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I identify very closely with my culture as a French person. I know that I was born in this country and I am an American but I also feel French. I feel very comfortable speaking French, almost as comfortable as when I speak English. I am very close with my relatives over in France, my sister and I have been very fortunate in that our parents felt it to be very important to ship us off to France to stay with our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My mother was especially relieved because she knew that we would be cared for, fed and would really get to know the family, and so my sister and I experienced daily life in France for at least two months at a time during our childhood. Those memories are a part of my identity, the love of cooking, the love of farmer’s markets and the sensory experience and its importance in life.

I could go on about my love affair with France and bore you, the smell in the air of lavender and rosemary in Provence . The sun beating down on the limestone hilltops, the sparse vegetation looking out over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. I could go on about the Atlantic Ocean as well, the powerful force of the waves crashing on the sand, the presence of clean hot sand everywhere framed by large stretches of aromatic pine trees. You can smell the sun’s heat emanating from the sand, the pine aroma mingling with the salty sea water from the Atlantic Ocean, that scent should be captured and bottled, the fragrance would make billions in sales all throughout the world.

I just read that Mitt Romney was going to compare President Obama to Queen Marie Antoinette in terms of how out of touch the President is with the American people. I don’t identify with Marie Antoinette when I think of France, I rather identify with the pastry shop owners, the market vendors, the gardeners and I identify with the workers who revolt and stand up for their fair share, not violently, but by taking a stand as we have seen with the occupy Wall Street movement. That to me is part of being French, when we are not being treated fairly then we stand up and make it known.