I've procrastinated my thesis a lot these last weeks by looking back into the history of my family. Maybe the death of my grandma last year, or that I was planning to visit my other grandparents on my way to France.
I was trying to look up what their native dialect actually sounds like, if I could recognise on videos the same accent that they have. And I found many pieces of my grandma ancestors tree on some websites, so I took weeks to look it up and copy what I found.
For some reason I was always very attached to this history, maybe because I couldn't connect to my parents so I was looking through them?
That's actually why I chose to learn german over spanish in school, and why I took the first internship in Germany that my university proposed, and why I eventually moved there. And when I'm asked where in France I'm from, I'm answering Elsàss half the time even though my parents moved out of it before my birth.
Family, genealogy, dialect repression
I'm actually quite frustrated I can't speak a word of their language. My grandparents spoke alsatian and had to learn german to enter school. And then almost from one day to the next the region became french again and the school was happening in french even though they didn't know a word of it.
And my parents also spoke it, but in school they were punished if they dared use it, so they stopped. And now in my generation we only know french.
I'm not sure what itch of mine it's scratching but I'm glad that genealogy is a big thing there and I could simply find on internet up to some great¹²-grandparents, with many birth dates and locations and occupations.
Well most of them were peasants from the same neighbouring 3 villages since the 16th century, but I still want to plot that on a map and maybe a pie chart.
I know a great-aunt edited a book about the other side of my family, I need to put my hands on that one.
It might also be that nobody in my family really… talk? Like I know about my grandparents' problems with french school because they always explain how they ended up with crappy jobs at 14 and that they are glad I could chose my studies, and my grandma mentioned twice that she didn't know where her own grandma came from and couldn't identify her accent, as her grandma refused to say. But that's basically all, I don't even know if and how many siblings they have.
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