On Shabbat, Eh went to visit one of her friends. There, we met another little girl, ' a cousin from Eretz Yisroel'. This was exciting to me and I didn't hesitate to mention that Eh's cousin from Israel was visiting as well.
While the kids were playing, I asked Eh's friend's mom if she knew how to say 'slides' in Hebrew. She said that unfortunately she didn't speak a word of Hebrew. Then, I turned to cousin-from-Eretz-Yisroel's mom and asked her the same question.
Her reply? A proud "I don't know. I live in an American neighborhood and I don't need to know Hebrew..."
I jokingly told her that she's like the Russians on Brighton who live in the country for 20+ years and can barely speak a coherent sentence in English. She agreed with a serious look on her face.
I let the subject drop but it bothered me long enough to actually post about it.
What's up with all these people who don't bother to learn the language of the country where they live?! The babysitters who want to teach you and your kids how to speak Spanish instead of trying to learn from you OR your kids how to speak English... The cleaning ladies whose vocabularies year after year after year don't change much and include something like 'bounty, Windex, Ajax (pronounced a-Hoks), fantastic, lot-of-work-more-money'...The students and their families who pride themselves in learning in 'Eretz Yisroel' yet can't express themselves well enough in a grocery store and may ask for 'chicken's underwear' instead of 'chicken bottoms'?!
And there are many many more examples but unfortunately I must get to bed or else. In conclusion, I say the foreigners should drop the pride in their ignorance and attempt to learn a little. I hear it may delay the onset of senile dementia...