SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE BRETON
TAKE THE CULTURE TEST
What you see below is an adaptation of Maek Rosenfelder's culture tests. They try to encapsulate the modern Breton culture. Breton society having undergone massive changes (especially in the way it defines itself) during the last thirty years, many of these may not be accepted by some Bretons, notably old folks and die-hard leftists. Most of them will definitely be considered as "cultural" and quite stubbornly defended as such.
If you are Breton
* You are familiar with Alan Stivell, Ar re Yaouank, Tri Yann, Denez Prigent, Gilles Servat, Dan ar Braz.
* You know how soccer is played, of course you call it football, like all normal people. If you are male you can argue intricate points about its rules. You have heard about American football but generally don't understand it. You are also interested in bike racing.
* You consider normal to get five weeks holiday a year and you shall soon work 35 hours a week.
* You are Catholic. If you are young or city dweller, you are, however, likely not to care very much about it. Aside from Mormons and Jeovah's Witnesses, nobody ever asked you if you believe in God (and you consider them as somewhat "weird")
* You think of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC etc. as cheap food.
* You own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine. You don't kill your own food. You don't have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.
Ma'z oc'h breizhat
* You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food. Rabbits definitely are.
* Butter is salty.
* You drink wine, but also cider and chouchen (mead).
* A bathroom definitely does not have a toilet in it. Toilets are to be found in Toilettes or W.C. (Water Closet).
* A number of utilities used to be state owned. They have been recently privatised. Unless you work in a former state company, you are not hostile to this, since it means lower prices.
* Aside from private and state companies, there is a number of "mutuelles" (banks, insurance companies) owned by their clients and "coopératives agricoles" (food industry) owned by the farmers that supply them. They are often very large, and the main bank of the country (The Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne) is a "mutuelle".
* You expect, as a matter of course, that the phones will work. Getting a new phone is routine.
* The train system is good, even if train drivers often strike for futile reasons. A small part of the railway network is privately run: a small inland line that the S.N.C.F (public railway company) finds unprofitable.
* You need to be 18 to get a drivers licence. You have to take paid lessons and cannot practice on your own. This makes getting a drivers licence very expensive.
* You find a multi-party system natural, and can hardly imagine another fair way to run a country. You have four major parties and a number of smaller ones. You don't expect politicians to be particularly efficient, but it is clear they are not in politics to become rich. They will tend to set aside party issues when the country's good is at stake (what usually makes Parisian parties quite upset).
* A nationalist is a man who wants to get rid of the Frenchmen (well the French state in fact). They have generally nothing against arabs and are often left wingers. A sizeable part of you agrees with the most moderate ones, but you don't vote for them.
* A republican is a man who is against Europe and against local autonomies and cultures. You are definitely not one of them.
* One fourth of you (one third if you are under 35) think that Brittany should set up its own independent state inside the EU (or even oustide).
* Mac Do's are made to have a lunch in, not to be bombed.
* Socialism is a serious opinion, even if it it tends towards social-democracy. Communism is an old dream that turned wrong. There are a number of towns (and villages) ruled by communists, but that's more a matter of person than of ideas. Anyway, the communist party is no longer truely communist. If you are really communist you are more likely to vote for Lutte Ouvrière (a revolutionary Troskist party).
* Race is not an issue. If a man does integrate well in local society, it does not matter where it comes from. You are proud of having the only black mayor of France (in a small village).
* Racism is a criminal offence.
* You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.
* You think that the EU is a good thing (Bruxelle is farther away than Paris).
* You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court.
You have learned English at school, but generally don't speak it very well. You usually speak French, but may also use Breton at home, especially in rural areas and if you are middle-aged. You may also speak it if you are urban middle class, in which case you also read books and journals in it, watch Breton language TV and are far more likely to pass it down to your children.
* You definitely think that the Breton language should not be allowed to die out. If you are young enough you may have learned it from books or even, if you are lucky at school.
* Schools are public, religious or associative. If associative, it is a Breton language school (roughly 5% of the pupils but growing fast).
* You think that you deserve a Breton language TV. It is just a shame that the French state denied it to you so long a time, thus obliging you to set up one on your own!
* You are a Celt. You don't exactly know what a Celt is but it has something to do with playing bagpipes. Welshmen, Irishmen, Cornishmen, Scots, Asturians and Galicians are Celts, Frenchmen are not!
