Parisians are well known for their rudeness to tourists and other foreigners.
This has always been very frustrating, however, to the Regional Tourism Committee of Paris whose job it is to attract foreign visitors to the French capital. They’ve discovered over the years, however, that many tourists simply don’t want to go to Paris and be accosted by this legendary rudeness.
To combat this ugly PR nightmare, the Tourism Committee has launched an ad campaign in London to educate potential tourists about blending in with the locals and becoming rude themselves. The campaign, in conjunction with a rather funny website, teaches Francophobes a handful of common hand gestures and other non-verbal expressions that rude Parisians often employ on the streets. “You don’t need to speak French to understand Parisians or to blend into the crowd,” the website claims.
Although the website does not explain the psychology behind the campaign, I assume that the Tourism Committee hopes that enough vacationing Brits will now be able to fight fire with fire and flash back to the French the same rude gestures they’ve been tossing at us for years. With foreigners now in the know and parroting their tormentors, hopefully the French will ease up a bit out of embarrassment and modesty and we’ll all breathe a little easier walking down the Champs-Elysées.
One such example is the Gallic Shrug. According to the website, the Gallic Shrug is used to “deny knowledge, agreement or responsibility.”
To engage in such a reaction simply follow these steps.
1. Stick out your lower lip
2. Raise your eyebrows and shoulders simultaneously
Voilà! You’re French!