Ever run into those people who insist that they’re Scottish/Irish/Whatever….but it’s more of an ancestry thing than them really being of that culture? Well, that’s not me. I am 100% part of a very forgotten culture. I’m Acadian. J’suise Acadienne. My parents are also Acadian, as were their parents before them, their parents before them as well, etc etc. Granted, there was a Scottish dude involved in the late 1700’s, but I am a full blooded Acadian girl hailing from Tracadie-Sheila, NB. Notable last names in my family include LeBreton, Arseneau, Comeau, Saulnier, and my last name doesn’t sound Acadian, but totally is. I am an Acadian before I am a Canadian and will always identify as such. I don’t want my culture to be any more forgotten than it already is. I was even born on the feast day of Acadians, a week late from my mother’s due date, that is how hardcore I am. For a history of why we’re so paranoid about being lost into the history texts, please see Wikipedia.
We’re in a competition with Newfoundland as to who the friendliest people in Canada are. We were uncreative with our flag because we were too busy partying and having a good time. We’re pretty damn Catholic, but please don’t hold it against us. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and enjoy the best food. We love tourists too, not only are they the bread and butter of our little nation, but we want everyone to see this place. It’s awesome! We are also French….which is where the problems start kicking in when you start travelling West.
……because Quèbec. Ruined. EVERYTHING.
Since the Plains of Abraham, the French contingency of Quèbec has had a sore spot for Canada and its Anglophones. Quèbec has been trying to separate for a while because of their hurt feelings from 1775 and have treated the rest of the country like shit on their shoe. They hate immigrants. They have a minister for secularism in a veiled attempt to not look racist. While Montreal can be friendlier, I don’t recommend travelling the rest of “La Belle Provence (not)” unless you plan on not speaking a single word. I’ve caught service people making fun of me in French thinking that I totes didn’t know the language. Hell, they hate other French speaking populations. France? Fuck ’em. Cajuns? Can’t understand them. Franco-Manitoban? Not real French. They even came up with a very special racial slur for Acadians. Homard. Translates to lobster. We’re dirty garbage collecting creatures. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that the Quèbecois eat puppies for breakfast and wash it down with kitty blood, they can just get that mean. There is a gross culture of protectionism that makes the Southern red state US look good.
So, imagine having that collective attitude in your people and in your government. You make national news on a weekly basis with how shitty you are. That is a very, VERY basic run down of why English Canada hates Quèbec. Doesn’t matter how hard Alberta sucks, because at least they speak English and that is how we get caught in the crossfire. You speak some French or mention that you’re first language is French, and almost without fail I would get “go back to Quèbec, you Frenchy!”. Some people say it like it’s a joke, but you’d be surprised how many people are dead serious. Nevermind the fact that some of the Prairie provinces aren’t as friendly that they’d have you believe, now I gotta deal with “go back to where you came from”. I explain that I’m not from Quèbec, they say “doesn’t matter, you’re French.”
Atlantic Canada worries about separation, because we’re not sure if the States will try to swallow us whole or if we’ll make like Alaska and just hang. Maybe we’ll make our own country and call it “CoolestPlaceOnEarthia”. Those of us Atlantic Canadians who are also Acadian have the added grief of just being labeled as an obnoxious Frenchy. I, reclaiming the slur handed to me by the REAL problem, am an homard…not a goddamn Frenchy.
In all seriousness, it’s more than just name calling. We are a people who have worked VERY hard to keep out identity and basically keep ourselves alive. It is frustrating to see how many fellow Canadians are so poorly educated about the cultures in their country. We don’t matter. We’re French, you see, so we must be the same people….and it’s all because Quèbec can’t get over themselves and give ALL French Canadians a bad name. Some people who are really into politics will say that the issue is much more complex than that…and they’d be right if they were just talking about English Canada vs. French Canada. To us Acadians, it’s pretty simple. They’re assholes and making the rest of us look bad. They are the 4 year old brat that we have to babysit and apologize for, and since we’re the babysitter, we get all the nasty looks and heads shaking in our direction.
So to English Canada and the rest of the world, I am a French speaking Acadian. We don’t mind you guys at all, what we do mind is when you treat us like shit because some ornery guys in another province make us all look like douches. Please skip over Quèbec and come see us (though visiting the Gaspé Peninsula is a real treat…those Quèbecers are more Acadian-like anyway). We’ll treat you right.
To my dear Quèbecois Separatist Jerk Contingency….mangez la merde et obtenez plus de vous-mêmes. If we can get over the British attempting to kill our culture, then being moved to make room for Loyalists and STILL find the time to smile and treat others with respect, you can too.