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German and Austrian Culture and Words ( to run away but also having fun with it before )

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Silent_Water

Governor
... and in absolute contrast to this music from the Renaissance, the Swiss comedian Marco Rima who is here reciting the famous poem "Der Erlkönig" von "Jonathan Wulfgang from Goeöhthe" with some imaginative excursions to the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and different horror movies:




He is also famous for this presentation of a Swiss pharmaceutical officer who tested all the pills of his company in his own body, without any side effects - hrm - almost any side effects:

 

Silent_Water

Governor
One of the most interesting "problems" in the German "Sprachraum" is the cultural difference between the "North" and the "South", sometimes really a bit similar to the history of the civil war of the USA but also very different at the same time.
During the whole 19th century, two different German-speaking empires dominated all German states and all neigbouring states: Prussia (Preußen / Preussen) and the Austro-Hungarian empire (Österreich-Ungarn).

The civil war in the USA took place in the years 1861-1865, the Prussian-Austrian war for the supremacy over all German states, also called the German "Fraternal War" took place in 1866 and lasted only 7 weeks, Austria lost:

It was a war, in which some intelligent writers of those times already outlined some parts of the European future although no one could really know it.
Prussia had won, because it was a centralized, extremely disciplinized military state right from the beginning, founded on its military and wars against its neighbours, sometimes regarded by French writers like Voltaire as "the German-Protestant Sparta", attracting people from other nations because of its religious freedom in spite of its national-military character. So, you still can find many Germans around Berlin with French names like the former German ministers Lothar and Thomas "de Maizière", who are really cousins, etc. Their ancestors were French "Huguenots" who fled from France because of the Catholic suppression against Protestants, e.g. during the reign of "Louis XIV., le Roi-Soleil" between 1650 and 1715.

The Austro-Hungarian empire on the other side was founded on "Christian-Catholic liberation wars" against the Osman-Turkish empire across the European South-East and down to the balkans, including generals and political leaders from so many different nations and languages that it was impossible to really have a centralized state with only one language.
Although the Austrian governments also certainly suppressed national rebellions against their domination by using their military force, the Austrian governments were always much "milder" in their empires than the two other empires in this region: Prussia and Russia always tried to impose their national system and language on other nations, the Austrians did NOT.

For example, in some certain times, Poland was divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria. In the Prussian and Russian parts, the Poles had to learn German and Russian in their schools as their first language, whereas in the Austrian part, no Austrian official really cared for the question, if a Pole really spoke German as long as he did not oppose the Austrian emperor as a "tyrant". The Austrians simply would not have so much capacities in those times to send so many teachers or civil servants to really control everything there as much as the Prussians and Russians did, because the Austrian empire became so extremely "inflated" that the Austrians were a small minority nation in their own empire.
On the other hand, this certainly also led to some Austrian extremist thinking that the Prussians with their militarist nationalism were doing everything much better than the Austrians - especially after the lost war for Austria - so that this thinking led to some Austrian creatures like Hitler.

But the historical truth is that the Austrian "high society" with their relatively high developed "minority-friendly policy" in their empire between 1880 and the beginning of WW I have left a kind of cultural nostalgia all over Eastern Europe. Ask any person in the most Eastern European countries with a historical knowledge of her / his national poets, writers and literature: Almost ALL their national heros in poetry, literature and culture, born in the time of 1840 - 1910 were born in cities, which then were part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and at the same time the cultural centers - not the political centers, nor their capitals - of their nations in those times: Krakow (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), Cernaouti & Timisoara (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakian Republic), Zagreb (Croatia) etc., etc.

The Prussians and the Austrians never really liked each other, because their education and cultural experience was very different: the Prussians were educated like "small soldiers", really talking in short sentences with the necessary information only and looking always directly into the eyes of the people they were speaking with. The Austrians always liked to have small-talks and not always looked directly into the eyes of their guests or talking partners, because they regarded such behaviour as aggressive and the Prussians regarded this Austrian social behaviour between 1860 and 1910 really as "sneaky"!

