A day in the life

"Dad, what's Pure Laine?" asked my daughter as she looked at my blog over my shoulder. "Simply put..." I replied "the expression 'pure laine' identifies descendants of the first French settlers who arrived here some 400 years ago. Now... be careful if you use these words to describe yourself. Sadly, some people confuse the expression with a symbol of exclusion from the province's majority towards its minorities."

Both my children are being raised as true Montréalais, mixing at school with first and second generation immigrants from all over the planet. Wow!... when I was their age, growing up in the Townships, mixing with Anglos and people from Chicoutimi was considered cultural diversity. Times have obviously changed.

My wife and I spend a lot of time with our children and, by extension, their friends. They are always welcomed to spend some time at our place. Having them over is often like going on a short trip without leaving home. Accommodating them (if you can even call it that) takes very little open-mindedness. I mean... finding chicken weenies isn't that hard, nor is pointing in Mecca's direction. During one of these short "in-house trips", my wife prepared some maple syrup dumplings for dessert, a sugar shack favorite that Muslims and Jews seldom get exposed to. My daughter's friend had obviously never tried it; she liked it so much that she left with the recipe.

I recently stopped by this young person's place to pick my daughter up. While chatting with the lady of the house, her relaxed husband leaned over and told me he tried dumplings with the whole family. "How did you find it?" I asked. "Weird." He replied. "Weirdness is a relative concept." I added. We all burst out laughing.

Once in a while, a friend of my children's invites me on facebook to become her/his friend. I take it as a compliment and always jump at the opportunity. In this day and age, Web socializing can't be ignored. Getting involved is just another way to better understand the world my kids are growing up into. I don't actively participate, but I sometimes browse their profile. I can see all kinds of interests.

When I see young teenagers with international roots embracing Québec's culture with open arms, it just gives me hope for this nation of ours.


Véronique Martel said...

Thank you soooo much for sharing this "feel good" moment full of hope and honesty.

I must agree with your conclusion.
"When I see young teenagers with international roots embracing Québec's culture with open arms, it just gives me hope for this nation of ours."
Same here. As a "youth", I can related and am grateful for open-minded parents et caring citizens such as you wife and yourself.

And by the way, aren't these dumplings "des pets de grand-père"? ;o)

Michel Bolduc said...

I usually hear them referred to as "grands-pères dans le sirop" or "grands-pères au sirop d'érable".

Thanks for the kind words.

Véronique Martel said...

True that! My mistake. ;)

Snowbird said...

Although I am very much older than Véronique , I fully share her youthful enthusiasm for our kids' future . She had me worried for a while about "pets de grand-père" . As a bilingual Anglo I derive no small satisfation from my hopefully reasonable command of French , but the expression kind of baffled me , particularly as I am a grand-père myself ...The real translation reassured me. My own translation would probably been "chaussons" , particulary if made from apple ("chaussons aux pommes") , but I am not pure laine (not even pur sucre) and I did pick up a lot of my French while based in Paris.I will memorise "grand-pères dans le sirop" , although to me "dans le sirop" does have a conotation of "in deep doo-doo".

Let me take this opportunity to say that one key response to the ignoramuses who say that Quebec French is not "good" French is the success of Quebec singers in France , from Aglaé and Félix Leclerc in the post-war era to Gilles Vigneault , Charlebois and of course Céline Dion in more recent times.

Michel Bolduc said...

Actually, Véronique confused the dessert's name with "pet de soeurs", which I've seen translated in English as nun's fart.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Québec's culture, is there any good website to go to to keep abreast of Québecois films and music? I speak Hindi and Urdu and there's a great website called www.bollywoodhungama.com which is perfect for keeping up with all of that. I've tried finding one for Québec but I seem not to be looking in the right places. I'm sure many people who read your blog might also be interested in more information like that, it's something you could consider as a post if you think it's relevant. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! :-)

Anonymous said...

Actually, I just saw the link to the blog KinoQuébec on the right of your blog and I'll be checking that out. Thanks.

Michel Bolduc said...

Thanks for the idea. I'll try to find some other sites for my blogroll.