Culture Area/Region Essay
Quebec is Canadian province found in the central part of the country. It is a unique region in the country as it has the only predominantly French-speaking people, wherein the official language is French. It is Canada’s largest province in terms of land area, and is the second most populated province (Historical Foundation of Canada, 2008). Because of this, the region possesses a very interesting and distinctive culture. It has distinctive culture because of several factors.
These factors, including language ties and religious ties, are the main reasons which have kept Quebec a tightly knit place. Quebec’s Language Ties The time period during which Quebec’s language ties were established was from the end of 1960s to the 70s. In the fall of 1969 the National Assembly of Quebec issued the Bill 63 which aims to promote the French language all over the region. The bill also promoted the teaching of French language even in English schools, as well giving the immigrants the chance to learn the language by offering them French classes.
Through this, the immigrants are able to blend in or integrate into the Quebec environment (Belanger, 2000a). There was however, a problem which came with this Bill. Instead of promoting the language, it seemed that it was guaranteeing all of Quebec the right to choose the language of instruction for their children. This is because it gave the people the freedom of choice, especially of parents, to send their children to English schools. This is against the linguistic policy for promoting French, which the local Quebecers agreed upon.
So, as the number of Anglophones (English-speaking) and Allophones (a mother tongue other than English or French) increased rapidly in Quebec, the dominance of the French language was potentially threatened. This was also in line with the rapidly decreasing number of Francophone (French-speaking) Quebecers being born each year (Beaudin, Boudreau, & Benedetti, 2006). Because of the result of this Bill, there was a need to study the status of the French language in the province, and come 1974, the Bill 22 was issued, making French their official language.
Bill 22 was passed and was adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec in ’74, making French the official language in Quebec. The government supervised the application of the Bill, and mandated that all of the public institutions present had to address the public administration in French, making it the official language in contracts, forcing corporations to change their names into French names (Belanger, 2000a). Schools during this time were given the freedom of choice for any of the language to be used for instruction, but the entrance to English schools are only for the children who had a prior knowledge of English.
This means that all the Anglophones would be able to go to these English schools. This assured the coexistence of French and English languages, yet maintaining French as the official language. At present, nothing can challenge the preeminent French language in Quebec, as it is one of their defining characteristic of their distinctive culture. Every people of Quebec share the objective of preserving and developing their French culture, and one way is to preserve their French language. The language has become the language of the public, using it to communicate with everyone, all over the province.
The number of bilingual Francophone, Allophone, and Anglophone Quebecers has increased throughout the years, enabling them to fully participate in any affairs of the province. Businesses were conducted mostly in French in the province, making their culture flourish even more. The Francophone Quebecers have shown openness to others, as they felt secured with their own language and culture. Quebecers have a strong sense to protect their cultural heritage, and it is manifested by their efforts to preserve their language. They accepted and readily learned English language because for them, it is not a threat that they must do away with.
This is the confidence that Quebecers possessed; no matter what happens, whatever language gets introduced in the province, they have proven that their language ties with their native French tongue is so strong, it is unbreakable. Quebec’s Religious Ties The time period during which some important aspects of Quebec’s religious ties were established was from the 1850s to the early 1900s. Looking back in history, when France colonized Canada, it also brought its religion, and spread Roman Catholicism all over the lands, reaching one of the largest provinces of Canada which is Quebec.
After several years of religious ups and downs, as well as the emergence of other religious teachings everywhere, the Christian faith started to grow not only in the province but in all of Canada (Belanger, 2000b). In this period, Quebec experienced the rise of power and the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church in the province. It has rose in great levels, and this is partly because of the increasing influence of the Church to the people, as the number of religious congregations in the province multiplied indefinitely. Many classical colleges were also established, wherein almost half of the graduates enters priesthood.
But despite all this, there were still those who opposed, and have continually struggles to convince the French Quebecers. These were the Liberals and the Ultramontanes, people who have radical liberal ideology that remained present and strong for a long period of time, though in the end, they were to loose and succumb to Christianity (Belanger, 2000b). The Church gained many privileges in Quebec, including full guarantees to confessional schools, since the only schools permitted in Quebec at that time were these kinds of schools.
The civil registries of the province were kept by the Church, allowing the religious marriage as the only form of marriage acceptable. Church corporations were given the privilege of not paying taxes, and the tithe was given legal sanctions. Generally speaking, the Catholic Church of Quebec was totally in control of education, public services like health and sanitation, and even their charitable institutions. At that time, the church had become in practice, the State. The following years marked the triumph of the Church.
Christianization was promoted to the masses, where network of catholic groups were established in different parts of the province. This was also the time when Christianization was wished through mass media, establishing catholic newspapers, and the Church even ran a network of theatres in Church basements. With this kind of grounding in religion, Quebec developed tightly-knit religious ties all over the region, and they were recognized as a very unique province because it is overwhelmingly unified when it comes to religion.
It is dominated by Roman Catholic Quebecers, and this can be attributed or be considered as a legacy of the colonial times, where France brought in the religion. Just like language, the religious ties are well related and closely associated to that of their colonizer. This proves that their religion was preserved well and has already endured hundreds of years of changes and reforms. References: Beaudin, M. , Boudreau, R. , & Benedetti, G. D. (2006). New Canadian Perspectives The Socio-economic Vitality of Official Language Communities. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://www.
canadianheritage. gc. ca/progs/lo-ol/perspectives/english/dyna/p3_p2. htm Belanger, C. (2000a). The Language Laws of Quebec. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from http://faculty. marianopolis. edu/c. belanger/QuebecHistory/readings/langlaws. htm Belanger, C. (2000b). The Roman Catholic Church and Quebec. Retrieved June 2, 2000, from http://faculty. marianopolis. edu/c. belanger/quebechistory/readings/church. htm Historical Foundation of Canada. (2008). Quebec. Retrieved 2008, June 2, from http://www. thecanadianencyclopedia. com/index. cfm? PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006591