No question is off-limits. Or have you ever been asked at a party whether you prefer men with or without a foreskin? Three minutes after the introductory handshake, the Germans jump right in. Into your religion. Into your family. Into your bedroom.
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Or does he only beat your mother? We children of immigrants always diligently answer such questions. Pleasing Germans is important. Immigrant parents teach their children this lesson at an early age. My grandfather arrived in Hamburg to clean the shipyards as a "guest worker" in the early s, so German integration questions have a long tradition in my family. At the office parties thrown by the savings and loan bank where my father worked, he was always praised because his Turkish wife was allowed to dance, wear short skirts and drink whiskey. My parents received the highest praise bestowed by the Germans: "You're different from other Turks, aren't you?
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Different Turks. I had "different Turks" phrases that I repeated again and again. They went something like this: "My parents made out even before they got married. Yes, they were even together for seven years before they wed. They were not promised to each other; their marriage was not arranged. They wrote each other love letters and held hands, on the Bosporus, without a marriage certificate.
Yes, they were allowed to go to the movies. Nice Turks. Almost Germans. But becoming a German wasn't that easy.
When I arrived in the fifth grade, I never raised my hand -- I simply blurted things out, and I did it often. I was disruptive. It was a clear case, at least in the opinion of my homeroom teacher, Frau K. Frau K. She now knew everything about women in Islam my mother , and about male domination my father. She knew about oppression, honor killings, and the distribution of tasks and rights between men and women in Turkish families -- in other words, my family. Now she explained it to my father: "Herr Gezer, I know your origins and understand your culture, but when you oppress the girl at home like this and don't allow her to speak, just because she is a girl, she lets it all out at school.
She had looked up phone numbers for therapists that work with problem families who have an immigration background, like us. My father is a patient man, but he eventually interrupted her: "Frau K. Then he stood up and left. Tarzan German is spoken slowly. All articles are dropped and the familiar "du" form of address is used.
Verbs are not conjugated and the syntax is wrong. It includes sentences like this: "Herr Gezer, you know, not hit daughter because I speak with you. During that year in school, my father became active in the school's parents' group, and my mother sold the milk during the breaks. I remained a Turk. It was the s. Wasn't it about your people? At the time, I was playing handball with SC Teutonia and had an important tournament that weekend. My parents were out of town at a rock 'n' roll festival. When she said "back home," she meant the Turkish-Syrian border.
For me, "back home" has always been Wohlerspark, a former cemetery in the Altona district of Hamburg, and Grandplatz, where my father coached the boys from the St. Pauli soccer team. For me, "back home" was the gym where I played handball and the library in our high-rise building. That's my home; that's where I come from. It's where I had my first kiss. It's where I secretly smoked cigarettes.
Essay on my family in words in german - Google Документи
Wherever I am in the world, when I'm homesick, I think about that high-rise in our St. The application process took a few years, but I barely noticed since my parents were taking care of everything. In September , my dad was awarded a German passport. It went smoothly. I exited the Consulate with a brand new burgundy red passport. Walking across Manhattan that day, I for the first time fantasized about the possibility of living in Berlin. It introduced me to the culturally rich and fascinating environment in which my grandparents were born and raised, and to the important role that Jews had in society during those times.
As I read this book, I felt excited about becoming a Berliner myself because I realized that much of my identity is rooted in culture and values that flourished in this city up to eighty years ago, were brutally repressed, and are being revived. About a year after I completed my graduate studies in New York, Martina and I deliberated where to settle down. There were many options on the table. We knew we wanted to be in a diverse urban environment, not too far away from our families, where we could secure a safe and pleasant existence, and find some inspiring, fun people to befriend.
New York offered the most professional options for both of us for me in journalism, for Martina in digital design , while in Tel Aviv we had many friends and great hummus.
Essay on my family in german
We ended up choosing Berlin because it was close enough to both of our families, affordable and more mysterious and interesting. As soon as we dropped our belongings two overly stuffed suitcases and a couple of laptops in the Airbnb apartment, we headed out to explore the neighborhood. Everything seemed so new, yet so very familiar; a mixture of German, Middle Eastern and cosmopolitan vibes. In the past two years, at least five Syrian restaurants have opened on this street. Mussa—whom I interviewed for an article in —opened the Umkalthum pastry shop on 50 Sonnenallee, which goes by the same name as the pastry shop his family previously owned in Beirut.
Essay: Letters From the Past
The Umkalthum storefront features tall pyramids made up of hundreds of baklavas, and inside Mussa offers several kinds of Cremeschnitte, a German cake filled with vanilla pudding. About thirty meters down the street from Umkalthum, on Sonnenallee 54, is my favorite eatery in town: a popular Palestinian-Lebanese restaurant called Azzam, where one can get a juicy, warm Musabbaha, with pita bread, olives and pickles on the side, for three and a half euros. I love eating at Azzam because of the inexpensive, tasty food but also because I enjoy being in an environment where Arab families are eating, talking and laughing.
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Back in Israel, I never hung out in Arab communities, I knew nearly nothing about Arab culture and had fewer Arab acquaintances than fingers; when I thought of Arabs, it was almost always in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Azzam, as I slowly wipe my plate clean and observe the people around me, I see Arab people having regular lives, enjoying a meal with their friends or loved ones. The dehumanization of Arabs that was socialized into me in Israel has disintegrated since I started spending time in Azzam and Sonnenallee.
I visited Sonnenallee a lot in my first two years as a Berliner because we found an apartment half a mile away. For my Facebook cover photo, I chose a photograph showing the tall cement Berlin Wall filled with graffiti and behind it on the East Side a watchtower and our building. When I first discovered this photo online, I went outside to the exact location it was shot, and stared at the spectacle. The peacefulness of that scene was inspiring. It was a much-needed reminder that humans have the ability to turn bloody conflict zones into peaceful residential areas.
Some segments of the Berlin Wall were purposely kept to remind locals and visitors of the time when the city was divided and its residents were physically and socially disconnected. Only one lonely watchtower in the adjacent park has been preserved. These events are still in the mind of people all over the world. A survey of pupils carried out for the Goethe-Institut in London reveals Adolf Hitler way out ahead when toyear-old were asked to list their ten most famous Germans , living or dead.
German Essays on My Family: Meine Familie
The pupils in Germany do exchanges or they make the acquaintance of pen friends, especially the Internet is the media where large numbers of German people receive information about foreign countries and get in contact with them. Just a few years ago Europeans thought of gun violence as something typically American. But in the last few years there have been more and more terrible shootings all over Europe.