At the same time, the intellectual elite of Austria seemed to have developed a morbid "fin de siècle" - mood around 1900, because they somehow felt, this empire would no more exist for a long time. One Austrian writer wrote in the first months of WW I: "Maybe, we will win against Russia because we have the better weapons but we will lose against any other nation in the West - simply for this reason: I was with our army this morning and our general gave the order to "advance forward" into the direction of Russia. This simple order had to be translated into 11 (in words: ELEVEN) languages of our allied troops and it took about 10 minutes until this army really moved forward! How wil you win with such an army against the national armies of Great Britain or France, acting in their only one language?"

At the same time, the Austrian high society always attracted artists and musicians with their "sophisticated" life-style and lavish splendor in their imperial palaces and castles.
Even today, I would say, the best clothed Europeans are members of the French AND the Austrian high society and even today, you cannot escape the attraction of concerts which are set up in or in front of Austrian palaces like this one in front of "Schloss Schönbrunn" (= "Palace of the Beautiful Fountain") with the orchestra of "André Rieu", playing the waltz of "The Beautiful Blue Danube" (= "Schöne blaue Donau").

I certainly also like pop and rock music very much, but even I have to admit: This is pure beauty, this is Austrian culture, music and maybe also decadence at its highest point, but I also think that everything here in this video is simply beautiful beyond belief (and wait for the dancers and the imperial couple inside the palace !):

 
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Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
One of the most interesting "problems" in the German "Sprachraum" is the cultural difference between the "North" and the "South", sometimes really a bit similar to the history of the civil war of the USA but also very different at the same time.
During the whole 19th century, two different German-speaking empires dominated all German states and all neigbouring states: Prussia (Preußen / Preussen) and the Austro-Hungarian empire (Österreich-Ungarn).

The civil war in the USA took place in the years 1861-1865, the Prussian-Austrian war for the supremacy over all German states, also called the German "Fraternal War" took place in 1866 and lasted only 7 weeks, Austria lost:
A legacy from the Prussian-Austrian War is the nickname 'Piefke' given by southern Germans to Northern Germans, and nowadays, by Austrians to Germans. The nickname is said to be derived from the famous composer Gottfried Piefke (1817-1884), who composed 'Prussians gloria' and the 'Königrätzer March', the latter referring to the decisive battle in the Prussian-Austrian war.



 

Silent_Water

Governor
To be honest, I am shocked about your extensive knowledge of Gottfried Piefke ("Piefke" sounds today in German ridiculous, but I do not really know if it would have been the same feeling 150 years ago).
In any case, the "good old Prussians" were sometimes trying to be "solemniy dignified" by "impressive behaviour" and "glorious music", but there is also sometimes only a small step from dignity to ridiculous absurdity - and sometimes they really did not get it, like Prussia's pride of the true history of this man showed:

So, I like this version of Prussian military marches like "Preußens Gloria" the best which you can hear at minute 0:50 here in the video of
"Oberst Manfred von Holstein" / not possible to link directly:
---https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgs0tves3ew---
 

Silent_Water

Governor
OK, as announced in another thread, I will have less time to post here more because I am working again in the touristic sector in a hotel at night and the "Tragikomödie" (="tragical comedy") of my whole life continues: I was born in a family with three women around me (a loving mother and my two older "evil" half-sisters, who are responsible for some of my obsessions, I think) and now, I am living in Germany with a female chancellor and inside in a German federal state with a female prime minister in a city with a female mayor. My boss in the hotel is now a relatively young and very friendly female manager, my colleagues are young and very, very friendly female desk agents at the reception and taken this history altogether is sometimes "a bit hard" for me, because I am only a poor good-looking man and so, I always was the "sexually harassed minority".
;):rolleyes: OK, you don't have to feel pity for me, I am doing this by my own.

Additionally, one guest from Belgium already told me yesterday evening at the reception:
"This typical German efficiency is frightening again for all your neighbouring countries. We thought, it would be not so frightening with your chancellor Angela Merkel, but during the coronavirus-crisis, it is becoming even worse! How do you only do that?"

