has long since 1976. It all started when the English speaking population of Quebec took a backseat since the rise of power of the French-Canadians in 1976. It was in 1974 that French was declared the official language of Quebec, and it is the only province in Canada to have French as their official language. The rise of the special party Quebecois actually announced the rise in power of the French-Canadians. Though the French-Canadians never got that political independence in Canada to rule on Quebec as a separation nation and it was already decided in 1980, but they of course got the identity to celebrate their presence.
How the French-Canadians rose to identity
The year 1534 marked the first presence of the French in Canada, and after 1609 they started living in Canada permanently. At present the French-Canadians are present mostly in Quebec in Canada accounting for a population of 5.1 million. Others of the same origin who are popular more as Acadians are living in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The French-Canadians are also present in parts of the USA.
The things changed through the years to the current date
Through the years they have been supported in continuing with their typical mixed race and culture by the Catholic Church. Marriage within the same community had been popular and bigger families were a practice. But now things have changed. Many practices have evolved over the years to the current day, which is quite interesting to note. Studies show how exposure to modern thinking, other parts of the world, external influences from other cultures, media etc, have changed and blended so many things into their original culture. Thus stands the modern day French-Canadian culture which is an interesting mix orthodox French and contemporary Canadian styles with influences of English culture combined from Britain and America.
Language of the French-Canadians
The French-Canadians though primarily speaking French can speak many different languages. It’s due to a mix of the modern races and blends that they now speak English, Arabic, Spanish and Italian along with French. However try to do any legal to social work in Quebec, and you would have to master French only both in writing and verbally, as this is their first language and official too.
The current day French-Canadian etiquettes
It’s definitely a blend of the old and new that today’s French-Canadians have and it’s exhibited in their daily lives. Much of these have come since France was colonized by the British. These practices observed are interesting to note.
You won’t see them talking to strangers or light acquaintances with their first name. They are very formal, and very polite in greetings. Firm handshakes and eye to eye contact is their way of mixing. Only family and close friends are addressed by first name and tu instead of vous.
They are a friendly population, and mixes well with people.
Another influence of the modern day is the use of academic degrees and earned titles on business or visitors cards used by the French-Canadians. When such cards are exchanged they would look at the card, read it at a glance and accept, and these cards have one side in French and the same content on another side in English.
One American influence in their culture is the sign they put on with fingers. Thumbs up is ok, thumbs down is offensive, and the index finger and thumbs straight out is a no.
Wine, flowers or chocolates are gifts preferred by hostesses of French-Canadian homes when they invite one for the first time, which is also a mix from the American and British races.
The remarkable influence in language
English has a lot of influence on the language of the French-Canadians. Initially when the race started they followed the old French style in their language. With time the inclusion of English words or influences has now resulted in modern day mixed French, which only the French-Canadians of Quebec and some Acadians speak.
Epouser is the word for “to marry” in original French which has evolved to marier for this race. Rendezvous is the word for “appointment” in French which evolved to appointement, and similarly, “ignore” has become ignorer instead of real French term negliger.
Housing and Living
It’s a common practice in Canada to live in your own house. Owning a house is quite natural and almost more than two third of the Canadians own their houses. But some changes in the family and lifestyle of French-Canadians have now contributed to increased housing in Canada.
Churches enforced marriages within the same race, and encouraged bigger families following the Roman Catholic style till the 1960s. Now with modern style and cultures from around the world getting infused, and cross racial marriages getting common, and also due to their social cultural and work life related issues, marriages are not much permanent in couples. It’s seen the half of the newly web couples do get divorced. As a result homes with single parents and children are common. Earlier there were big families with many siblings. Now they have generally one or two children.
Also the practice of living in has become a part of the modern French-Canadian culture too. The government has also set rules that couples can live together without marriage, and also can get marred after 2 years of living.
In the modern day it’s been observed that most of the French-Canadians are not regular church goers. Their inclination to visit churches regularly has declined through the last 3-4 decades. Earlier it as not so, and they used to be a heavily Roman Catholic Church influenced race.
Food and cuisine
Although tourtiere and stews with meat continues to be the tradition of the French-Canadian cuisine, but many other world cuisines have already set their foot onto their platter. Hence one visiting Quebec or other French-Canadian populated regions will get to see many food items which show a blend of American and UK style with their traditional stuffs.
Altogether the modern day French-Canadians are fully equipped to face the world, and accept new styles, cultures and top picks from various races to integrate them into their own culture, while maintaining their racial essence brought forward from old France.