Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Parisians Everyone Loves to Hate?

One of the things with which I've struggled a bit in reflecting on my expat experience is which things I see and hear are Parisian and which are more broadly French. When it comes to personal behavior, in particular, I have a hard time separating the two since most of my time in France has been spent here in the capital. After all except for that brief period after the terrorist attacks when everyone said "I Love New York" with all sincerity, most of the time the modal American doesn't hold New Yorkers in very high esteem.

It was with some interest that I noticed this poster on the news kiosk.

Actually, it's a bit of hyperbole. The poll done for the magazine, Marianne, found that the French don't really hate Parisians. In fact, 68 percent of them have a good opinion of them. But those in the provinces also find Parisians more stressed, less smiley, less sympathetic, more aggressive, and less humorous. In addition, 71 percent consider Parisiens "plus snob." (I love this usage of "snob", by the way. It also sometimes appears as a verb. In English, the word "snob" is never used except as a noun. The adverb or adjective would be "snobbish" or "snobby.")

On the plus side, Parisiens are viewed as harder workers, more chic, better informed, more plugged in, more fulfilled, and more cultivated. Not a bad rap, I'd say.


debbie in toronto said...

it's the same story over here...the rest of the country is supposed to "hate" Toronto..for all the same reasons...too hard working, too stressed etc...however I don't think it's really true for the most part but the myth persists

Cameron said...

I'd rather visit Paris than New York. :-)

From another American in America! LOL


Deirdre said...

What I'd like to know is, who is Alain Badiou and is he really a bastard?

Starman said...

The journal's poll may have found that most French are fond of Parisians, but that's not what I found when I visited other cities in France. Particularly in the south.

Lindsey said...

You can't have everything, right? That's how I justify living in the city - the Parisians often frustrate me, what with their scowls, snobbery and attitudes, but I can't imagine any other life! I agree that they seem more "plugged in" and productive.

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