I told him, even I am shocked how fast and perfect my female colleages are working and I am always frightened, too, by "my Germany". It is a typical German behaviour to be frightened by everything and so you have always to be ready to fight against everything, because we Germans were much longer living in giant dark forests with more "saber tooth tigers", bears and wolves during the last 10.000 years than all our neighbours!
;)

But I could also tell him of an article from the German "Tagesschau", that even the Germans are not so sure and cannot really explain, why they are so successful during the last 6 months. In some way, one possible explanation is similar to my last 4 or 5 postings here.

Germany's history is very different from France's or Great Britain's history which were relatively soon centralized countries with one secured capital (Paris, London) and main city. In Germany, there were often different centers and different capitals in different states. Usually, this is not an advantage, but in a catastrophe, a war or a pandemic, it is an advantage, when you can easily shift the center of administration or the political center to another capital.

Moreover, right now, when there is an virus-outbreak in one German region, you can easily declare this administrative region to be a "no-go-area" with special restrictions and every citizen there is suddenly a bit of a "Pariah" for a certain time, according to special German law.
For example, the administrative region of "Gütersloh" with the outbreak in the slaughterhouses there is still a special region, separated in principle from the rest of the country (Gütersloh is red in this map):

Ashampoo_Snap_2020.06.27_18h26m20s_002_.jpg

Every hotel in Germany is ordered by every German administration to accept guests from Gütersloh only when they can show a doctor's confirmation that they are not infected by Covid-19 and this confirmation must have been made during the last 48 hours. Otherwise, no hotel will accept a guest from Gütersloh. It is hard for Gütersloh, but good for every other guests.

And the article I mentioned just before in my small-talk with my Belgian guest, is this one (translation just below the link):



Dealing with the Corona Virus - Why Germany copes better with the crisis

Status: 10.07.2020 4:00 p.m.
(By Gábor Paál and Dirk Asendorpf, SWR)


So far, Germany has mastered the corona crisis better than many other countries. The federal system of all places could be a factor - but that is not all.

Which countries are best prepared for a pandemic? An international research committee led by Johns Hopkins University has been regularly ranking the issue for years - the Global Health Security Index (GHS).
The United States was at the top, ahead of Great Britain - those countries that now have a particularly large number of victims in the corona crisis. France was also one of the countries that were considered "best prepared".

Germany, on the other hand, was included in the midfield - but has so far managed the crisis quite well, contrary to this expectation. How could the GHS panel's assessments be so wrong?


Unpredictable factors:

Of course there are factors that cannot be predicted. Italy, for example, had the bad luck that the virus arrived there very early and then spread quickly. Other European countries such as Germany were thus warned. When the first German cases were reported, the willingness to take sharp measures was all the higher.

But that cannot explain everything. Despite the development in Italy, Great Britain and the United States reacted completely differently than Germany.

This is the second factor that cannot be taken into account in a long-term ranking: How determined will the current government act in the specific case? Both Donald Trump in the United States and Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom initially trivialized the danger and allowed valuable time to pass.


Wrong parameters?

The GHS index apparently relied on the wrong parameters in its ranking. The medical factors - such as how well doctors are trained and hospitals are equipped - have been weighted very heavily. The index has certified the best conditions for the USA in terms of early warning and laboratory capacities. The laboratories were also there - but not really prepared for the new type of corona virus. In the beginning, only a negligible number of people were tested.

The underrated factor "welfare state"

Above all, however, the political and social structures of a country were completely underestimated. This includes the welfare state: Germany, for example, knows something like short-time work and there are rules for it. That helped a lot in the crisis to quickly implement effective measures such as the ban on contact, says Bielefeld sociologist Michael Huber in the podcast of SWR2 Wissen.

"You cannot effectively implement quarantine measures for an entire society unless you also provide welfare state support measures."

Huber is currently investigating how different countries are dealing with the crisis. In Great Britain, for example, short-time work is not even established as an instrument. And in the United States, many people have not only no unemployment insurance, but no health insurance either.

"Out of nowhere, so to speak, there is the need to go out and work anyway. This also explains why the lockdown measures in the US are far less successful than in Germany, for example."


