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    German-American

    Hello to everyone. I'm not 100% sure of all my ancestry, but I know for sure that I am German. My grandmother was from Bremerhaven and spoke with a heavy accent, having spent the first 22 years of her life there. My grandfather was an American soldier from New York and during the war, was sent to Germany where he met my Oma and brought her back to Philadelphia (U.S.), where I was born and raised. My Oma was always a reserved and seemingly sad woman. I think she always missed her homeland and grew tired of being a foreigner. Now, at 22 years myself, we have reversed our positions and I am in Germany, after meeting and marrying my German husband.

    I often imagine what it is like for people in countries such as Mexico or Japan, where society is completely homogenous... a foreigner is easily detected. All the citizens must have an extreme sense of belonging and loyalty to their particular race.
    Reversely, the culture and particular city in which I grew up emphasizes diversity. The country's motto is "E Pluribus Unum", which is Latin for "From many, One". Often times, people have several ancestral backgrounds and simply describe themselves as "American", having little knowledge of their history. I have never known what it is like to be a member of a society where everyone looks the same... the idea did not even enter into my head until I came here a few months ago.

    For the most part, I don't see this as a problem, just something to think about. My top priority is not my race... it is my religion, because of which, I place greater emphasis on humankind as a whole. But I like to study my ancestry for curiosity's sake. I am interested in learning about my Oma's traditions.

    Looking forward to exploring the site.

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    Hello, newcreation. How has your experience in Germany been so far?

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    Welcome, newcreation. Growing up in America myself, I know the one thing lacking is roots and a sense of belonging, especially in these times. It is alien in a money-obsessed world, but is as essential to the soul as food is to the body.

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    Hi Todesengel. Well, it has been a whirlwind of new experiences. I had no idea just how much the culture that I grew up in has infiltrated my head, until I was submerged in another culture. I learn something new every other day.
    Most of all, I love the natural beauty of Germany. The people really take a lot of pride in maintaining the old stuff.
    I also greatly admire the efficiency of Germany, as opposed to America.
    There have been a couple of culture shocks for me. One was when I went into a 1 Euro shop and saw some binders (ordner) with pictures of topless women and men's rear-ends. I was so upset that I tried to turn them around, only to find that the back of the binders also had the pictures on them. That was when I first came in January of this year. I've come to realize that this is pretty normal whereas for me, the human body is regarded as sacred and reserved only for one's spouse, and should be covered in public. I think people are fine with it, because they see the human body as natural, and does not need to be covered. What do you think?
    Another time was when I realized that the standard refrigerator size is 1/3 the size of American refrigerators; and it's not possible to find ones as big as American ones. Even the "big" ones are not as big as the ones in America. Since I love to cook and need a big refrigerator, this news was very upsetting to me.

    In general, I am very happy here!

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    Welcome here at Skadi newcreation! Thanks for sharing parts of your interesting biography. Hope you like it here in Germany, the more rural parts are still mainly unharmed by multicultural immigrants. I don´t know how good your German skills are but we´ve some threads here in which you can ask question regarding words or grammar issues.

    The German attitude regarding weapons and nudity is inverse to the situation in the US. Weapons are no problem in the US but are seen as a problem here in Germany. The opposite with nudity: (Public) nudity/sexual laxity is a problem in the US but no big business here in Germany.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Hi Valkyrie, my German skills are terrible, but I've spent the last month in Volkshochschule fighting to learn this language, which unfortunately is more grammatically complicated than English.... grammar is my weak point :\ I've learned a lot about the English language in the process of learning German, which I think is pretty ironic.

    I believe you about that inverse relation... I don't think I will ever get used to or like seeing breasts and butts in public though. I also realize the importance of controlling violence, particularly in inner-cities. I wish that some sort of trade could be arranged... Germans get American piety and Americans get German emphasis on non-violent solutions....

    Happy birthday by the way!

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