If you moved to Quebec after 1978 you will have noticed that, in Québec, vehicle license plates carry the slogan “Je me souviens”. “Je me souviens” is the motto of the province of Québec; it means “I remember”.
And now for the history lesson…
In 1883, the architect Eugène Etienne Taché built the provincial Parliament building; it had the motto carved in stone below the coat of arms of Québec. Taché didn’t leave a proper explanation or reason for the “Je me souviens” motto, but, all around the Parliament building are 24 statues of historical figures; Taché left these blank on purpose, for future generations. This could indicate a possible explanation for the motto: not to forget the past, and that history must be remembered.
The motto, having no official explanation, can be interpreted in many different ways. For example, some think it means: “I don’t forget my French heritage”, others think it means: “I remember what the English did to the French”. Others think the motto means: “I remember how France abandoned Québec”.
Some claim that “Je me souviens” is the beginning of a poem:
In 1978, licence plates on vehicles changed. The former motto, “La belle province”, was replaced with a new one: Taché’s motto, “Je me souviens”.
Whatever you think the motto means, “Je me souviens” will also be what YOU remember of your first steps in Québec…
Photo Credit: Wikipedia