Corona laws for business

In the Corona crisis, a number of laws were passed in Germany to protect the population socially and to support the economy. However, hardly any new laws were necessary for the actual lockdown, because the measures were all already provided for in the Infection Protection Act. In Germany, what often is called "small-scale work" paid off, according to constitutional lawyer Oliver Lepsius.

"The lower administrative authority is responsible for the enforcement of laws - that sounds very dry legal now. They can actually do it very well - locally, with hard quarantine measures. And in many other countries there is something nice like the 'lower administrative authority ' not at all."

German federalism also made it possible for the countries to loosen the strict measures at different speeds at the end of the first wave, adds Huber.

"In Germany it is relatively easy to switch from short-time work back to normal working hours. You can also organize this regionally and sectorally. In England you cannot say: southern England works, northern England has to remain in quarantine for two weeks. To a certain extent, they lack the tools to deal with such a problem."


Federal states, districts and city administrations

The principle also applies in centralized France that people in the different regions must not be treated differently. "And the Corona crisis is now trying for the first time to introduce regional differences. This is something completely new, so to speak."

16 federal states, 400 local district and city administrations - that's not what most people imagine a strong state to be. "When I talk about administration, many say: Oh God it is so boring!" Says state lawyer Oliver Lepsius. "You usually don't see the system performance in such questions!"
 

Silent_Water

Governor
For some distraction, I surfed a bit through YouTube and found some female artists who were singing during my whole lifetime in German and other languages on German TV.
I combined some memories with their performances during the last 50 years, so you may also remember at least two of them when you are from the USA or from Great Britain.
The first example is Peggy March winning a German song contest in 1965:



I think, some of the singers from those times like & liked Germany's audiences very much because they are still remembered decades after their successes by Germans on the streets, train stations or airports. There are sometimes stories in the comments (e.g. here Peggy March) of persons who are glad to have met them and writing that they were so friendly and delighted to have been recognized by Germans years after their appearances on German TV and they say, this usually does not happen to them elsewhere in the world because the show business there is much faster in oblivion.




Ireen Sheer from Great Britain, Peggy March from the USA and Lena Valaitis of Lithuanian-German origin had a special medley performance in English on German TV in 2013 (at the end of this posting) and Lena Valaitis had one of her greatest hits in Germany with a German cover version of "Amazing Grace", in which you can hear that those singers from the 60's and 70's really had great voices and did not need to use a technical trick studio:






By the way, Lena Valaitis is the lady in red in the last video and she is 70 years old in this video!
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Hm, I feel that I simply must add these examples, because I was a big fan of Lena Valaitis when I was around 16 - 20.
She made several German cover versions of international hits and one of them was "Gloria" by Umberto Tozzi. The funny part of the story is now that many Italians - especially Italian men - in Germany liked the German version more than their Italian one, because they said, Lena Valaitis is much, much more beautiful to look at than Umberto Tozzi and her voice sounds so strong "like an Italian opera singer".
So, when you visited for example an Italian ice cream parlor in Germany around 1982, they really played Lena Valaitis' "Gloria" and never Umberto Tozzi's version.
So, you can compare for yourself, which one you like more:



But I personally like the songs of her the best which sound like songs from the region where she was born and it is interesting that I have the impression these songs are her really true feelings - sad, emotional and a bit "tough".
Although these melodies sound a bit "Russian", they are more "Lithuanian", I think, and many Germans also like these rather sad songs more than her German cover versions of international hits although almost every song of her sounds "great" for Germans.

The first song now is most probably a "farewell" for her German husband, the actor and comedian "Horst Jüssen", who died because of lung cancer ca. one year before this song was made. They were said to be a very, very happy couple because he always said publicly, the first time he met her, he fell in love with her and completely lost his mind for her and she was his "worshipped goddess" from that moment on, he simply knew by heart this would be an eternal love. So, this song has the title "I call your name in my dreams, I still see your smiling face ... but I cannot find you anymore ..."


The next one is a bit similar, but was made long before: "We will see us again at the end of the night ..."


And finally in Lithuanian, a song about the life and songs of Gypsies, who are living and singing although life itself is never really friendly to them.

