Foreigners in England/France

Paul   Monday, May 17, 2004, 16:21 GMT
Hi Okota

What it laicity? I don't know the English equivalent.

Also both Okota and Lavoisel seem to be reporting there experiances living in France very accurately and without a lot a bias or prejudice.
I commend them both for being honest and forth-coming about their

My brother has a predjudice against the Gangs of Gypsy children that used to target tourists. A person's fear need not have to based on the probability of each single incident. It also may be quite reasonably based on the probability of a violent incident occuring in the forseeable future.

I think Okota may over generalizing and assuming all gangs of maghrebins and africans, have criminal or violent intentions. But it may be that many of these anti-social groups foreigners are grouping together mainly to resist the antipathy and avoidance with which the normal Frenchman deals with foreigners of all kinds.

As the less different foreigners (chinese, japanese, latin-americans, armenians, russian,etc...) are tolerated better by the french, but do not necessarily distance themselves from the maghrebins and Africans to the same extent, they may be exposed to more negative experiances.
You should avoid being the man in middle.

Regards, Paul

P.S. This situation occurs all over the world with a variety of Ethnic groups.
Sara   Monday, May 17, 2004, 17:15 GMT
Paul is absolutely right about the fact that the French Maghrebis ”are grouping together mainly to resist the antipathy”. For many of them, the only flats they can afford are council flats situated in suburbs. And those places are not fit at all for young people, so teenagers who live there with their poverty and boredom can be led to stealing, bugging people and so on.
Then, racism grows and they feel even more the necessity of grouping, fighting and all.

I'm not denying their responsability, but in a way, they are victims.
Social mixity should help get over this problem.

PS: Okota, me wo samashitekudasai!
okota   Monday, May 17, 2004, 17:55 GMT
nic, you are a naive boy.
it's very easy to say that the foreigners are never guilty, for sure it's french society's fault! have a look to the situation in japan.Except iranis, philipinos and koreans there are very few foreigners and the criminality is the weakest of all industrialized countries.

Sara: good girl, i'll give you some sugar....

i'm tired of this sort of controversies, you don't want to face the reality. You have your own opinions, all right! i've got mine. Time is up gentlemen, i leave this forum. Have nice discussions and farewell.
Sara   Monday, May 17, 2004, 19:23 GMT
He's leaving? Oh, no!
Well, this is the reaction we should all have:
Sara   Monday, May 17, 2004, 19:32 GMT
By the way,

No, thanks, you can take your sugar back. I'm not very keen on it.
Here you go:
nic   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 09:43 GMT

I don’t understand wy i am naive because i don’t think like you all the black and algerian people are thieves or anything you want. Do you ignore nazis thought all the jewish were dirty, liars etc?!

All the japanse were nazis because they collaborated with germans during the war, all the Italians were fascists, all the French were fascists and all the germans were nazis. All Americans are for the war in Irak, all the british are for the war in Irak bla bla bla bla.

All the French wear a beret !

This is the kind of generalization which is stupid.

I have many black and Algerians friends who work, pay their taxes, do not aggress anyone in the street, do not insult anyone in the street.


Laicism is the seperation between the state and the church. It happened because of wars which occurred against protestants in the 18th century and killed an amazing number of French protestants. That’s why you will find a few protestants in the south of France today.
After that experience, the government decided to do that separation. At school for example, catholics, muslims, jewish are unallowed to wear any religious signs (except meaddle (médaille) for catholics and jewish and the Allah’s hand for muslims). There’s no catechism in public school, and no one can impose you any religion. Of course you have the right to have the religion you want.
tony   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 00:33 GMT
I am movign to France but I don't know any French. My parents say that I will pick up the language and I will lose my american accent eventually. How long does it take for you to lose an accent and gain another one and how long does it take for you to speak French fluently
Chilli   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 14:49 GMT
Tony, depends on your age, your drive to learn, and your capacity for learning. If you're young (and by that I mean thirteen or under), if you take regular lessons with lots of practice, and if you're smart, then I would hazard that you'll be basic in a year.

Fluency is like perfection. You will never be as fluent as a French-born-and-raised person of the same age unless you hang around for several decades at least, but you might be able to fool your average Frenchperson in three to five years.

If you're older than thirteen and don't practice enough, it won't matter how smart you are. You'll always be bad at it.
Paul   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 16:57 GMT
Hi Nic

Thanks for the explanation.

Separation between the state and the church (Laicism) seems to be a good thing. It is becoming much more important here in Canada and the U.S.A.
I used to be a Protestant myself, and the reason that Protestants are so strong in America, is that the Europeans kicked them out, and most of them ended up here. At least that's what happened to my ancestors.

I didn't know that at your school that catholics, muslims, jewish are unallowed to wear any religious signs (except a medal( médaille) for catholics and jewish and the Allah’s hand for muslims.

If someone doesn't wear a religous medal, is he assumed to be secular, atheist, agnostic? What?
Of course you have the right to have any religion you want.
Are you allowed to live within the moral confines of that religion?

