In a month I’ll be doing a 10-minute oral presentation in French about the role of Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand in the Single European Act and in the creation of a single European currency. I’m looking forward to learning more about the topic, but “wish me luck” is still my first thought!
The long and eventful day had started from the 16th arrondissement of Paris, passed by the 5th, and ended in a three-person bedroom in a brand new Romanian student accommodation complex.
If pre-1945 history is remembered through mighty military chiefs and an Egyptian obelisk, the most visible “lieu de mémoire” from post-WWII history was dedicated to a woman who fought for gender equality and for a united Europe.
The Finnish word “impivaaralaisuus” is difficult to translate directly, but one can always explain that it refers to a certain parochiality and close-mindedness represented by the main characters of the classic novel Seitsemän veljestä (“The Seven Brothers”) from 1870, an era permeated by national romanticism in Finland. Imagine the joy of learning similar Czech words, brought to you by English-speaking Czechs! Indeed, a common European language existing alongside national languages can broaden the horizons of all of us.