* A bagpipe is called a biniou. It is a dancing instrument.
* If you are young, or even not so young, you may go to "fest noz", night parties where you indulge in group dancing while hearing bagpipe music. This kind of party, created some thirty years ago, is quite popular (especially among young people).
* You are proud of your music festivals, especially the FIL (and you know what it is), and of the fact they draw hundreds of thousands of people without getting any aid from Paris.
* If you are born after 1970, you may bear a specific Breton first name. That's considered quite normal and not particularly nationalistic. Only a fool (or a bad commercial producer) would name his child Loïc.
* You put a BZH insign on your car to show everybody where you are from.
* An income tax rate of 50% is high, but you think that people who earn a lot of money should pay high taxes.
* School is free through high school (at least for state and associative schools). University isn't, despite claims of the contrary. You expect the state to help you pay for university, if your parents can't.
* University is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long.
* Mustard comes in glasses that can be reused as drinking glasses. Shaving cream comes in cans. Milk comes in cardboard boxes or (rarely) bottles.
* The date comes first: 5/5/45.
* The decimal point is a comma. Certainly not a dot.
* A billion is a million times a million. A thousand times a million is a milliard.
Degemer vat e Breizh
World War II was a really nasty period. The Nazi's occupied the country and behaved very badly. If you are old enough, you may be asked whether you were wrong or right at this time (wrong being Nazi collaborator). If you were wrong, you'd better run fast. You are proud of the fact that the whole population of a small Breton island took their boats to London in 1940 while most Frenchmen were cheering Petain.
* Your country has a long history and was several times invaded by foreign conquerors. 38% of the youth seems to think it is still the case.
* You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. You marry at city hall, with a nice ceremony and speech from the civil servant who marries you. After that, you may also have a church wedding, but this has no legal status. A man gets only one wife at a time, and vice versa. Homosexual weddings are still forbidden, but homosexual couples can enter a contract that gives them all the legal duties and rights of a wedded couple, except for the right of adoption. Often, you have already lived together for a longer time before marriage, but you usually wed before you have kids.
* If a man has sex with another man, he is an homosexual, but that's all right for him.
* You use the informal tu only with persons you know well or with fellow students. If speaking Breton, you will most often use the formal c'hwi, especially with women, but if you are young, in which case to conform to French habits.
* If you are a man, you give you whole salary to your wife the day you get it. If she is kind, she'll give you a bit back to buy cigarettes. If you are an old rural farmer, it is possible you don't know how to sign a cheque (that's your wife's business).
* A woman is a superior being, someone you should always to obey. The best-known traditional Breton heroine had the dubious habit to have a lover a night before throwing him down the cliff at morning. Her name could be translated as "the good sorceress"
Breton Way of life
* If you're a woman, going topless at the beach is not uncommon.
* An expensive hotel room has a private bath; a cheap one has a bathroom in the corridor.
* All foreign movies are dubbed, excepted in some "cultural" programmes, where they can be subtitled. Breton language programmes are subtitled.
* You seriously expect to deal with the administration without having to give a bribe.
* If a politician has been cheating on his wife, that's his own business.
* Credit cards are accepted in many shops. You generally have one, but still prefer to use cheques.
* A company can't fire everybody it wants to, albeit the restrictions are less than they used to be.
* You don't eat very much bacon, and if you do, it's as part of an omelette.
* Labour Day is the 1st of May and it is a holiday.
Erika sweet Erika
* You count on excellent medical treatment. You know you're not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. You expect very strong measures to be taken to save very ill babies or people in their eighties. You think dying at 65 would be a tragedy. You take it for granted that health care insurance is universal, and even grant illegal immigrants the right to basic medical assistance.
* You went over French and European history at school, but not over American or Chinese.
* You expect the military to make war, not get involved in politics. Having successfully led a military operation is not an advantage in a political career, on the contrary: a high ranking officer is always suspected by a sizeable part of the population to be some kind of nationalist rightist, not very scrupulous about human rights, not the kind of man you would put at the head of a state. You used to have conscription, but now it's an all-volunteer force. You have never heard of the names of the heads of the services.
* You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.
* You use the metric system.
* You may be a farmer, or even a fisherman.
* Erika is not a girl but an oil tanker, and you have a lot of bad feelings about it.
