It's no surprise that Quebec and France have some pretty big differences. Not only do you have a different dialect of the French language and the obvious factor of one being a European country and the other a Canadian province, but there are some other examples of why a Quebecer visiting France or a Frenchman visiting Quebec, would be in for a total culture shock.
The New York Times recently interviewed French immigrants on their perspective of life in Quebec and what they thought of the province in comparison to life back home. Overall, the response was that adjusting to the customs and habits of Quebecers is a lot more difficult than one might think.
TL;DR The New York Times recently asked French immigrants about their perspective on Quebec. The responses range from confusion to frustration to a feeling that Quebec is the future standard destination for Parisian millennials. More details are below.
According to one Parisian that moved to Montreal, a Mexican and Chinese person have more in common with each other than a Frenchman and a Quebecer do.
Notable differences mentioned in the Times article include Quebec's proclivity for cannabis and beer over tobacco and wine. Feminist Quebec is also not receptive of typical French male romantic advances, according to one respondent.
One Parisian interviewed by the Times joked that he had been met with stern eyes for holding a door for a Québécoise women and anger when using terms of endearment that are common amongst the French but considered insulting in Quebec.
Instances of culture shock pointed out by French immigrants in Quebec include, of course, the more familiar language and forms of address that Quebecers use.
People have taken to Twitter to further express how similar (or different) they believe France and Quebec to be. The comments definitely speak for themselves:
4) you'd have to be a pretty ignorant French person to be TOTALLY oblivious to well known language differences like "ma blonde" or food like poutine— Tim Forster (@timothyjforster) February 19, 2019
5) I don't think anyone from France truly expects a common culture in Quebec (hence why lotsa French hang out w each other)
I find it so funny how different French sounds when Québécois people speak it vs when people from France/Europe speak it. It’s like Quebec is the country version of France French... don’t know how else to explain that— Kaia🍓🍯 (@KindCryptid) January 24, 2019
The Times article does not discuss it, but weather is an obvious point of cultural difference. While wintertime activities are at the core of the Quebec identity, people from France are often unprepared for the freezing temperatures and meters of snow. That's why people in Quebec like to sometimes make fun of their ill-prepared French brethren.
When France have snow storm vs Quebec pic.twitter.com/EkEiY6hToY— Jean-Pierre Rousseau (@QcSpicy) January 30, 2019
Voici une tempête au Québec, c'est très différent qu'en France pas vrai ? 🤷🏻— Mathieu | Matbob (@Matbob199411) February 13, 2019
P.S : 30-40 centimètres sont tombés en moins de 12h. pic.twitter.com/DhG4PZSoqh
Despite the snow, for many, Quebec is an escape that offers new opportunities and better quality of life for young Parisians.
Many felt that there is more opportunity for advancement in Quebec than there is in French urban areas. Some cited a culture of acceptance and entrepreneurship.
This doesn't come as too much of a surprise, as the unemployment rate in Quebec is below 5 percent, compared to a whopping 9 percent in France. It's clear that many young people would have an easier time finding work and stable accommodations in the Canadian province.
There are more than 130,000 French people living in Montreal right now, with the number continuing to increase as the French leave their Motherland for school, jobs, and more opportunities in Quebec.
So, in sum, Quebec is feminist, full of opportunity, non judgmental, less rigid, and able to turn the cold season into a time of cultural prosperity.
Needless to say, it sounds like Quebec is the place to be right now, even for the French!