The Green Card lottery registrations just closed on May 8th. It brings up old memories, when foreign college friends in Boston in the nineties applied to the lottery every year, hoping to get this Holy Grail of residence permits. Although my family never played the Green Card lottery, we did find a home in Boston, yet somehow I never managed to feel firmly planted in this new soil.

Foreigners who hold a Green Card are rarely the kind who travel on a corporate contract with an expatriate package for a couple of years, though some started their journey in Boston that way: they fell in love with the lifestyle, the beautiful fall colors, the intellectual vibrancy of the city, the American work culture, and then one day they realized this was home and they never looked back.

Except they did look back, they do. Most of us uprooted first generation immigrants look back sometimes, or forward. We still hang on to the memories and the cultural aspects of what used to be home, or what we think it used to be, and this is where an often difficult, but exciting and enriching journey begins. Where is the happy medium? How can we embrace our always changing, multiple identities, and make sense of them in a way that allows us to keep balance in our professional and personal lives? How do we approach friendships with the "natives"​? How do we relate to compatriots who are passing through our city, or staying for one, two, three years before going back to Europe? We are French or Francophone, we are American, we are both, and sometimes, usually, we are much more.

To me, it all started with hanging on to my native language, French. It was the glu​e​ that kept my family united through our travels, the one thing we kept in common ​but which also set us apart from others. French culture was also a way to cling to a semblance of roots: music, books, film, art, food. The longer I stayed in Boston the more I craved French cultural experiences. You can imagine that finding the French Library, which devotes itself to the promotion of French language and French/Francophone cultures, has helped satisfy many of these urges.

With this new blog, the French Library will be exploring Francophone happenings here in New England and in the Francophone world, we will share articles on cultural trends in such varied areas as fashion or gastronomy, film, literature or art, as well as look into what it means to be of Francophone culture living in Boston, and also how an American francophile can revel in all things French, our cultural differences and similarities. We hope you enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Celebrating le 6e Art with my favorite francophone theater pieces

In my life, theater has often been associated with school. However, it is by studying it and seeing various types of plays that I came…

Read More

The promise of May

I have always loved the month of May. We’re on the brink of summer, not quite there but getting warmer; a precipice where anything could…

Read More

From Boston to Paris: Embracing the Spirit of Marathon Season

I love this time of year in New England. Not only does the weather improve and the city become more floral, but we also anticipate…

Read More

Upcoming Events

Wine Seminar

Wine Seminar - Rhône#2

Gastronomy & Wine program: Your French Culinary Arts and Wine Journey

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Join us in our Victorian Founder's Room for the first Wine Seminar of the year, dedicated to the Loire Valley wines. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, our series is tailored to provide a deeper understanding of French wines, refine your wine-tasting skills and vocabulary, and foster confidence in conversations, selections, and pairings. We will provide you with an authentic French perspective and access to a splendid array of quality wines.

Read More
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Meet the heroes who saved multiple art works during WWII in France! Michelle Young is a Harvard Graduate, author of the upcoming book The Art Spy about spy Rose Valland.

Read More
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Let's clink glasses and have a great time together! In collaboration with the Boston French Community.

Read More