Or are you obliged to sublimate your beliefs in the belief that religous freedom is only possible in a Democratic open society.
That is the American Ideal, right now. Democracy and the goals of a moral society with the freedom to express your point of view.

Your society seems to make a lot of moral judgements without having a religous framework to fall back on. Political Correctness, if you please.
Be careful.

Talk to you later.

Regards, Paul V.
.......................   Thursday, May 20, 2004, 17:18 GMT
nic   Friday, May 21, 2004, 14:24 GMT

Latin countries have been traditionnaly catholics in their history (Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and ? for Roumania).
Germanic countries have been protestants (England, Netherland, England (Anglicanism for Eengland), Scotland (the twice).

For French protestants, some of them escaped to England, Germany and Netherland), those who stayed have been massacred or forced to sign a paper they renounced to be protestant to the benefit of Catholicism, it’s called “les dragonades”. If you like movies, you can watch a movie with Isabelle Adjani “La reine Margot”, it’s talking about 1 day in Paris when the king decided to kill all the protestants who were living in Paris.

It has been a total massacre (Same history in Spain), that explains why on the French revolution, it has been decided to separate Church and state.

I noticed in USA, people must swear on a bible for a judgement. It’s not the case in France and in other European countries. No one will ask you to do it.

Not having any religious signs does not mean you do not have any religion. But most of the people in France are like me, it means their origins are usually catholics but they don’t practice it. Religion becomes less and less important here. In fact people does not speak about it. But I am all the time surprised to see some people the Sunday on a the church place, there are all the time some people who are going to. At Tv you can only watch the Sunday celebration, that’s the only thing you watch in a week on the public TV.

When you know someone in France, you never ask yourself if he has a religion, it’s just people does not think like that.

Of course, it does not mean people who have a religion do not have the right to express their political ideas. Catholics, jewish and muslims express sometimes their feelings about the actual politic (for example the famous “foulard” and muslims women).

Thare are schools where you can practice your religion, but it’s all private and not public (or ½ public and ½ private, it’s education under public contract). I have been in a catholic school for 3 years, your parents send you in that kind of school most of the time for only one reason : teachers and monks take care you do your homework seriously). It’s not all the time the case in public school, most of the time no one will take care if you do seriously or not your homework (it depends).
Paul   Friday, May 21, 2004, 14:46 GMT
It is very different in Canada. People wear religous symbols all the time.
For example, the government allows Siks to wear their headgear.

In Quebec, the french province, the young people reject the Catholic Religion, but in the English provinces the norm is for people to participate in the Holidays at least and a majority go to church. People are very casual about what church you belong to. English are 50% Protestant and 45% Catholic. Maybe 1% Jews, 1% Siks, 2% Moslem or Hindu. Ethnicity is more important here.
Asian Born European   Saturday, May 22, 2004, 04:10 GMT
This topic seems to be very interesting. I was born in Belgium and i don't find anyone to be racist in Europe. Let me just tell you my background before judging me. I have been in United States for 6 years. I graduated from a good University in California. It has been a great a year for me in United States. When i first came, i thought this was the best country in the world. After a couple of years, i finally realize i was wrong. People in United States are very materialistic and individualistic. I am not sure if you guys experience the same thing as i am experiencing, but there is no more culture here. The food is not even real anymore. They feed pigs, chicken cows with all those chemicals. The tomato doesn't even taste real. There is no more flavor. It just a big fat no juice rock.

In addition, it seems that asian over here doesn't really follow their tradition anymore. They don't respect their parents or their chinese culture.

Anyway, enought of this. i am planning to move to England next year. I am very excited. Thank God! because i am a European Citizen, top graduate university is almost free if you are a EU student. I am so facinated with their culture and people are great.

Let me tell you from my own experience. Why does some people hate foreigners. I give you an example. My dad has been living in Belgium for 22 years. He works, lives and married in Belgium. When he tried to renew his passport, it took him 2 months to have it renewed. He spoke in English with them. When my european passport was about to expire, i went to the same office and asked them to renew my passport in Flemish (fluently). They renew my passport in just 2 days.

See the difference!!!

I think Europe is the best place to live. Although it is expensive, it is a great place to raise a family with strong tradition and believes.
an antimooner   Saturday, May 22, 2004, 06:47 GMT
Get this thread onto something that has to do with languages.
Paul V   Sunday, May 23, 2004, 07:19 GMT
Your previous message points out that
Fluent Native Language competence is more valuable in Europe, than English language competence.
English Language Competence has a lower status in Europe, then in most other Western Countries. And many Eastern Nations
What non-local European Languages have a higher status than English.
I noticed some difficulties using English in Germany and France.
I had no difficulties in the Netherlands with using English.
And now Belgium. Is English use common in Belgium.

Regards, Paul V.

P.S. Maybe the ant mooner has trouble with people using English too.