Friday, 20 June 2008
Scousers, Bleuets and identity
I was watching Alexei Sayle's Liverpool documentary on BBC 2 when I got interrupted by a phonecall from my daddy-in-law. But I'll watch it on iplayer so it's okay. Anyway, tonight's program was about identity and what makes a Scouser a Scouser. It made me realise that iIdidn't see enough of Liverpool when I was living there, but also that there are similarities between the Northerners of England and the ones of Québec (i.e. people like me). Therefore, there are similarities between Bleuets (blueberries, the nickname people from Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean have) and Scousers. We both have very distinctive accents, we both produce many artists and entertainers for our nations, we both consider ourselves special. Maybe it's because of the heavy Irish and Catholic presence in Liverpool, something that a Bleuet can relate to, even when he is not religious (or Godless like I am). Catholicism is as much a culture as a faith, and to many, more a culture than a faith. A little anecdote about it: I was in the toilets of a bar in Liverpool, someone asked me if I was Catholic, I said yes (I guess it's obvious for some) and he kissed me on the cheek. It wasn't a homosexual advance, I think it was just a sign of religious recognition. I wished it had been done differently, but it shows that Liverpool was never totally alien to the foreigner I was. Except that in Québec, you get into trouble when you kiss guys on the cheek in straight bars.