The French government must have lost its mind...

There you go. As sad as it is, but that’s how it’s done everywhere.

So, then you can look forward to Albanian towns, Ukrainian towns and Polish towns. I’ve made a different experience from what you are describing. While I heard many a mother speak her tongue with her children, it was never a German one. Whenever I met a fellow German immigrant, she always said (with an embarrassed smile) that her children don’t speak German, except for a few words.

What I meant with “preserving their heritage” was that you can find things and foods from home in those “towns” and neighborhoods. At a German delicatessen store, I was able to buy imported goods from Germany that I couldn’t find at my local grocery store. But there is no big cluster of German stores and restaurants as there is of other nations in any American city I’ve ever been to.

As you said yourself, the people who are preserving their heritage as they imagine it are those who have been in the USA for many generations already. That has nothing to do with the “towns”, though.

Speaking of grotesque exaggeration: I would like to tell you about an incident, which was rather typical, by the way. Americans very dear to me constantly boasted of being Italians. Their great great great grandparents were from Italy. Once I dared to tell them in my “German arrogance” that they are Americans. They’ve never been to Italy, they don’t speak Italian, and they have no knowledge of Italian culture other than from watching “Godfather”. I spared them the “Godfather” part, but they got upset nonetheless. :wink:

We’re still real good friends.


These people who have never seen their ancestors’ home country, can’t speak the language, and have only a quarter of that nation’s blood in them, are particularly sensitive to being told they’re not Italian, Irish, Polish, or whatever.

A few years ago I made a woman at the Czech and Slovak society angry because I said that the Czech Republic has the same percentage of idiots that any other country does. Gosh, she was furious!


Sometimes I wonder if people even know what they are actually getting angry about.