At the end of the spring week, the young couple from Corbeil-Essonnes, southeast of Paris, will walk along the banks of the Seine. Most meet in high school, on the edges of city basketball courts, or on a trip with friends to the Carré Sénart shopping center. From there, they exchanged their Snapchat accounts, got to know each other better on the Web, and when the time came, the beaches of this suburban city of fifty thousand inhabitants served as a natural setting. for a romantic escape from nearby.
In this bucolic state where tree branches flow over the water and rows of swans flow, we hold hands or arm in arm, and we exchange a few kisses gently placed on the forehead or cheek. Here, all this is allowed, but not in the “neighborhood”.
In La Péniche, the neighborhood center of Montconseil, one of the most sensitive areas of the town, Assia, 21, said: “In the neighborhood, couples don’t kiss each other, they check on each other completely. kindness, because relationships outside of marriage are forbidden. Talk and love are also forbidden. We were raised that way. I never saw my parents kissing or holding hands. C “It’s a question of modesty, of respect. And then here, everyone getting to know each other, we grew up. together, there is a fear of rumors. Things will happen elsewhere ”.
Elsewhere, there are other districts, but also the surrounding suburban towns, and then Paris, forty-five minutes by RER, with a predilection for the Champs-Elysées.
This is absolute discretion, since relationships outside of marriage are forbidden. Even talking about love is forbidden. We were raised that way.
It also means finding somewhere else, choosing a “date” from another city, as Sihem, 17, decided to do: “Me, I’m not going to talk to guys from Corbeil anymore. I hate it. that everyone knows the guy I’m dating, gossip., that’s all. If you talk to someone at a distance, there’s definitely no problem. “
The more serious it is, the more you need to hide it
There are so many avoidance strategies for young people to do. A fortiori if lovers from opposing neighborhoods, took part in ancestral fights, in this case Tarterêts and Montconseil. This is the case of Mehdi, 23, and his girlfriend who met at Doisneau high school. “A man can be with anyone he wants but not a woman. If he finds out we’re together, he can get into trouble with the men in his neighborhood, because they have stories with us. In “next time, we want to get married, so we have to be smart. The more serious it is, the more we have to hide it. And we will express our unity at the last minute, to prevent leaks that can ruin our relationship”.
In Corbeil-Essonnes, as elsewhere, love is more of a feeling and a social reality. As intimate and personal, the feeling of love, and even more so the way it is composed, reflects the state of a society. By choosing a partner, the meeting places, the way the couple is formed and disclosing it or not, are expressed as belonging to a territory, a generation, family and community pressures, or even the place of women and men in society.
We also read there the mechanism of reproduction and the expectation of social height. “I, I don’t love men, but financially, Lamia, 19, who lives in Tarterêts, proudly stated. If you have money in your pocket, it will always stay, while the feelings disappear. Men are here. , they have very little ambition. Even if they are married and have children, they still stay together like teenagers. If I want to go out, on my own, by setting up a business or studying. “
Summer is approaching, and soon the carnival will take place in downtown Corbeil-Essonnes. In this neutral and festive ground, for a few days, girls and boys from here and around will invite each other to their gaze, get closer to each other and start a conversation. So that maybe a new love story will be born later, despite the taboos of society.
The report published in Marie Claire magazine n ° 838, dated July 2022, was published in June 2022