Oh, Dear Readers, we have been away too long! We had forgotten what it is like to be in America and to witness the impressions that visitors have of it. Usually: "It's so BIG!" then: "People are so friendly (but they do not really mean it when they say to go to their home any time)". We have not been back, but we have seen a short video that unintentionally reveals much about cultural differences.
This year, RootsTech was attended by some rather prominent French genealogists:
- Guillaume de Morant, a well-known author of genealogy books, who writes for La Revue Française de Généalogie and whom we have often quoted here;
- Sophie Boudarel, a professional genealogist who writes an excellent blog;
- Pierre-Valéry Archassal, a respected author of genealogy books.
Admirable people all and unquestionably expert in genealogy. What delights us is their video, a summary of their visit to RootsTech, in which it is their comments not on genealogy but on personal experiences and encounters at the conference that are so charmingly uproarious.
- "It's enormous! But really for amateurs."
- "The size is impressive. This hall must be a few thousand square meters! It's gigantic!"
- "There are the basic subjects that could be of interest to anyone, but there are also very specialized subjects covered here and to a very high level."
- "I did not learn anything new," (recall that these people are all highly qualified on the subject of genealogy and it would be surprising if they did find something new)
- "But I got a lot of good ideas, especially about different ways to use certain websites."
- "There must be twelve thousand people who have come here, but it does not feel crowded."
More use of the word "gigantic" and comments on needing to speak English well, followed by modest self-deprecation as to the latter.
- "People are so nice!" ("It's true," our oh-so-Parisian daughter, who is studying in North America, commented when we showed her this video. "Even the secretaries are nice here. I never met a nice secretary before.")
- "The head of FamilySearch personally spoke to me and explained the site to me and I didn't even have a meeting scheduled with him." (Poor Europe will never have a classless society, we fear.)
- "And they are all in just their shirts or even T-shirts!" (Note that only Guillaume is wearing something so informal as jeans. Designer. Ironed.)
- "They are so relaxed!"
- "You can talk to anyone. People will even approach you in the street when they see you are wearing the RootsTech badge."
- "Even in the lift/elevator!" (Astonishment. Idle conversation with a stranger is not done -- as we noted here -- and certainly not in the uncomfortable proximity of a lift!)
- "And what do you think of the food?" (Much scoffing laughter. Be serious, please.)
- "But the French are liked here. Every time I spoke, and they heard my strong accent, people said 'You are French!' "
As one says here, c'est adorable. Enjoy!
©2014 Anne Morddel
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