Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Definitely French

I was born in Paris from a Jewish Tunisian Father, born in Sfax, Tunisia, and from a Jewish Polish mother, born in Szczecin, Poland.

I grew up in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, a district populated mostly by Jewish and Muslim North-African, African, and Asian communities. In primary and junior-high school, most students were 2nd generation immigrants. Although I am of Tunisian and Polish descent, people usually think I'm French-French, because of my freckled light skin, light brown hair, and French sounding family name.

A teacher once had the idea of organising a special party where everyone in the class had to bring a specialty from their country of origin. There were Tunisian and Morrocan pastries, Yugoslavian sausages, Cambodgian sweets, Carribean exotic fruits, etc... My mom was working a lot at the time and didn't have time to prepare any Polish specialty for me... So I went to class with a bottle of "Banga" fruit juice from the corner shop, so I wouldn't arrive empty-handed.

My teacher, who was going from table to table to have a taste of each specialty stopped at my desk and said to me with a smile on her face: "A bottle of "Banga"! Well gee, you're definitely French!"

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