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Through ‘foreign’ eyes

Visitors sponsored by U.S. State Department explore New Ulm

May 15, 2014

NEW ULM — These visitors probably have some of the most interesting resumes on the planet — and they came to New Ulm, of all places....

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May-16-14 7:25 AM

One of the things I think will draw me to move back home is the culture; the thing that may keep me away is the lack of cultural diversity. New Ulm is just not normal. I currently live near Denver, CO and I think there is a little lesson to be learned from one of Denver's neighbors - Greely. Greely has a live-kill meat packing plant. Yes, there are jobs in that plant I could not do however, there are other jobs that come along with it as part of the industry; like State and Federal Health inspectors for the birth-to-plate accountability and trucking. And, yes, other jobs that come in collaterally. Keep this in mind- when a company moves into town don't just look at the how many employees are getting a paycheck from that one company, take a look at the bigger picture and the collateral jobs that one company may create.

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May-16-14 7:01 AM

Hippie: you are kidding right? I think you totally missed my sarcasm in the meat or canning factory comment. Of course! Either of those businesses would bring in other "cultures" to New Ulm! To Getwithit: I too have seen the way "some" people in this area treat other cultures. My sister in law is black, best person you could ever meet. But while shopping in one of our downtown specialty shops she was followed around by the owner. I suppose because of her color she was assumed to not be honest. I reality she is a lawyer, but, don't hold that against her!

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May-15-14 10:44 PM

This should be a wake up call for New Ulm. People from outside of New Ulm find the age and diversity of the town laughable. I agree. When I was in high school I worked with two black guys that went to MLC. I saw first hand the racism they encountered. We were leaving from work when a truck of two white males (New Ulm welcoming committee) rolled down the window only to yell racial insults to them. My buddies lasted one year at MLC because they faced that bull every day in New Ulm. When I went to college I dated a Hispanic girl from Winthrop. Her family would shop and spend money in this town only to be harassed by locals. They took there business elsewhere. Leaders of New Ulm fear change, but I'm very happy that most comments here encourage change.

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May-15-14 6:58 PM

I have done a great deal of thinking about this article, and I think I have the answer:

The State Department brought these foreigners to New Ulm because they all thought they would see Renee Zellwegner (hubba, hubba) in a comfy dress, whipping up a batch of tapioca.

Imagine their disappointment in being handed a Schells, instead, by some dough-faced German-American.

Ich bin ein New Ulmer Kraut.

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May-15-14 5:20 PM

I do not think that Hormel employees are paid low wages. They are not all minorities either. Of course Hormel is a union plant but thriving in the city of Austin Mn where their headquarters are. New Ulm needs a four lane highway more than anything to bring the jobs. Companies have large trucks for hauling their goods. Our representatives have let New Ulm down by not getting this in the bonding bill.

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May-15-14 4:53 PM

It is quite interesting that these people were in New Ulm such a short time yet were able to garner these perspectives.

"In a sense they are more German than Germans". That sums it up quite well.

What does this tell us ? The people here who love things just as they are refuse to acknowledge what is happening back in the homeland and in many other parts of the world. We are becoming more diverse and that is a good thing. We can hang on to our cultural traditions while welcoming new cultures into our community. They are not mutually exclusive. Just what are some people in New Ulm afraid of ?

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May-15-14 1:41 PM

Bring in a meat packaging or canning plant and then what.Do you want your kids working there. It not for many young people only minority will work in those places because the pay is low and you don't need an education.You don't even have to speak English. Might as well move to Madelia or Sleepy Eye or Worthington.

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May-15-14 8:51 AM

GodisGreatSchellsisGrossYouareScary: perhaps, but I say the great "leaders" have stuck this city in a time warp. DO you speak for all citizens when you say this is what we "want"? Do you really think people calling New Ulm Kaisertown was a form of a compliment? It is a town known for drinking. And I am happy Schells is here, don't get me wrong. A good family business! But what I am saying this town is not diverse. It does not welcome people of other ethnic backgrounds. We are all entitled to our opinions and this is mine....

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May-15-14 8:31 AM

To Catch22: New Ulm is what it is because this is how the citizens want it. Good grief. As liberals are wont to say about abortion, "If you don't like it, don't have one." Clearly you do not like what NU has become . . . well then, move. I do not like what Minneapolis or Mankato have become so I will not be moving there. I like NU just as it is.

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May-15-14 7:04 AM

Perfect! Strangers see what a lot of us have seen for years! We are not diverse, really? That is not news. This town has shut the door on anyone who does not wear lederhosen and eat sauerkraut. They commented they see "a lot of gray hair" as they looked around. It is because the young people want to experience "more". It is the older generation who is holding this town back. That is why new families do not come. That is why this gray haired sea of people will not move forward and build a new school for the children of this great city. But, they will invest in another form of a drinking celebration. I wish we could draw in new exciting business to this town. Something that would draw a more "diverse" group of people. Perhaps a canning or a meat packing plant would do it? The signs coming and going from New Ulm are funny. You are welcome to come, but do not stay!

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