Am I French yet?

Blason of Franche-Comté

Image via Wikipedia

I chuckled when I typed the heading for this post.  It’s a joke that D and I share and it came about during a conversation with les parents.

Les parents love me.  (What’s not to love?)  They love me like a daughter and even before D and I got married they called me their daughter.  Sure, they knew we were getting married but that was just a mere formality.  One day, while talking about the wedding and all the preparations we’d made, le papy said something along the lines of me becoming a French citizen.  My French citizenship, for le papy, was a done deal.  Tanya marries D et voilà, she’s French.

D, la mamie, and I had to laugh.  “No papy,” D said to his father, “it’s not that simple.”  And, from what I already know, there are hoops in my future — some may be on fire — just waiting for me to jump through them.

Until then, I’m learning a lot about France and about le pays de Montbéliard (literally: the country of Montbéliard), where D was born.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever heard a French person state their country of birth.  You’d expect the answer to be France, wouldn’t you?  Hmm…  Well, here’s one for you.

Several months ago, I was reading Pas si fous, ces Français.  This book was written by two Canadians — one francophone from Québec, the other an anglophone from Ontario.  Both decided to do some research on France and the French while living in France several years ago.  Very early in the book, on page 31 to be precise, they mention that the majority of Parisians aren’t originally from Paris.  Their hostesses at their B&B, who they believed to be “vraies parisiennes” quickly corrected them.  One stated that her pays is Angevin; the other came from the le pays dijonnais.

The authors, Nadeau and Barlow, explain further and cite examples.  I read on and thought “oh, how interesting” and left it there.

Two weeks later I overheard a conversation; D was on the phone speaking to one of his clients.  It was a good exchange with both D and his client getting personal.  It was then I heard D say “je suis Franc-Comtois; je viens du pays de Montbéliard.”

Huh.  And here I was thinking his country of birth was France.

Now, I’ve never asked another French person where he/she is from so, if you’ve ever asked your spouse/friend this question let me know whether the answer was along the same line.

For obvious reason, I have an interest in the pays of Montbéliard and the region of Franche-Comté.  Stay tuned for more as I bring to you some of my favourite things about Montbéliard/Franche-Comté.

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Categories: Franc-Comtois

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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2 Comments on “Am I French yet?”

  1. October 16, 2010 at 9:43 AM #

    So sweet about les parents loving you from the start – you lucked out! Nic’s parents are also very warm too, really makes me feel great – More reasons to love the French 🙂

    Very interesting about the different regions. My guy’s from the Lorraine & it’s been pretty funny to learn about the “cultural” differences even inside France.

    When we first arrived, we had moules-frites for lunch one day at our local brasserie & two ladies turned to Nic & said, “Excuse me sir, you’re not from around here are you?” lol! It was so hilarious….big difference even from the south & the north!

    The only thing I know about Comté is the cheese 🙂 so definitely look forward to hearing more!

    • October 16, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

      LOL! About a year ago, we were in St Aygulf and a woman asked D if he was Belgian. That totally cracked us up.

      Mmm, Comté is so yummy! Yes, more to come!

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