Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't noticed any threads about anywhere on this forum (or maybe my search skills suck :( )

But one can't wait but notice that one of France's obsessions is the sport of football (or soccer to Americans).

I mean no sport that I knew about while living in the US had the same following as soccer does with the French. I always sort of joked that the average French person's life was so mediocre and mundane that the boredom would be off set by the score of a goal in a soccer match.

I grew up in the US with the NFL, NHL, MLB, and the NBA. But no Americans ever had passion for a sport as much as a euro does with football (soccer). Well....of course some Brits fist fight @ matches (called hooliganism)...

Another random thought about soccer, I remember over 1 year ago how some people accused Laurent Blanc (national coach of their soccer team) of racially profiling and weeding non whites for their formation (training centers) in the country. I don't see how it is that much different than non sports careers. It's tough for Arabs, Blacks, and Asians to obtain jobs in the administrative field ( travail de bureau) .

But check this...lol...imagine if they lowered the number of Black athletes in basketball. lol @ that....Most French basketball players in France and in the NBA are black descent and even France's beloved hero Tony Parker is not even French per se. His dad is Afro American and his mother is from the Netherlands (though both live in France now). Tony didn't get naturalized as French citizen until he was 15 years old.

This brings another issue....what constitutes being a French athlete? I know Joakim Noah was born in NYC, USA and yet he is being referred to as a French athlete. He has triple citizenship (sweden, USA, and since 2007 France). The French claim him like he belongs to them. Joakim's dad is Yannick that;s true but his basketball training was done entirely in the US (from HS to college @ U of Florida).

I guess speaking French (even some of it) and living in the country for about 3 years makes you French?

I am somewhat familiar with Marine Le Pen's policy of "droit de sol" vs "droit de sang" .... and in her definition....none of France's sports stars would be allowed to be French citizens (minus Joakim who is all of 25% French)

but really what would their sport hero culture be without their foreigners? Zidane is Algerian descent, their heavy weight judo champ is a guadeloupean 7 footer, and even the names "Platini" and "Cantona" soundsmore Italian than French. Former judo star David Douillet admitted he was part Viking.

Sorry if this rant went digressing in many directions. :eek:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,028 Posts
Football is probably the big sport in France - but we're acquainted with rugby fans who are every bit as die hard as the footie people! (Personally, I prefer rugby - at least as a spectator sport.)

Back when the Football World Cup was in France, there was considerable discussion about all the "ethnic" players on the French team. But France is better than many countries about adopting players of many races (even if they won't hire them for desk jobs). Joakim Noah is definitely his father's son, and that gives him his French cred. Yannick has his sports career, and now is a singer.

France really has never been into that "droit de sang" thing. In France, being French is much more a matter of "droit de culture" - speaking French, acting French, dressing French, thinking French, even if those notions are not well defined.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The droit de sang definitely applies to only to the Front National, the LePen family, and the rest of their cronies.

Droit de culture in it of itself is like a form of imperialism (In my flawed opinion)

The French accept foreigners as long as they act French and forgo making overt gestures that suggest they have origins else where.

I have met some Asians who hate being Asians, who make fun of their foreign accented parents, and down right make anti Asian comments against their own race. All of this to be accepted by the French majority. :eek:

Droit de culture. Oui! But they have to forget their roots it seems and even turn against their race of origins.

Arabs are different though. They even have Arab figures that are famous like comedians like Jamel Debouze and Smain. They display strong pride of their Arab background and let's face it...Some of the Arabs I have met made blatant Anti Jew statements. I am not pro jew but dang...never seen so much hate coming from one person of 1 group to another. Not even homophobic stuff I have heard in the US.

Blacks i have met in France tend to associate with blacks from around the world especially black americans (rap music, obama being the first black pres, basketball stars etc...)

I am American mostly and it seems the French have some form of jealousy and awe of respect at the same time. well that's been my experience at least.

Thanks for the reply BTW. It's nice to have other anglophones who I can sometimes discuss things with. Most French people are French centric just as much as I am US centric.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,028 Posts
There are advantages and disadvantages to the French notion of "droit de culture." I do understand what you mean, though, about the feeling that you have to abandon your native culture to prove yourself to the French sometimes.

