Alcohol, air, suicide… These clichés stick to the skin of Bretons and Bretons

Bretons may be the friendliest people on Earth (we’re hardly exaggerating), but they still carry more or less brilliant clichés. According to legend, they are all alcoholics, red-faced, chauvinistic or stubborn. Praised for the beauty of its landscapes, their region also regularly receives its own rank. Along with the rotten weather, Brittany will thus be the region most affected by suicide and an area inhabited only by fishermen and peasants who speak patois.

Many clichés that Bretons have learned to enjoy over time, and even claim some of them with pride. Maiwenn Raynaudon-Kerzerho, a Breton journalist born in Nantes, nevertheless wanted to drop the letter “i” in the book published at the end of the year: “all these ideas are taken from another time and do not correspond to anything else. » Deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Bretonsdismantles for 20 minutes some clichés still live on.

Brittany is not the region where we drink the most

As they say: “We don’t have mountains in Brittany, but we have good blood.” Bretons are known not to hold back when it comes to alcohol. Craving for a drink that is not new. Maiwenn Raynaudon-Kerzerho emphasizes: “Brittany has always had a tradition of celebratory alcoholic drinks, where drunkenness was not taboo. In the 18th century, people already bowed their heads in pardons. This clear taste of Bittur does not mean that the Bretons are alcoholics. The latter are not the most drinkers in France. At least not daily According to a study by Public Health France, 10.7% of Bretons drink alcohol every day, a figure slightly higher than the national average but lower than other regions such as Occitanie or Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

And when the weekend comes, Bretons like to let it go. According to the same data from Public Health France, they are “champions” for heavy occasional alcoholism (six or more glasses). In short, Brittany is therefore not the most drinking region in France. But when they do, the Bretons don’t leave things unfinished.

The suicide rate there would not be higher than elsewhere

The subject is sensitive. With 21.6 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants, Brittany would have the highest rate in France. Figures the journalist prefers to take with a grain of salt. “There are many regional differences in the information provided on death certificates,” he emphasizes. Therefore, there is no point in comparing between areas. To explain this scourge, some have tried to attribute it to gloomy weather, alcohol, or the highest proportion of farmers.

However, many clues contradict this supposed sense of evil in the region. They even tend to prove that Brittany is a pretty good place to live. Maiwenn Raynaudon-Kerzerho notes in particular that “France has the lowest unemployment rate or less income inequality than anywhere else”. “We can mention the very rich social and cultural life there with a record number of festivals, the very strong associative structure there, or the fact that the most blood donors are Bretons. All this gives the image of a simple, peaceful and generous region, which is more contrary to the figures on the suicide rate, the veracity of which is questionable. »

No, it doesn’t rain every day in Brittany

Sometimes capricious, the Breton air has long been an object of ridicule. But in the era of global warming, these jokes no longer make many laugh. As heat waves increase, Brittany even looks like an Eldorado and could eventually become a haven for climate refugees. Maiwenn Raynaudon-Kerzerho assures: “It has already started. People are already coming to live in Brittany because it is less hot. »

If we take a closer look at the meteorological data, we will also see that Brittany is not the rainiest region. The journalist emphasizes: “We tend to forget that Brittany has different climates. For example, Vannes has nothing to do with Brest. » With 156 days of rain a year, Brest wins the award for the rainiest city in France. In contrast, Rennes records an average of only 116 days of rain per year, slightly more than Toulouse (100 days of rain) and less than Bordeaux (128 days) and Biarritz (144 days).

Quantitatively, less rain falls in Rennes (676 millimeters) or Saint-Brieuc (738) than in Nice (803). “So, it doesn’t always rain in Brittany, but you don’t need to say that too loudly,” the journalist smiles.

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