Where in the World is Brandon B. Behle? travel blog

The black forest


Le Petit Venice... Colmar, France (Alsace)


Roofs... Colmar


National identity?


A solar calender... on a church in Colmar

It's funny how hard it can be to have an identity. Take the region of Alsace in France. Anyone that has taken a world history class inevitably remembers the name "Alsace-Lorraine"; the little region between France and Germany that has been fought over for years because of the wonderful natural resources it contains. It has changed hands so many times in fact that there is often a division of national identities within a family (The grandparents may claim to be German, while the Children and grandchildren maybe french). And the history of the place begs the question of what's in a nationality.

Is it Culture? Language? Religion? Ethnicity? Architecture? History? Boundaries? Food?

If you think its any of these Alsace may beg to differ...

Offically the region is now in France, but I was a part of Germany as shortly ago as 65 years. Additionally, it was part of Germany several times earlier within another 80 years. People in the region speak both French and German, their buildings contain elements from both France and Germany, their cuisine is a mix of French and German, as is their wine. Walking through the streets and browsing in the shops you'll find wares from both countries. Some people have the typical blonde hair and blues eyes common to the Germanic people, while others have the distinguished dark features of the French.

In short, the folks in Alsace are the mutts of all mutts. So what identity do they choose for themselves? French? German?


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