* You are generally environmentally sensitive and think you should be allowed oil free beaches. You think that the French government was very bad at handling the last tanker wreckage.
What? They give Joost Swarte to kids?
* Comics typically appear as hardbound books (albums). Comics sometimes but not always appear first in specialized comics magazines. All newspapers and most magazines carry at least one comic, too. Comics are mainly Belgian and French in origin; a few of them may be Breton too (the best known being L'Ankou). You consider comics to be somewhat inferior to "real" literature, but not that much.
* The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers and politicians. Authors are seen on TV too, to promote their books.
* You drive on the right side of the road. You stop at red lights even if nobody's around. If you're a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them.
* You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be a small to medium sized car
* The police are armed, but not with submachine guns.
* If a woman is plumper than the average, it doesn't improve her looks.
* The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.
* The nationality people most often make jokes about is the Belgians.
* There's parts of the city you where you walk carefully at night.
* You feel that the government is a bit out of touch with the citizens, sometimes.
* You wouldn't expect both inflation and unemployment to be very high (say, over 15%) at the same time. This may however happen.
* You don't care very much what family someone comes from, unless if this "someone" wants to marry your daughter.
* The normal thing, when a couple dies, is for their estate to be divided equally between their children.
* You think of opera and ballet as somewhat elite entertainments. It's likely you don't see that many plays, either.
* Christmas is in the winter. Unless you're Muslim or Jewish, you spend it with your family, and put up a tree. Presents are given on December 25th.
* The Catholic Church used to be very powerful, but it is all gone now. The Church has been separated from the State in 1905 and at that time this provoked lot of bad feelings. Now you think it is a good thing even if you go on putting your children in Christian schools.
* You know the capitals of Europe, but you know the leaders only for the larger countries. The only US state you can pinpoint is probably California.
* You are familiar with Lucky Luke, Asterix, Gaston Lagaffe and Tintin, but you aren't familiar with Spiderman, Sailor Moon, Mafalda, Ralph König or Judge Dredd, although all these comics have been translated into French.
* You've left a message at the beep.
* Locals generally operate taxis; who tend to drive a bit too fast.
* Unemployment benefits are your right, you've paid for them after all, and of course people who don't have any money should get welfare-- should they starve or what? But you also think that there are a lot of people cheating the system.
* If you want to be a doctor, you need to get a doctorate first.
* There isn’t that many lawyers, and you will need them only if you go to court, not for a business deal.
Trouble with the neighbours
* You consider yourself as a French citizen, but not that much. Frenchmen would be nice people if they didn't feel obliged to impose their way of life to everybody in sight.
* You may have some bad feelings about Germans, usually elderly people, but it is dwindling away. After all, they have changed now.
* The USA provides most of your entertainment, as well as technical innovation. They are sometimes annoying trying to impose their ways to everybody in sight, but they have nice pipebands!
* Japan is a faraway country that produces cars, video recorders and bad cartoons. Unless you are a Manga fan, you think of Japanese movies as children stuff.
* The Englishmen are an old-fashioned people whose cows have had serious mental problems. Welshmen, Scots and Cornishmen are not English but fellow Celts, even if their pipebands are not as great as yours.
* If you are a rural person, you probably have an hunting rifle. If you live in town, you probably never thought about buying a weapon. You think that firearms should be strictly controlled by the state.
* You think it normal that any woman who wants to can get an abortion, and that sex education and contraceptives are freely available. It's nothing out of the ordinary to see naked breasts on TV and in advertisements.
* You have never heard of Creationism.
* You think development aid is a good thing. Sending money for arms isn't. You think human rights should be most important in foreign aid decisions.
* Journalists may write about everything but usually avoid the private life of public people. They only talk about private life (I'm not talking about the gutter press here) when people choose to make their private life public.
* Changing your name is very difficult. It takes a lot of paperwork; you need to convince the authorities that you have a good reason to change your name.
* If male, you are uncircumcised, unless you are Muslim or Jewish.
* You were born in a hospital or at home (these are about equally likely) and were delivered by a midwife, general practitioner or gynaecologist. Unless she had a caesarean, your mother did not take anaesthesia during the delivery. Your father was most likely present at your birth.
* It rains only two times a year: first time for six months and the second time for five months.
Winter storms are not uncommon.