Memos > Paris-the Provinces

Paris-the Provinces - Culture

Christophe Girard was born in Angers, a "provincial" city. He "came up" to Paris when he was 18 to continue his studies.

Paris vs the Provinces

The term province means the opposite to Paris, and refers to "everywhere in France outside of the capital". It sometimes has a negative connotation. People who live in the provinces are called provinciaux in French.

Some negative stereotypes often associated with:
  • Parisians: unfriendly, proud, unwelcoming…
  • Provinciaux: behind the times, uncultured…

France: a very centralised country

Paris is home to most of the political, economic, cultural and media powers. What's more, the main transport networks are organised around Paris.
On the radio, you can sometimes here this road traffic message: "Circulation difficile dans le sens Paris-province".
 
Today, most people who move from the provinces to Paris do so for professional reasons, often with the intention of moving back in the future.
There are also lots of people who work in Paris but live in the provinces.

The province and Provence

Be careful not to confuse the province with Provence! Provence is a region in south-east France, on the Mediterranean coast.
Direction la capitale !
This memo is part of the workshop
Direction la capitale !

Did you know?

The word "province" comes from the Latin term provincia, which denotes regions ruled over by Rome, the capital of the Empire.

Anecdote

The word "Parigot" is often used in a pejorative way to refer to Parisians.
Books and folk songs are full of examples of parisianism ... and antiparisianism.

"La France au XIXe siècle est partagée en deux grandes zones : Paris et la province, la province jalouse de Paris"
Honoré de Balzac

You can say

"Parisien, tête de chien. Parigot, tête de veau."

Popular saying