I spent the first 25 years of my life in France so it’s fair to say that my cultural background is primarily French. No other member of my family moved to Canada and since my arrival, I’ve been completely immersed in the Canadian way of life. There are some aspecst of that way of life that I embraced immediately, such as caring for the environment in a deeper way, taking to the outdoors whenever possible and enjoying the large urban parks, etc. I have been living in Canada full time for 14 years now, I’m even a Canadian citizen, thank you very much! But obtaining the Maple Leaf Passport didn’t take all the “French” out of me.
When people ask me whether I’m more French or Canadian, I can only answer that I am a semi-confused blend of the two. When you travel to a foreign country, you notice that many things are done differently. You might find some things cool or interesting and others annoying or plain weird. Everyone travels with their own bias based on what they’re used to. Well, mine are now all over the place. There are still certain things that my French self can’t get used to in this otherwise fantastic country. Here are a few very meaningless examples: – cheese cake. I know, everyone loves it but it just doesn’t sound right to me. Cheese and cake? Sorry, I’m having a hard time although I’m slowly coming around… – left-lane drivers. Guilty as charged, I’m afraid I still drive like a Frenchman, meaning that I signal when I change lanes and stay on the right unless I pass. Hmm, there doesn’t seem to be any known rules on highway driving here.
Continue reading Culture confusion: dealing with deeply-rooted ideas in your new country