Busting Myths: Investigating Famous Cultural Clichés

James Stout By James Stout / 14 January 2020

Busting Myths: Investigating Famous Cultural Clichés

James Stout By James Stout

Do all French wear berets? Are all Italians romantic? What’s real, what’s fiction? Our myth detective investigates some of the most popular cultural clichés.

Are Italians really romantic?

Let’s look at the facts, shall we? Italy is home to world‐famous lothario Casanova.

It’s where Romeo fell in love with Juliet. It’s even the country that gave us the spaghetti that brought the Lady and the Tramp together.

Let’s not forget that the term “romance” comes from the Latin “romanice,” meaning “in the Roman way.” Add to that that Italian is always hailed as among the world’s most romantic languages (what’s more romantic than “amore”? Or “bellissima”? Or “pizza”?), and I’d say this stereotype is pretty spot-on.

+ additional reading: 8 Things That Will Surprise You About the Colosseum

Do the French really wear berets?

What’s more French than a beret? Monet, perhaps? Well, he famously sported the stereotypical headgear, as do aspiring artists the world over. But B.M. (before Monet), felted wool hats had kept shepherds warm since the Bronze Age. And they didn’t really become “French” until the 19th century, when the peasant headgear was adopted by France’s elite mountain troops.

But these days, urban French culture is very fashion-forward, and if you come to Paris expecting bikes, baguettes and berets, you’ll be sadly disappointed. Apart from the baguettes- those are very real and very delicious.

+ additional reading: Secrets of Montmarte and Sacré Coeur

Do Canadians really live in igloos?

Canada, eh? Just a bunch of people in lumberjack shirts saying sorry and eating poutine in their igloos. While Canadians don’t all live in igloos (sorry), the Inuit did once build traditional snow houses to survive the harsh Arctic weather.

And to complicate matters even more, the Inuit word iglu traditionally means any building, from snow houses to skyscrapers. So, although in that sense you could say all Canadians live in iglus, most couldn’t carve a house out of ice blocks if their maple syrup depended on it.

+ additional reading: Road-Tripping Through Canada’s Natural Wonderland

Do all Irish have red hair?

Ireland, where the hills are green, the beer is black, and the people are ginger. Or so the stereotype would have us believe. But a 2013 study on the red hair gene conducted in the UK and Ireland by BritainsDNA reveals that Edinburgh, Scotland, not Ireland, has the highest proportion of gingers.

While leprechaun jokes are probably not uncommon for redheads, things aren’t all bad: January 12 is Kiss a Ginger Day. And if you can’t find a leprechaun, a real-life human will do.

+ additional reading: Legend vs. Reality: Unravelling Scottish and Irish Myths

Check for yourself if those myths are real or not, fly directly with Air Transat to your chosen destination.

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You might also like

Vacationing in the Dominican Republic: Which Region Should You Choose?

Want to fly to the Dominican Republic but don't know exactly where to land? To help you decide on a destination you'll enjoy...

#Destinations, #DominicanRepublic, #TipsandTricks


6 LGBTQ+ Destinations to Visit Around the World

By Samuel Larochelle

LGBTQ+ travel is not exactly the same for everyone. For instance, in addition to pondering the freedom of speech and self-expression that will be...

#Discoveries, #Greece, #Netherlands, #Spain, #UnitedStates


California Roadtrip: the Best Tips & Tricks by Marie-Joëlle Parent

By Marie-Joelle Parent

Marie-Joëlle Parent is the author of the book 300 Reasons to Love San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience in journalism...

#Discoveries, #UnitedStates

15 Road Trips from Montreal to Experience Quebec’s Gorgeous Nature

By Marie-Julie Gagnon

After having criss-crossed the island of Montreal and discovered its most beautiful urban spaces, there's nothing like taking the road to the parks...

#Activities, #Canada


3 Stunning National Parks to Visit Near Quebec City

By Marie-Julie Gagnon

There is nothing better than landing directly in Quebec City to head east and go on a road trip to explore the massive, lush national...

#Activities, #Canada

Sea, Mountains and Deserts: 3 Unique Experiences in Colombia

If you are looking for sensational experiences, you will be delighted by what Colombia has to offer. Did you know that it is the second...

#Activities, #Colombia