Contact with Canadian society and immigrants’ communities
A woman explains why she did not develop contacts with Québécois.
RES.: Has it changed at all in the course of time?
P.R.: Look. I didn’t have the courage to talk to anyone at the time.
I went to the factory to work in… here in Saint-Dominique. When I came. I went to work. I was
pregnant and I gave birth to George and my young sister-in-law looked after the kid, because s
he was pregnant too. And I went to work here in Saint-Dominique. Where the park is situated,
down there. Laurier and Saint-Dominique. Do you know what they said to me? I wanted to talk with
my French, which I had learned at school. “Bonjour” I’d say to them. And one says to me “[…] Grecque”.
This was the new thing which I saw… from the French. “[...] Grecque”. But… even this helped me. I didn’t have any contacts afterwards.
I was scared. Because they insulted me. Because we took away their jobs. We, the i
mmigrants, came and snatched away their job. Don’t you understand? And those French didn’t w
ant us. Because one would say these people came to eat our bread. You understand? And those years
then were very difficult. Now? Nowadays it’s child’s play. Now they pass by here. “Bonjour Madame! Comment
allez-vous?”. You know. It’s nice, eh! To see a person smiling at you in the morning, that you go out. And I
love all of them. […] You know. Nice words. Life is different now. And different then. Back then they didn’t
know us. They’d insult us. “[...] Grecque” they’d say to us.