Monday May 14th, 2012


In the past couple of weeks I have been in counter with three neighboring but very different cultures: French, German and Italian. This trip has allowed me not only to learn about new cultures a bit, but also to have a clearer idea of where the French stand in this world (it’s true that I did not spend time in the other countries as much as I’m spending in France, but at least I can comment on a few points).

First of all I discovered that the French are not as clean as their neighbors: the subway and the streets in Munich and the Italian cities I have visited are better taken care of than the french ones (some of you might tell me that this is a result of the bombings that happened in France sometime in the 90’s and thus garbage bins in the streets are not taken care of anymore as before; but in my opinion this is not a reason to neglect a city’s hygiene).

Second, French are not as attached to their traditions as the Germans (can you believe that in Munich men and women still wear the traditional Bavarian clothes on special occasions and during the week end?), but they are much more than the Italians (a lot of gratifies and miscellaneous writings pollute a lot of the monuments we have seen in the places we went to in Italy, and a lot of the  restorations done in Venice are financed by British and American associations instead of Italian ones).

Example of a traditional Bavarian hat

Example of vandalism on a monument we saw in Como, Italy

Do you agree with this comparison? Do you have other different characteristics you can share with us?

See you tomorrow!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Monday May 14th, 2012”
  1. Magnésium says:

    What I don’t agree with is your philosophical paradigm.
    You are too much into the positivist paradigm that pretends that there is only “one reality”.

    Differences might well exist between the Germany – France and Italy.

    But if you see public transportation in Munich cleaner than public transportation in Lille or Paris you cannot jump from there on and conclude that German are cleaner than French: one might want to look into density, tourism frequency, cleaning cost, wealth of the municipalities and other before trying to draw some conclusion and generalize.

    Same thing when you see more graffiti in Italy on monuments than in France, you cannot jump to the conclusion saying that Italian are less attached to their traditions than French: one might one to look in youngsters frustrations, in unemployment rates, on again cleaning cost and wealth of municipalities…etc

    Anyhow, after looking into real research work, maybe one will come to same conclusion than yours concerning cleanness and tradition between Germany, France and Italy… But only based on a comprehensive research work, that might well want to look into more indicators and fig into more factors….

    🙂
    it is wonderful to observe and note differences but it might be dangerous and unfair to draw positivist conclusions and generalize…
    🙂

    • When you go to a touristic city, that brags it self by being one of the most visited cities in the world, the least you would expect is some order and some sort of cleanliness in the space. No matter how wealthy the municipality is, or how much the youngsters are frustrated, if you want to invite strangers to your place, and make sure they come back again, or at least go home and speak good words about you, you have to make sure they are feeling comfortable and not like dirt.

      That said, it is true that the subject was treated lightly, it should have been handled differently; I will try to avoid this mistake in the future 🙂

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