Thursday, September 24, 2009

French? Chinese?

Zoe's class is having "Norman Conquest Day" tomorrow. One focus of the day is how some English words came from the French because of the Norman Conquest. Learning through the grapevine that Zoe's grandmother is French, Zoe's teacher contacted me to see if she would be willing to come to class to speak French. Mimi agreed, and Zoe is tickled pink.

Tonight she told me about a conversation at school, when Mrs. P. told the class that Zoe's grandmother is French and is coming to class. One little boy said, "Zoe's grandmother isn't French -- she's Chinese!" Zoe answered, "I'm Chinese -- my grandmother is French." Several other kids expressed disbelief, and Mrs. P. settled it by telling them simply that Zoe's grandmother is, too, French.

How curious! The kids all know me, and know I'm not Chinese. But they still thought Zoe's grandmother must be Chinese.

I asked Zoe what she thought about this -- she thought they were silly to think her grandmother was Chinese instead of French.

But thinking about our blog discussion of ancestry and adoption, I asked Zoe if she was French since her grandmother is French. Zoe's answer was quite definite: "No, I'm Chinese. But I know some French culture."

How do you say, "smart cookie," in French?!


Lisa said...

I am sure there will be more questions. Sydney told me today that several kids informed her that she is "hot natured because she is from China." HUH?

This is an interesting age. Syd is so proud of all things Chinese, I don't want her to lose that.

Anonymous said...

From the mouths of babes...

(The truth.)

Most people cannot wrap their brains around the idea that a person's biological family ceases to exist. (Just because AP's dream it, the states seals it, doesn't make it GONE.)

Diane said...

I don't cook-wee? ;)

mimifrancoise said...

Actually, the meaning behind "Smart Cookie" in French would be " Elle n'est pas bete"
This really means that she is not dull (as in stupid)