It’s no secret that I have a (not so) secret love for bad television. This fall on Danish Television, I’ve been looking forward to the show “Alt for Danmark” – a show where Americans with Danish ancestry come to Denmark to compete for the chance to meet long-lost ancestors. Even though the premise/prize of the show is weak, it’s pretty entertaining to see how the Americans react to Denmark. For the history nerd living inside of me, it’s also interesting to hear about the Danish immigrants and their families.
One thing about this though, is that it brought up an old pet peeve of mine. Most of the people on the show describe themselves as “Danish- Americans” – something I have a hard time understanding, since for most of them, it was one great-grandparent or great-great-grandparents who immigrated about 100 years ago. The rest of them is German, Irish, Chinese, whatever.
You’re not Danish, you’re American! At what point is it okay to just be American instead of Chinese-American, or Spanish-American? I understand the need to feel pride in heritage and history, but I think it’s time for Americans to unite as one people and realize that the melting pot has turned into a delicious stew.
Does that make sense?
(for the record, my pet peeve is only related to those whose foreign ancestry is 2 or more generations back. Clearly, if you, your parents, or grandparents came over, you’re German-American or Italian-American)