Paris, the Babel of France

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I take the train from Saint Lazare train station, in Paris. My husband and I are the first to sit on two of six seats. To my left there is a future mother of African origin, and to my right a Muslim woman (I can recognize her by the specific port of the headscarf), of Arabic origin. I myself am of Romanian origin. Everyone speaks different languages, but all say some French words. If I look around me, I realize that many people have different cultural origins in the train and observe that they speak different languages.

Paris is certainly a city characterized by cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. On the one hand this diversity is given by the percentage of the tourists coming from all over the world, and on the other hand, by the presence of immigrants living in the Paris area. Debates on the subject of cultural diversity are numerous, some considering it as a source of enrichment and others as a threat for the national identity (references for both).

The aim of this article is not to enrich this debate, although I am located more toward the first category, but to make an observation of the context in which I live and where I do my research studies about interculturality. I’ll be more justified to defend my views later on, with the progress of my thesis work, when empirical and theoretical data will be the basis of my argument. Until then, I try to live in this multicultural environment, to fit into French culture without denying my own culture and to be quite open as to accept and appreciate cultural diversity of the people that come into contact with in a way or the other.

Photo IsaincuDrumming.com

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