OTOH, it kind of cuts both ways. Before I got my French nationality, anything I said that could construed as criticism of anything French was taken the worst way possible - even if I was simply repeating things I had heard French people saying. Once I got my French nationality, I declared that I now had the right to criticize France as much as any other French citizen, and you know, most folks here agree with me. Funny how a piece of paper makes such a big difference!
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with your point about the French taking things the worst possible from a foreigner when "criticizing" anything French (from their culture, economical system, etc...)

when I worked at a restaurant and was overheard by co workers criticizing their universal health care and how it prevented economical growth in France (it seems France has lots of hypochondriacs who go to the doc for the slightest cough or runny nose...anecdotal experience)...

they gave me that mean French stare...

And since they knew I lived in the US, they feel as though as they are worst than Americans. in some respects yes. but other ways...No.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
You sound pretty down about France...

sportsman will take any country to get benefits, I would...I would represent iraq if it meant I could go and play a bit of sport....half the scottish rugby team is south african, and the english cricket team is also south african.. you could probably get into the english bb team....in time for the olympics and with loul deng deng...

but anyway, I critise french culture, economy and language all the time, its called banter....as long as i don t mind getting it back, which i dont, sometimes when i can t pronounce the words its very very funny...I have had a lot of unforuntate misunderstandings...:D...as for being not accepting until i m french....i m english, and i m accepted, I have no need or slight inkling to become a french citizen, but do you think french people want you to abandoned your own true identity...I love being English I love my culture, food everything (but also my my french boyfriend), so I take the best from what I can. ( But if Le Pen gets in then I ll be shipped back to blighty on the first ferry with a car full of cheese and wine)...

As for the criticising, its a bit of a fine line right, there is might a difference between joking about our differences and just criticising....but if you are joking and meet some frenchies who get their knickers in a twist about it, just forget about them, french people do have a sense of humour.... Although in the contrary perhaps prodding them in the forehead and saying your country is crap is probably not the best way to make friends, or get your opinion across....Think how it would feel if a french person came to the states and did the same or perhaps england...its all tact... (perhaps starting a joke about being a functionaire is a common laughing point - even to a functionnaire). But a question to ask yourself is why critise, what good would come of it...its not going to change things by saying french is this or that....you just have to deal with it, shrug it off and get on with it.....I laugh...but I laugh at everything, the more absurd the bigger the laugh, and sometimes a snort...it keeps me young...(just the mention of the no noise rule on a sunday makes me snort, and sometimes I just feel the urge to get the lawn mower out, except I live in a flat with a balcony...maybe the hoover)

As for Le Pen, I think most people think she is mad as a box of frogs....

Sport in France is mixed, the main stream (like in the UK) media advertise football or soccer, you get it rammed down your throat. But alot of people in France are definetly not into soccer/football only. I love sport, and football is so, so...but you are not alone in your thoughts there...

Basketball is big, the leagues are pro down to National 2 or 3....handball is big, of course rugby is big news... Cycling is always going to be big...running seems to be big judging by the amount of runners I see....I play hockey (field hockey) and have a found a team in France, its a very much minority sport, but the kids that come to the coaching really enjoy it, Its a good game for those not interested in football.Golf is also getting bigger..I think its hard to compare sport from the USA in France... there are alot of opportunities to join in sport, and have a go....I m always playing sport, I love it... being in france enables me to get out in the fresh air....something I did do in England, but I would come back alot wetter than in France...


It sounds like you are probably going to head back sooner or later, but wouldn't it be fun to pick up a random sport or experience whilst you are here, so you can tell people about your experience back home...perhaps by doing it then you ll meet people who will be embarrassed about Le Pen, and be interested in the USA, enough to talk about the differences and have some banter....perhaps handball would be good fun eh? or what about a pick up basket ball game, my boyfriend is french and he loves any USA sport, he plays BB, and the other day went to watch a pick up American football game, so its do able, and maybe fun...maybe if you like BB just go to a club and train.....you might met some like minded people...

As for the amount of hyperchondriacs, in the UK healthcare is free...some people go to the doctors just for a chat.....you get them in every country right...

I would say don t take people too seriously, have a laugh....when people are rude to you unless you have prodded them in the forehead they are just probably far up their own ...... just embrace your time here....

right i m off to the doctors...hoped this helped

:clap2:
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top