Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The French Fries have a very politically correct book called Daisy the Doctor. It's about a female doctor in England who has co-workers and patients representing all the colors in a rainbow.
As I was reading it, it struck me how I've never seen a book like this in France and probably never will.
(Sidebar: If anyone out there can prove me wrong and find a nice politically correct kid's book that represents the melting pot of France, I will gladly eat my words - or a bag of warm, buttery croissants.)
So what would the French version of Daisy the Doctor be like if it existed?
Let's get ready to have STORY TIME WITH LA MOM and find out!
See if you can spot the differences between the English & French versions.
Pierre the(male)Doctor would drive to work in a Citroen, not a Mini.
Pierre works at the Medical Centre in Clichy-Sous-Bois. These are the people Pierre works with:
Sylvie the Receptionist
Moleka the Nurse (she's female of course)
Doctor Rachid Faudel
The waiting room is packed when Pierre arrives. "Good morning," says Sylvie cheerfully.
Pierre's first patient arrives. His name is Mustapha Ben Amara.
"Poor little Mustapha's been up all night with an earache," says his maman Hakima. "Big owie!" cries Mustapha.
Next, in comes a maman with Medina bin Abdullah,a tiny baby, and a small boy called Farid.
Medina bin Abdullah's doing just fine," says Pierre. Just then, Sylvie knocks and opens the door. "Someone's had an accident," she says.
(Sidebar: Warning: La Mom is going to vent.
Notice how in the English version Alice is in a wheelchair? Her handicap is there for everyone to see. Here the disabled seem to be hidden. Or they've been moved out of Paris like the immigrants. Oh, and public transportation and public places are not exactly handicap-friendly (nor stroller-friendly for that matter.)
Alexandre stops crying. Moleka the female nurse treats the cut.
Pierre the Doctor is running late and has a lot more patients to see. (Sidebar: See how the English patients represent different ethnicities and colors? They'd all be lilly white with names like Faustine, Dauphine, Jean-Louis & Charles-Antoine in the French version).
At last it's time to go home. "I'm exhausted and have a headache," says Pierre the Doctor to Sylvie. "Maybe you should see a doctor!" says Sylvie as she rolls her wheelchair out of the office and into the handicap friendly world of Paris, down 100 steps of the apartment building, down 200 steps to the metro station, on her way home from work.
Here are some New York Times links that show another side of France.
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité? Not exactly.
Comedy film puts racism in spotlight
French film industry racist for barring black actors from dubbing white stars
Melting pot cracks as Muslims reject Christian names in France