chapter  9
18 Pages

Who is a Strasburger?

The sentiments of Henri Sylvestre, just turned 80, in response to a request for his thoughts on the contemporary diversity among Strasbourg’s population: “I think diversity is a good thing. If a human group lives all closed up in its own bubble, no. You’ve got to be confronted with new ideas—it’s enriching. If you don’t travel, if you stay in your little sphere, you’re not getting to your potential. Il faut la confrontation [You’ve got to knock up against others]. You can’t build the Great Wall of China. You’ve got to try to understand them, what’s going on. They’re coming in from places much less well-off than here. They’re courageous, they’ve got will, perhaps they’re more intelligent too. Globalization is unstoppable… Yees, there’s the problem with the concentration in Hautepierre of these folks from all over the place. There’s a segregation. They see the rich in the nice parts of town and there’s a certain envy and bitterness. And the way out of it is via education.”