Hoc Est Qui Sumus (discoflamingo) wrote,
Hoc Est Qui Sumus

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Yearning for the Fatherland

With Gunn going to Turkey (hopefully!), I've been thinking about what it would mean for me to go to Germany, the ancestral homeland that I know nothing of, of which I am a direct descendant. This is a decidedly un-PC thing to say, but in a lot of ways, I often feel that I have no heritage, no legacy to fall back upon, and at the same time, I feel that I can't lay claim to anything German. My family instilled a deep-seated pride for the Norwegian heritage that we have, and this is all that I know about. All of my mother's ancestors are German - more than half of my father's are.

People in Park Falls (the town where I was born) call this "Nazi guilt," but nobody talks about what it means. Kindof an "eh, that's Nazi guilt." Since WWII, nobody has been proud to be German. Virtually everybody in PF can claim it as their heritage, but nobody does. People still eat German food, and drink German beer, but everything else about what it means to come from the Rhineland (where most of the immigrants to Northern WI are from) is lost to them, within the span of a single generation.

Flash forward to Macalester. Damn if there aren't people from everywhere else in the world here. But I don't know any Germans. I know people who can proudly claim their heritage from Jordan, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, India, Bulgaria, Norway, Jamaica, and the Sub-Continent. I know people who have lived on six continents in their lifetime. I don't know any Germans. Maybe I just don't get out enough.

So, question for today - what's your heritage, if it matters to you, and why?

If it doesn't matter to you, why? Because lately, I just can't quite understand.

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