FRENCH ST MARTIN’S IMAGE SUFFERS, BECAUSE OF THE RUDENESS OF THE ‘OTHER’ FRENCH

What makes St Maarteners lucky, is that we get to celebrate carnival for almost 2 months.

The French celebrations begin in February, and the Dutch post carnival festivities don’t end until somewhere in mid may.

I have never spent a lot of time on the French Side, but I used to walk through the hills to Concordia, and I remember when Marigot used to be bustling with people,

just like Philipsburg on a cruise ship day.

What stands out in French St Martin these days, is the silence.

I walked around Agrement, Marigot, Galisbay for the Childrens Parade, taking pictures, and there was NO ONE.

On a Sunday, when there was supposed to be a grand annual celebration.

Carnival isn’t just about jumping up and partying,

carnival is the main source of revenue for many people, from roadside stands, to costume designers and make up artists, many people earn there living almost exclusively from carnival earnings.

You would think a few industrious minded French people would have organized Bazaar like vendors and hawkers to fully take advantage of the carnival crowds.

nothing……….

I walked around taking pictures, and occasionally  I would speak to a local, or a business owner, and the most they would do, was shrug, in that unique French way.

They told me that their government was stupid and corrupt, but nothing specific, almost like they did not know how things had gotten so bad.

I was fortunate enough to speak for approx. 30 minutes to a local French professor, who had taught in France, and had now been teaching in French St Martin for decades.

From his perspective, it was the arrogance and ineptitude of the European French, who always felt that they knew what was ‘right’, for their indigenous colonies.

As a teacher, he felt that the French children, were suffering greatly, because of French European policies.

He lamented at the fact, that all of the top French government sent their children to DUTCH SCHOOLS, because the French Educational system was so fundamentally flawed.

Introducing English in Highschool?

It is an effort to preserve the French language,

and the effort has failed miserably!

I wandered through the ghost town called “Marigot”, and it was so beautiful and flawless,

almost had that ‘untouched’ look,

Like a very fancy retirement community.

I continued taking pictures, but the place looked like it had just been evacuated.

I walked past the Gendarmerie, and considered taking stock footage,

I save a lot of video just for future projects.

I decided against going into the building, and walked around the block and ran into the French boys on the block having I guess they called it, Napoleon, Fonto and weed,

something that you find on every block in St Maarten.

One of the French guys lived in St Peters, so we’re talking, and I’ve never seen such anger and disdain for the government that these youth had.

They were undereducated in French and English. They were FLUENT in cussing in French, but because of a deficient educational system, I doubt that many could write in standard French.

And that’s not a diss on them, it’s a diss of their government and the people who are designing the educational structure, and doing a horrible job of it.

One youth had already done his stint in Guadeloupe, he was all of 18, with a fresh machete chop across his face.

His mother showed up, and wanted to know why he had just busted another boys face wide open.

The 6 or 7 youths sat quietly, NOBODY dared respond as his mother, this huge red-skinned Guadeloupan was just standing with her hands akimbo, screaming at him.

At as she paced back and forth in front of us, the big mouth youth, and myself alike stood or sat there frozen.

The only thing that I was wondering about, was whether i could out run her.

NOT ONE MAN ON THE BLOCK DARED TO ANSWER HER.

Then nonchalantly, the gendarmes ambled around the block…..

two of them.

The mother had disappeared back into one of the buildings, and when the youth saw the gendarmes,

they started screaming and yelling profanity at them.

I DID NOT WANT TO RECORD IT, HONESTLY.

I figured if I did the gendarmes would confiscate it, but no they kept their heads straight as the verbal assault continued.

The French youth described the European Gendarmes patrolling THEIR streets, almost like an occupation.

The Dutch police dept. has a ton of issues, but being considered occupiers, is not one of them.

Dutch St Maarteners have issues with the police, but the police tend to be Dutch St Maarteners/former Antillians, and one of us.

The French import their police to fight corruption, and cronyism,

but there’s a thin line between “defenders” and “occupiers”.

I’m not saying that France is ‘occupying’ French St Martin,

I’m saying that many French St Martiners feel that way.

They feel invaded and violated by these Europeans,

and the French European attitude DOES NOT HELP.

Booo all you want to,

but every visiting tourist who’ve visited the French Side, can tell you a “rude French” experience.

So why is is that St Martiners are French, but they know how to politely answer a question, if they know that you are not a resident, when if you ask a French European anything, they look as if they have to be restrained from pissing DOWN on you.

French St Martin is the only country that I know of, where French Europeans, deny being French.

There’s a good 10% of the French European population, living in French St Martin who are NOT rude,

and I’ve spoken to them too.

Most will deny being born in France, because they are ashamed of the French European attitude and reputation, and they do not want to be associate with the French, and any culture known for rudeness.

Most will NOT talk to other French Europeans. Some French time share sales people approached an American couple on the beach, and began their sales spiel to the Americans.
The wife said, their are so MANY French Europeans here, why don’t you talk to them?

The French European timeshare people replied….”because they are French from France!”

So get mad at the blogger, for writing her opinion, but the French is a beautiful country in trouble.

The world is in such an economical nightmare, at some point something has to give.

Do the French Europeans want to keep on the same old historical colonial path?

A path that has failed before, and will fail again.

Or will they try to adapt to the 21st century, and allow their people more freedom and choices.

Is it still the law, that if you are born in a French country, that you have to give your kid a French name?

See, stuff like that flies in Europe, but here in the Caribbean people

feel that it should be their right to name their child anything they want as long as it’s not profanity.

St Martiners do not have to adapt and adjust to anyone, they are just fine.

It is their government who needs to re-evaluate, how they are dealing with THEIR growing population, of disatisfied people

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2 comments

  1. You are right and right again. I am a white Dutch, but from 1989 up to LUIS in 1995 I lived in Marigot, and I speak French so well that the Metros think I am from the German border Alzasz. In those days it was difficult for a Dutchman to settle Dutch side. French side was Europe and to register there was simple as bonjour. The Fr side locals were feeling colonized but got good money and D side were freer but poorer. I had a job in no time and when that stopped I had generous unemployment help. The Fr locals burned tires when they objected to something, even the army was called in to quell an uprising. Those were good times. Today Marigot is a dead town. What a mess!
    Later more, it too early to write coherent, c u.

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