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Celebrate German Heritage This Oktober!

Happy German Heritage Month!

 Glücklich Deutsch erbmonat. Happy German Heritage Month!

While we tend to think that the top European nation from which Americans claim heritage is Ireland, it has a fierce contender for the title. Interestingly enough, around one in four Americans can claim German ancestry!

To commemorate this important part of our national heritage, October is recognized as German Heritage Month. All too often when we think of Germany and October, we associate it with beer and Oktoberfest fun (which is great!) but there’s so much more to this month that just a good brew and brouhaha. It’s an important time to look back and thank our German ancestors for their contributions: labor unions, rockets to the moon, kindergartens, social security, and even the Brooklyn Bridge.

German heritage month is especially important to me because my German grandparents passed through Ellis Island not so long ago.  They traveled separately, not knowing one another in Germany and they both landed in Chicago, Illinois for different reasons.  They met and married in Chicago and that’s where my father and his brother were born.

My father is a first generation American and speaks English as his second language.  He was raised speaking only German and only learned English when he went to the first grade.  His parents did learn English and eventually moved to Southern California where both of their sons settled.

We called my grandparents Oma and Opa, and my children and my niece and nephews call my parents Oma and Opa to this day.

I’ve had the luxury of traveling to Germany with my parents and siblings in July of 2008.  We were able to meet my father’s relatives and see most of that gorgeous and beautiful country and people.

Glücklich Deutsch erbmonat (happy German Heritage Month)from The Maria Sanchez Show!

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