Germany: Where Are You From?

Submitted by Rmonte’ Smack on the 2020 winter session program in Leipzig, Germany sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures…

Meeting the other international students in the interDaF program was nice. I was anxious at first, but they are all nice and friendly. I am happy that I got the chance to meet people from different countries and cultural backgrounds, but it is bittersweet. One of the international friends I met is from South Korea. He knows a lot of languages besides his own like English, a little Japanese, a little Chinese, and a little German of course. He told me some things about his country like how every male has to serve in the military for an amount of time when they reach a certain age, and how when they are born they start with being 1 year old. Another interesting thing happened when I spoke with some people from Argentina and Chile, I introduced myself and said I am from America. They playfully laughed and said we are all from America. Some of the other students from the University of Delaware had a similar experience. Except when they introduced themselves as being American, the response was something along the lines of it being offensive to them since they are from the Americas, being North America and South America. Even though no one meant any ill will towards anyone, it was still very thought-provoking. To think I have always said I am American and not a United States citizen and that could potentially be offensive never crossed my mind.

This picture is taken from the rooftop terrace of the Reichstagsgebäude located in Berlin Germany. You can get a great view of the city from here.