A thought crossed my mind today… in the past few years, most of the countries of western Europe have seen a tiki bar or two open: Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland each have at least one, Germany has a half-dozen of them, the UK has a bunch, and Spain of course has more than their fair share. But as far as I can tell, France comes up with a great big goose egg. I once found a family pizza place that had tiki masks in relief in the cement outside the building, but that’s been it so far. Of course, France has its stamp all over Polynesia — Tahiti and the other islands of French Polynesia in particular, where French is the official language.
Why is this so? Is there Polynesian Pop in France and I’m just missing it? Do rum-based drinks hold little interest in wine-lovin’ France? Are the French just so over the whole Polynesian Pop thing, preferring their tiki a bit more legit?
On a related but different note: on Tiki Central, tikipedia recently posted a picture of a lovely insignia (slightly different from the one pictured here) for the 5ème Regiment Mixte du Pacifique, a division of the French Foreign Legion that was deployed to French Polynesia from 1963 until the unit was disbanded in 2000.