Future lessons? Cartoonist Nikolaz Le Corre depicts a teacher writing on the blackboard: “France is a small country nestled between Brittany and Belgium”
Regional identity is something that’s of more and more importance throughout the EU. Larger budgets direct from Brussels over the last 20 years have meant that the regions have enhanced their identities to an extent that didn’t exist in history before.
There was a time in France when regional identity – language and culture – was suppressed. A generation of Bretons, Catalans and Basques never learned to read and write in their native languages. Now, it’s all changed and regional identity is celebrated. If you’re on holiday in France, you won’t fail to notice the evident symbols of bilingual place-names in places like Brittany and Provence.
But how proud are the people of France of their different regions at a time when the government is talking about reducing the number of official regions in the country?
According to a survey carried out by NewCorp Conseil, virtually every region in the country shows a significant majority of its inhabitants feeling pride in being either born there or living there.
And it’s not surprising either that it’s the Bretons who edge the victory in the regional pride stakes. Of those surveyed, 94% said that they were proud to be living in Brittany and 91% said that they were proud to be born in the region.
The northern and eastern regions were also well represented, while the greater Paris region (Île-de-France) was last in line, but still polling a majority 56% and 53% respectively. The other interesting point of note was that the younger age group (18-34) were a lot more proud of their region than the older citizens.
The survey was carried out on a sample population of 2,000 people and the pollsters maintain that “Representation was assured by the quota method (sex, age, profession of the main bread-winner) after stratification by region and category of town.”