March 25, 2008

Just wondering...



Just wondering... If France is so "green" .... then why do so many people litter?! On another note, why do so many people crachent all over the place, not clean up after their dogs, and throw their stinky ciggie butts everywhere? I could go on but I will stop there!

8 comments:

David said...

Because French people are pigs and love dirtiness...

Just kidding...

My theory on that (cause by now, you have figured that I have a theory for everything) is that French people have very little civic sense (I'm not sure this expression makes sense in English... directly translated from "sens civique" or "esprit civique"), and that the most "natural" thinking most French people have when dealing with the community is not "what can I do for my community?" but "what can the community do for me?"...
And as some people are being paid to clean the streets, it's OK for most Frecnh people to litter...

I personally think this is really wrong, and this is one of the things that I hate about my country, but we have such a big history of big governments providing for every needs and having an answer for everything that I doubt that French people will take things into their hand anytime soon... (to make a complex reasoning and history short)

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Hehe! You're theory makes sense and I do understand the aspect of "civil sense"- Sociology was my field of study back at Uni. I clearly agree with your theory but still wonder how anyone can assume a mentality of, "someone else will do it for me, so why should I bother?" when it's much better to simply not litter/leave dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk for everyone to step in or dodge! I really think a lot has to do with your up-bringing and what your parents instilled in you as for as conforming to social rules and constructions. I also think it's not only the French who do this... but the people who live here, with the exception of me, bien sur! :)

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

P.S. sens civique = civic duty, ou pas? It may be two different things, but just wondering, too.

barbara said...

I have always had the hardest time accepting these "bad habits".Even if after many years here, my likes very largely outweigh my hates.

I remember as a child that we were taught not to litter and to use the trash cans.Just like we were taught to brush out teeth,wash our hands & such.

There is the word "litterbug", for the one that litters... An online Fr-Eng dictionary has it as "une personne qui jette des detritus par terre".Nothing more ...

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Hi Barbara,
Thanks for your comment... I do agree with you, I was also taught the same thing as a child. I also grew up in the Topanga Canyon/Malibu on the weekends as a kid so I was really "in nature" there and was taught to respect the environment and to take care of it. Thanks for the French translation of litterbug- funny how they have a defition of what a litter bug is but is there an actual word for "litterbug?" I know that Smokey the Bear was a popular figure on t.v. for kids to learn about these kind of things, too.. But I don't think Smokey made it over here! Also, the famous ad. we had for sooo many years of the Apache native American standing in full garb on the top of a mountain and shedding tears over the litter... Do you remember those ads on tv?? I think they were popular in the '70s as we were growing up... It was a part of the campaign to "Keep America Beautiful," I believe! Anyhow, my likes here in France largely outweigh my dislikes, so I am right there with you... I have too many gripes about America to even start!! J'aime la France!! -Leesa :)

David said...

Yeah, this way of thinking definitely comes from education (or lack of thereof) but it's intimately linked to the way our country makes us think (and then transmit this from generation to generation).

One must underline though that as usual with these kinds of things, I don't think that it's the majority of French people that litter like this, but the minority is more visible (because you cannot see the non-litter of the people that didn't do it (they could post signs saying: "I could have littered there, but I didn't!", but then these signs would become litter too)...

As for sens civique et civic duty, unless I misunderstand civic duty they're not exactly the same things. Sens civique encompasses civic duty, but it's a broader thing. It's the general feeling you have that you belong to a community and that life is not only about yourself, that you have rights, but also duties, etc.

barbara said...

Hi Leesa,
To get back to those ads you mentioned... we ARE the same generation. Smokey the bear ( only YOU can prevent forest fires) and the Apache Indian sheding that tear as he sees his native land all dirty.
Blast from the past :)

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Hi David,

Thanks for the clarification of the two terms. It rings true about the folks who don't litter, we don't "catch" people in the act of not littering very often, do we?! But we very often catch people in the act of not cleaning up after their doggies! :P

Hey Barbara, I'm glad you can relate ... I somehow think these two things are not a part of today's current education about keeping the planet clean... How can we teach our kids to take care of our environment, if the gov't doesn't even do it!! I wish they would have more awareness campaigns in this area... Always nice to hear from you... Leese :)