Jun 19 2012

‘Hémecht’ makes its debut in Winona

Published by at 08:59 under Articles

SOURCE: (Alexa Wallick/Winona Daily News)

http://www.winonadailynews.com

Honorary director general of the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture Guy Dockendorf makes a few welcoming remarks before a premiere showing of the film documentary “Hemecht”, a film about the Luxembourgers making a new home in Winona County, at Alverna Center on Monday, June 18, 2012, in Winona. The film will be launched nationally Aug. 9 at the Luxembourg American Cultural Conference in Belgium, Wis.

It’s what we eat. How we speak. Who we look like. It’s where we came from — and where we are going. It’s the sense of shared  identity we call culture.

“Hémecht,” a film by Rollingstone native and historian, Mary Nilles and Luxembourg historian Jean Ensch, explores the  culture and identity shared by Americans of Luxembourg heritage and their cousins who stayed behind in Europe.

“Hémecht” is “home” in Luxembourgish, Nilles explained and tells the story of “Luxembourgers making a new home in Winona County, Minnesota” — the film’s subtitle. The film tells its story through the words and family photos of the descendants of the men and women who first settled the land.

“We see our faces in your faces, your names in our names and feel connected,” Guy Dockendorf, honorary General Director of the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, told the overflow audience filling Alverna Center in Winona for the film’s Monday night premier. In the late 19th and early 20th century over 70,000 Luxembourgers — of a population of less than 250,000 — emigrated to the U.S., and today, their roughly 500,000 descendants nearly outnumber the population of the old country. “Our country was a poor country,” Dockendorf said.
Luxembourgers left in search of land and opportunity not then available to them at home. They went in search of streets paved in gold, but when they arrived in Rollingstone in the 1850s, the streets had yet to be paved.

“Luxembourg is a Grand Duchy, but a small country,” Dockendorf, appearing on screen as well as in person, quipped. Bordered by Germany, France and Belgium, the Grand Duchy covers 998 square miles — Winona County, by comparison, is 641 square miles.

But Luxembourgers are stubbornly proud of their distinct culture — summed up in the national motto, “We want to remain what we are.” Yet, culture is a living thing, Nilles pointed out, “therefore it’s always changing.”

“We look back at old history and create a new history.”

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SOURCE: (Alexa Wallick/Winona Daily News)

http://www.winonadailynews.com

Honorary director general of the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture Guy Dockendorf makes a few welcoming remarks before a premiere showing of the film documentary “Hemecht”, a film about the Luxembourgers making a new home in Winona County, at Alverna Center on Monday, June 18, 2012, in Winona. The film will be launched nationally Aug. 9 at the Luxembourg American Cultural Conference in Belgium, Wis.

It’s what we eat. How we speak. Who we look like. It’s where we came from — and where we are going. It’s the sense of shared  identity we call culture.

“Hémecht,” a film by Rollingstone native and historian, Mary Nilles and Luxembourg historian Jean Ensch, explores the  culture and identity shared by Americans of Luxembourg heritage and their cousins who stayed behind in Europe.

“Hémecht” is “home” in Luxembourgish, Nilles explained and tells the story of “Luxembourgers making a new home in Winona County, Minnesota” — the film’s subtitle. The film tells its story through the words and family photos of the descendants of the men and women who first settled the land.

“We see our faces in your faces, your names in our names and feel connected,” Guy Dockendorf, honorary General Director of the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, told the overflow audience filling Alverna Center in Winona for the film’s Monday night premier. In the late 19th and early 20th century over 70,000 Luxembourgers — of a population of less than 250,000 — emigrated to the U.S., and today, their roughly 500,000 descendants nearly outnumber the population of the old country. “Our country was a poor country,” Dockendorf said.
Luxembourgers left in search of land and opportunity not then available to them at home. They went in search of streets paved in gold, but when they arrived in Rollingstone in the 1850s, the streets had yet to be paved.

“Luxembourg is a Grand Duchy, but a small country,” Dockendorf, appearing on screen as well as in person, quipped. Bordered by Germany, France and Belgium, the Grand Duchy covers 998 square miles — Winona County, by comparison, is 641 square miles.

But Luxembourgers are stubbornly proud of their distinct culture — summed up in the national motto, “We want to remain what we are.” Yet, culture is a living thing, Nilles pointed out, “therefore it’s always changing.”

“We look back at old history and create a new history.”

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