Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Governor-General Michaëlle Jean's hearty meal 'proper etiquette'

Jean's hearty meal 'proper etiquette'

Matthew Coutts, National Post  Published: Tuesday, May 26, 20


The thought of Canada's regal representative wrist-deep in the carcass of a freshly slaughtered seal, skinning a layer of blubber and slicing off a piece of heart to consume may evoke the same charges of savagery as the contentious seal hunt itself, but Governor-General Michaëlle Jean was actually following dining etiquette to the letter.

"She went there to show solidarity, and if that is part of the custom, then it is part of the whole thing. You either do it 100% or you don't do it," said professional etiquette consultant Diane Craig. "It was the proper etiquette."


Ms. Craig, president of Corporate Class Inc., a Toronto image consulting firm, says politics aside, Ms. Jean was absolutely correct to join her hosts in the centuries-old tradition.

"She was a guest ... and you are supposed to eat what the host offers up. In a situation like this, because of the symbolism, it was the right etiquette to do that," she said. "I'm sure she didn't have two plates of it."

Canadian Governor General Eats Raw Seal Heart In Support Of Hunters

CityNews.ca - Toronto's News: Governor General Guts & Eats Seal ...
"It's hard to say how much will be lost because of this - because it's
early," said Paul Kaludjak, head of the agency implementing Nunavut's land
claims agreement. "We'll find out in a matter of years." Two young men had
walked into the ...


First she gutted it. Then she had the bleeding heart pulled out of its furry, flabby carcass. Finally, she swallowed a slice of the mammal's oozing organ.

And when it was all over Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean wiped the blood of a freshly slaughtered seal off her crimson-spattered fingertips.

The Governor General made a graphic gesture of solidarity with the country's beleaguered seal hunters on the first day of a week-long Arctic visit Monday.

Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered around as Jean knelt above a pair of carcasses and used a traditional ulu blade to slice the meat off the skin.

After repeated, vigorous slashes through the flesh the Queen's representative turned to the woman beside her and asked enthusiastically: "Could I try the heart?"

Within seconds Jean was holding a dripping chunk of seal-ticker, which she tucked into her mouth, swallowed whole, and turned to her daughter to say it tasted good.

Jean grabbed a tissue to wipe her blood-soaked fingers, and explained her gesture. She expressed dismay that anyone would characterize the Inuit's eons-old, traditional hunting practices as inhumane.

Jean gestured to the hundreds of people in a packed arena and noted that they would all be fed by the meat laid out on a tarp on the floor.

"It was absolutely delicious," Jean said. "These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life.

"If you can't understand that, you're completely missing the reality of life here."

No comments:

Post a Comment