Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Who are you?"

My nephew Dr. Bethge and I were chatting on the deck at Riverside yesterday. I asked what the feeling was like in Europe after the French and Dutch rejections of the European Community proposed Constitution. He answered that he was never given the chance to vote and had they given him the chance the German vote would have been negative as well. Europeans have not read the document of course and understand little of it. What they do understand is who they are. So Dr. Bethge asked me.
"Who are you?"
" I'm an American of Danish, German and Scottish ancestry. I'm also a Minnesotan, I live in Otter Tail County, Lida Township."
" Who are you?"
" I am a German, I live in Europe, in Hamburg, but I grew up in Gelsenkirchen and have season tickets for Schalke 04."

Notice the difference in answers? How many generations of Germans will it take before the answer changes to "I'm a European of German ancestry. I live in Hamburg.........."

Who are you?

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