During the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, I was in Montreal. I still well remember the strong feeling of solidarity for my country that I felt over the weeks that followed the gruesome event. It was moving to see most of the world grieving with us and sharing our disgust for the cowardly attackers.
With horror, an attack happened again.
Friday night, November 13th.
The young, the less young, the « generation Bataclan », us, the 20/30/40 somethings who love to explore, to travel, to drink a good beer or a nice bottle of wine, to listen any music, to support our football or rugby team. We French love to complain, to make jokes about our President and our government. We love to believe that we can change the world and sometimes we just think it’s better abroad. We are proud to be from France, proud of our past and of our freedom.
We need to fight for our freedom, believe me our freedom is reeling because of these animals. Our concept of freedom is really important and is different from other parts of the world.
To me, freedom is to drink a beer in a street, to smoke, to study for free, to warmly say hello to anyone, to comfortably talk about sex, to have the right to date anyone, to believe or not believe in God, to argue whenever you want, to have a kid even if you are not married or to not have a kid at all, to not be afraid to say WHATEVER you want, whenever you want. Freedom is to agree or disagree with your soul and to read hundreds of books bought from an independent bookstore.
Believe me, it’s not the case in all democratic countries.
France is still a symbol of resistance, the right to strike, to walk in a street with thousands of people. This isn’t possible in all free countries, this is uniquely French.
France is unique and strong. I’m French and from this world. I am French and human. Human and French. Proud of it and I’ll fight for this freedom even from the US.
I read this beautiful comment in the New York Times which beautifully captures my feelings:
Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.