Since the topic drifted a little on Paris, I’d like to share my own experience.
I come from the south suburbs of Paris, I lived here my whole life. The suburbs can be really different from where you are. As every big city of this planet, maybe.
When I was younger, at middle school (junior high school / 10-14yo) I used to be insulted because I was a French White guy. I used to be the target of racism with some others, because 80% of my schoolmates were not white, and kids are kids, they can be mean in groups. Adults too for sure.
I was not a victim though, there was just a special section which was a little apart from the others: the SEGPA. It's a special section for kids that had already problems in elementary school (6-10yo). And because we make them feel different from the others, we have the first real social differentiation here. Most of them are from immigrant families that already have problems to feel integrated in the French system, which is far from the best, I agree, by the way. They don't want to integrate themself in the society because they already feel apart. They want to break the laws really soon, considering that "France is a b****" that left there parents behind, having already hate and anger for a system that they don't even really now. And that they're not gonna be happy to know about, btw. They just see the direct consequences and the differences that are made between them and "the others". We used to consider the Parisians as "Bourgeois" in these suburbs, and you definitely don't want to be considered as a "Bourgeois" when you are a kid on those schools. Actually, to be opposite to the system was more like the model to follow if you want to be in. And I think that's what made me disinterest in school progressively, because I didn't want to feel more apart by being too good, just wanted to be good enough, I was scared to bring attention on me when I was younger. Mixed with laziness, not having motivation and confidence in myself.
And this is pretty common in the suburbs of Paris. Which is the most populated region (approx 9.5 million without Paris itself) with the highest density (976.5 inhab. / km ² with Paris, 20 169 /km² only for Paris) of France. I never considered myself as a Parisian, I lived in an apartment in a block, never been poor but Paris was another world for me, even though it was 5 miles away. Some kids used to not believe that I was really living in an apartment, because I was white, and so, supposed to be rich.
So yes, the experience of your own country can be really different depending on where you live. When I discovered the life in the countryside, I saw that it was totally different; people were way less "weird”and"nasty" ,IMO, between each other. Relationships seemed easier and more honest. But I was not really proud to say I'm from Pa.. the suburbs of Paris. Most people on the countryside have a dirty look on Parisians, and even more on the people of the suburbs.Thanks to the medias. Brainwshed, we are for sure. People here are rude, and I can feel more insecure here than in every country I've ever been.
It brings me back to the book "La fabrique de la defiance" that I'm waiting to read soon, which is certainly a good clue to a better understanding of why the France is in her actual state, I listened to the french podcast made by Juliana and Pierre, available here : Le-mal-etre-francais
Thank you a lot for this one. It makes a lot of sense to me. It’s a real clue to a better understanding of why we’re here. Talking about our suicides rates, anxiolytic intake, the sad reality behind the appearance of a model society. Jealousy, individualism and inequalities. Lack of social cohesion and of empathy.
The french educational system shows a vertical education, the teacher speaks and the students record. It’s based on the ranking and the competition. Seeing the other as an obstacle.
It disregards the creativity and does destructive comparisons. I know why I quitted, I was over it, I wanted to see something else, no regrets, I know why I come back now.
Moving 10 miles away to the South at 15yo, I discovered a new environment, with a big high school full of trees, huge deal for me. I became sociable, too much to keep me in school. But I was way happier, discovering that life can be different. It’s only after having travelled to foreign countries that I realized the impact that you had by saying “I’m from Paris”. Waw. Apparently the advertising is well done. I began to think myself that there was some good stuff about Paris, which is true, when you don’t see 10 homeless people in the same day when you visit it. Paradox land.
That's my perspective, from what I lived. I don't know if it brings much to the conversation, but I felt like I had to tell it. The mood here makes you want to be nasty to the others, overall, because if you smile to someone in the streets, you're gonna look like a freak. And being surrounded by all this depressed energy doesn't make you wanna talk to strangers. The last thing people want here is to be spontaneous and familiar to strangers. No, it's certainly weird if you smile in the subway..Not for this Boddhistava
I'd like to know what people think about this language in general. There's still great people here, but most of my direct surrounding has nothing that I envy for my future. But I learned/learn a lot at observing at them.