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    Dear Haley,
    I know what you mean (people in the States claiming to be from a certain country).
    I have experienced, while travelling the US with my Italian husband, that people would be super glad to meet an Italian there, and claim to be “Italian too. Unfortunately most of them don’t actually speak Italian. Then, others, even speak dialect.
    I guess it’s some kind of identity thing.
    Italians do cultivate their national culture very much -I do notice this also with Italians living in Germany .
    Maybe the Italian is not the best example for this issue.
    Now, my sister-in-law in America tells everyone that she is Irish-native Indian…..(wie wenn jemand diese herausragende Mischung rauskriegen könnte…). O well.
    Let me explain.
    I am an American citizen, born in the US, American father.My mother is from Berlin.
    Since we happened to live in Germany for a very long period of time,I’m pretty german for an American.
    Then, for a German I’m quite american, as people say.

    My family moved back to the States eventually, that’s when my sister-in-law showed up)
    I stayed here in Germany, because of being married to this husband of mine.
    It’s been more than 25 years now and I have become somewhat Italian myself, in many ways.
    Seems to rub off.
    I cook Italian, I speak Italian. sometimes think Italian, I speak Sicilian dialect (sehr praktisch,versteht kaum jemand), my children also speak both.
    So, here I am , between cultures.
    When I watch your blog, dear Haley, you make me laugh so often!
    I think , you really , really do have insight !
    (Love you for not being the typical eye-rolling American ,ha!)
    I wonder if you would consider a contribution on what it means to live in another country for a while , and then catching yourself _ changing in your way of thinking.
    As mentioned,I have become quite Italian in the last 25 years.At first I didn’t notice it, being used to switch between cultures all my life.But one day I found my thinking pattern surprisingly Italian.The way “we” handle certain things. Like family is a big deal, for instance .
    We will care for family in whatsoever situation.We help each other out a whole lot, we visit a lot, holidays will not go by without the crowd with us . Family/friends will show up whenever they please, and as numerous as they like, too. Horrorvorstellung für Deutsche.
    When my Sicilian sister-in-law passed away ( cancer), we of course all wore black for at least a year.
    Good example. death is a much bigger deal to Italians in comparison with the common German.How could they ever run around after only days, like nothing ever happened??
    Hospitality is one of the important rules, also.
    There have been times I have been worried the neighbors may call the police on us , because of our lively family was playing cards at three o’clock in the morning , having a great time , late Christmas Eve……The guest chooses when to leave , not the host -im Gegensatz zum deutschen Verständnis von Gastfreundlichkeit)
    See, I am already judging my own people……
    Good or bad?
    Well, anyways it seems to make you more flexible with different cultures in your life, and more open-minded when having an encounter with people from other backgrounds.


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