Parisians ashamed of being from Paris

Paris’ crowd. By Stuck in Customs

Considering their reputation of the world’s most aggressive, unpleasant, and unfriendly people, it is hardly a surprise that Parisians try to hide they are from Paris. Recently the France Info radio has advanced a thesis that Parisians are actually ashamed of their local identity. How is that possible? Apparently, Paris, the cultural iconic capital of France, is considered by both the French and visitors to be pervaded with the most stressed and arrogant people in the entire country, if not in the world.

The whole affair came to light when the French authorities decided to introduce new license plates that displayed the symbol of the country’s departments, and not only the number of the department as previously. Moreover, the French can now choose any department they like- it does not have to be their actual place of residence. It soon turned out that the residents of Paris preferred to choose plates other than Parisian ones. As a result, the number of Parisian plates has declined by 60% since April 2009!

The Parisians claim that they do not feel welcome in other regions of the country and they are often treated with prejudice or discrimination by the French living in different departments.

Paris’ Traffic Jam. By danorbit

The decline in license plates has also been reported in Hauts-de-Seine department near Paris. It is a place where the richest people in the country live. Also many residents of Seine-Saint-Denis, one of the poorest departments near Paris, have decided to hide their place of residence, as “bad address” often makes it difficult to get a good job.

Guess where the number of license plates has gone up then? These would be the southern departments of the country such as Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseille) or Haute-Garonne (Toulouse).

Do you think Parisians deserve such a bad reputation? Is it really so bad or are they just being a bit paranoid?


  1. I have been extremely fortunate to travel to Paris and the rest of France many times. I have always found waiters, taxi drivers les concierges etc., in fact everyone I’ve ever met to be really helpful, kind, funny. You get the picture. I don”t understand people who diss the French. Maybe they have a very visible chip on their shoulders and their hostility shows. The French are perseptive, They recognize a–holes. I love Paris. I love France. I can”t wait to get back.

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