Compared to the Anglo-Saxons all around us, Quebecers definitely have some Latin in them. Our summers are as hot as those in Italy...

Our Norman (North Men) origins help us survive Quebec winters, but the 2500 odd months of bitter cold we’ve had to live through since 1608 have somewhat toned down our Latin passions.

Paradoxically, Quebecers are Northern Latins with cold feet and hot heads. Mexicans (the other Latin Americans) are definitely more Latin than we are, but since their feet rarely get cold (it snows about three times a century in the Mexican capital) we have no desire to include them in a situation as complex and as interesting as ours.

Physiologically, Quebec men with dark hair and full mustaches who are stocky and have their feet (at the end of rather short legs) firmly planted on the ground are typical Latins. Quebec women who are five-foot five, a bit chubby and have kind eyes and long brown hair definitely share certain genes with their Italian, Spanish and Portuguese sisters. Want to see what you get from mixing a little Native American blood with the Latin blood of a Quebec woman (as is often the case)? Then just go people watching on any Latin American beach.

In response to this call of the blood, Quebec tourists tend to make Latin countries – like France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Mexico – their destinations of choice. The fascination Quebecers have with Latin American countries stems from the very depths of their Vital Roots.

Catholic intellectuals shared the dream of joining Quebec and the other Latin American countries on a spiritual level. But while no one denied we indeed have Latin Roots, there was the issue of our northern climate which makes us very different. End result? The idea did not generate much heat. The only thing left over from this dream is L’union des Latins d’Amérique (The Latin American Union), a social club where men used to bring their girlfriends dancing back in the 1950s.

Extreme temperatures, wild climate changes and a harsh physical environment tend to instill behaviours in us Northern Latins that are as unpredictable as our weather. But this behaviour forecast should not steer advertisers away from their set course. As you will see, the Heartstrings that stem from the Latin Root are only used in creating the audio-visual packaging for ads.

If advertising is more of an art form that an exact science, the Heartstrings that stem from this Root are the ones that all salesmen and manufacturers (of products or ideas) will play...in a hot and fiery flamenco rhythm.

For reasons that will be explained in greater detail by Heartstring 30, the Latin Root is the one that dictates the political sense in Quebec. Joe Tremblay provides a glimpse into these reasons by sticking to the bipartisanship represented by the blues (Parti Québécois) and the reds (Liberals) who, depending on the times, are either the good guys or the bad guys:

“Back in the day, there was no such thing as class struggle. But now there are people from our neck of the woods who can’t seem to talk about anything else. Do you think there are different classes in Quebec? Where? We all come from the same bunch of settlers. Do people from the Church form a class? There are a few in my family. Is there a class for businesspeople? I have some of those in my family too. There’s a bank manager and a RONA hardware store owner. What about professionals? My first cousin is married to a doctor. In my family, either on my side or Fernande’s, there are rich people, smart people, and some that aren’t so much. But when we get together, we all talk to each other because we’re all the same. We’re all from the Tremblay class.”

As I will explain later, this social divide prevents us from juggling with the principles that would spark an agricultural revolution and pin old 19th-century Marxist ideas on the current Quebec situation.

The Heartstrings that stem from this Root guarantee at least 6 contradictory meetings of mind.

© 2022 – English translation and website by Lawrence Creaghan. Published online with the permission of Guérin Éditeur Ltée and the Fondation Jacques-Bouchard.