le recensement militaire
: registration (military), census, counting (votes)
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
"I begin to be adult"
Our 15-year-old son has received a letter* from the mayor. It reads:
Monsieur Maxime Espinasse
Né le 17 mai 1995
Est invité à passer en Mairie, Service "Etat Civil" à compter du 17 mai 2011...
Et obligatoirement avant le: 30 juin 2011
Pour son recensement militaire, muni de la carte d'identité française et du livret de famille de ses parents (Copies + Originaux)
( *For the English translation, go to the end of this post.)
Why does the mere act of reading the words recensement militaire make my tear ducts tingle?
15-year-old Max has the answer, in halting English:
Because, says he, I begin to be adult.
Post note: I did not correct my son's English... and I didn't tell him that his becoming adult is not the reason for my frisson.
Update: Jean-Marc tells me that military service in France is no longer obligatory. Nevertheless, boys and girls must respond to the recensement militaire, by registering at the local Mairie.
le frisson = shiver, shudder
* Mr. Maxime Espinasse
Born May 17, 1995,
Is invited to come to Town Hall, to the Registry Office, voluntarily on May 17, 2011,
And involuntarily not later than June 30, 2011,
For his military registration and to bring with him his French-identity card (the original and copies) and his family-record book (the original and copies).
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