acculturation

On The Menu – Fitting in – (Imported from Germany)

Mmmm, sweet potato bisque with a side of acculturation!

People are making quite a to-do over German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments this weekend that immigrants who speak German with an accent are making the entire country dumber. During a speech last weekend, Merkel said:

“This approach has failed, totally,” she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany’s culture and values.

“We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here,” said the chancellor.

People say it’s not fair to impose that kind of conformity on people just trying to make it in this world. Pshaw! I say. We all have rules that we expect people to respect in our own homes. Why not in society as well?

For example, last night, I attended a lovely dinner party where the host, rightfully so, protected her home by making sure that we conformed to what she decided was best for her space.

She asked that we take our shoes off as she just had some lovely travertine put and didn’t want it all scuffed. Perfectly reasonable request. Unfortunately, one of her guests was in a boating accident over the weekend where he broke his foot. His foot was in one of those big boot casts–way too heavy for the delicate stone floors. And because of his still-healing injury, he couldn’t take it off. It was nothing personal, but because she was protecting her home, she kindly asked him to GTFO.

She held the dinner as a bit of a salon to discuss some new opera works. One of the women brought her deaf boyfriend and offered to interpret for him. Nothing personal, but we were there to talk, not to play charades all night. And we were talking about music, something he’s never even heard. So, the host protected the work we had all done doing research and listening to samples by asking him to GTFO.

And she all teared up when she asked her sister to GTFO after it was discovered that he sister didn’t match the $75 budget for the gift exchange. Sure she’s been out of work for the last 9 months and was just looking for some company, but every society has its rules. Even a small opera appreciation society.

About an hour later and it was just the two of us….until I goofed. She specifically asked for a Sicillian desert wine and I got my “S”s mixed up and brought Spanish instead. I’m sure her empanadas would have been fine with what I brought, but I should have been more respectful. She didn’t even have to say it. I knew what I did wrong, so while she went to put on a brave face in the loo, I picked up my shoes and GTFO.

She posted facebook pictures the next day. She seemed to have a great time all by herself.