“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” ~ M. Scott. Peck
I yodel. I wear feathers on my head and I dance around in circles. I also speak French-Canadian. I am not your typical American, but I love who I am today. I ended up in a small town in Connecticut where many of my neighbors are of Irish or Italian descent. How I ended up here is quite odd.
Nonetheless, I love my life and on most days, I fully embrace my ancestry. If you ask me where I’m from or what country my descendants are from, I will tell you that I am American, Swiss, French-Canadian and Native American. However, I am always tempted to say that I am of the human race. As my beloved country of origin, also known as the United States of America, has been going through some trying times, my need to express my humanness has become even greater.
My father emigrated from Switzerland to the United States when he was only in his early twenties. He settled in Connecticut for work and being the Swiss-German that he is, he still works six days a week at 78 years old. My mother was French-Canadian but she was from a Native American reservation called Wendake, which was renamed the Huron Village. My mother was 15 when she came to Connecticut. She stayed with her sister until she was able to live on her own.
I was born and raised in Monroe, Connecticut until my mother decided to move back to Quebec, Canada when I was in third grade. I did not know one single word in French. American media tends to paint a pretty picture of a bilingual Canada but this is not always the case. I was surrounded by French speakers who didn’t understand English. Culture clash? I know what it feels like. Learning French was difficult. My spirit was destroyed. I felt like I didn’t fit in for very long time. I felt like a square peg, trying to fit in a round hole.
I felt a little bit better when I started practicing my ancient Native American traditions but Quebec, Canada was just not the right fit for me. I visited Switzerland several times but even though my blood is probably mainly composed of Swiss German genes, it just didn’t feel right. After 23 years in Quebec, Canada, I came back to American soil. It’s been almost 14 years and I have never looked back.
I have nothing but good things to say about Canada but America, a.k.a the melting pot, suits me best. We need to embrace our differences. That’s why I like to say that I am of the human race. We are of the human race. We are all the same inside. I guess I still have a childish, utopic view of the world but I cannot help it. Can we all make an effort to get along a little bit better?
Photo by Melanie Fortin
Guest Author Bio
Melanie H. Fortin holds a master’s degree in education. She is a former ESL teacher but she has decided to stay at home with her children and focus on her writing career.
Blog / Website: Melanie H. Fortin