May 15, 2009

Translyvania and America

I can say that there is a disconnect with living in North America, and telling people where my ancestors were from.

I'll start by telling them that I am a first generation Canadian, and that my family came from Transylvania. This always gets a funny look from people. Even long time friends who don't know my family history. Then their eyes light up. The question doesn't surprise me. "where exactly is Transylvania?" I always take the time to explain to them where it is.

While it should be to much of a big surprise the next question is generally "Is that where Dracula came from?" Well, depends what you mean by Dracula. They tend to look at me with a question in their eyes. "I mean the guy from all the Vampire stories."

With this I try not to laugh, though sometimes I feel I should. No, not vampires. He was a real person, who is not immortal. His name was Vlad Tepes. He was born in Transylvania, but was a Prince of Wallachia.

More blank stares. Besides, I add, he's not the real influence in Transylvania, it is the people who once lived there, and who still live there. There are Romanians who make up the majority of the population, but also Hungarians and Germans. This is what makes the land so unique. A more important person who lived a short time ago would be say, Queen Maria of Romania. When I mention her, they all seem to know where this place is located.

Perhaps a vacation there is in order? They always laugh.

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