Tuesday, 15 May 2007

A few bits and bobs

I forgot to mention in my list yesterday of current non-human animals of the area, a few hundred cows and at least that many again horses. In the early years this was dairy country, well after the realisation sank in that sugar cane was never really going to do well here. Now, horses rule the territory. There are breeders and racers of pacers, endurance horses, Shetland ponies and others. Many families have a pony or elderly horse grazing their back paddock. Others have a pacer or two in stables. Some even keep horses in their front yards.

I’m continuing through the book on German history. I found out that of the 4.5 million migrants who left Germany between 1847 and the First World War, about 4 million went to the United States. Surprising to me was that the second most popular destination was Brazil with about 86,000 migrants. Australia would have been quite low down on the list.

As I was reading, I remembered that when I was studying in Minnesota, a friend told me that he had grown up calling his German migrant neighbours “Dutch” or “Dutchmen.” This was how southern Minnesotans interpreted “Deutsch.” Geographically confusing but fairly benign compared to other names German migrants have been called. I wonder what they were called in Brazil?

1 comment:

Amy said...

I had a boyfriend once who loved the German language. He had memorized a series of language tapes and would lie in bed at night and recite them to himself. After we broke up, he moved to Brazil in order to practice his German -- he stayed in a town where German was still the native language (and only lasted there a few months before he came back to the USA). Quite a surprise -- coming from Minnesota, the idea of Germans at home in Brazil (or Australia) sounds very odd to me.