 

Silent_Water

Governor
This could have been the geographical revenge of the Austrians - always mixed by accident with the Australians, if it was not so sad.

I have heard that there also seem to be some uncertainties about borders at the North American continent, because there were seen federal border patrols in Portland, Oregon, so I think it is because the border between the USA and Mexico is situated much more to the North than the Austrians thought it to be:

Ashampoo_Snap_2020.07.22_07h07m21s_001_.jpg Ashampoo_Snap_2020.07.22_07h08m06s_002_.jpg

This story reminds me slightly of something which is said to have happend in Germany's history some years before an Austrian in the German government always mixed up the borders and frontiers of Germany and its neighbours. Must have been somewhere in those "1000 years" of the "Deutsche Reich" in German history between 1933 and 1945, I think ... he was also said to be always exaggerating, this little Austrian man with his short moustache in those times long ago ... I simply cannot remember his name ... must have been similar to Shittler, Tittler, Twittler or so ...
 

TheLimey

Magistrate
My German experience...

As the name suggests, I'm a Brit, but Germany is somewhere I've always had a love for.

It started in my early teens. Family holidays in coaches tours. The Rhine, the Black Forest. Hamburg. The tourist spots. Kõln, Koblenz, the vineyards in the Neckar valley, Trier. The introduction to a great compound word - Trockenbeerenauslese. We had an advantage. I lived close to Hull. We could get an overnight ferry and be at the Hook of Holland by 6am, and the coach would be driving us into Germany before noon.

So many great cities that we explored, and odd little villages that we stopped at for refreshments. In Köln, finding a little bar, where as a 16 year old, when we asked for a round of Kolsch, I could be included. By the third night, when a group of us walked in, the owner would ring a bell, and announce us 'our regulars from England'

University in London, but still trips to Germany. Conferences in Strasbourg (it looked like Germany), and a great three day conference in Berlin, which I extended into a vacation to explore what was then a city that was not yet building over the places where East and West met.

And then, living in Germany. I was a researcher. I spent four years living in Bayreuth, working at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut at the University. That was great. Get a Bahnkarte, and just travel the region. Weekends were spent walking. Organised walks, 20km in length, ending at a brewery. Even better, walks we planned ourselves, 20km or so, and planned for a brewery stop about 11am, lunch at a second brewery, and if the planning was right, a third and maybe a fourth for dinner before the bus or train back.

This was when I really got an idea of regionalism in Germany. Bayern? Nein! Hier ist Franken! And not that awful Neiderfranken either. Oberfranken. My German is still inflected with Frankish words. I still have a hankering for Krenfleisch und Semmelkloß. And the best Weißbeir is Maiselsweiß from Bayreuth.
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Regionalism is a bit more "pronounced" in Southern Germany than in the Northern half, maybe also because of the landscape. In my childhood, the same children's game could have a different name in the next village behind some hills and one mountain. So, in the federal state of "Baden-Württemberg", it is almost a deadly insult to mix a Badener with a Württemberger or not to know where the one part of the country ends and the other begins. In the North where the landscape is rather flat and there are no visible borders, it is not so terrible to mix a citizen of "Niedersachsen" with one of "Schleswig-Holstein", but south of the "Weißwurst-Äquator", it is indeed almost dangerous to call a "Franke" a "Bavarian".
And by the way, the "e" behind a German "i" is usually only a stress-mark to make the vowel (vocal?) sound longer: The "i" in "Bier" or "Niederfranken" is only an "i" which is spoken possibly one second longer than the "i" in "nicht".
"Neiderfranken" could almost be a German pun for "neidische Franken" who are "neidisch" (= envious) of or for something.
;)
It is also a way for Germans to remark at once, if a person with or from a native Slavic language is speaking German because there are no such long spoken vowels in Slavic languages like in the German words Oberfranken or Bogen.
When they say the German word "Bogen", a German immediately remarks the "un-German" difference, because Germans speak it like "B-O-gen", speakers of Slavic languages speak it almost like "B°gen".
Similar is the word "Floß" (=raft), and here the German spelling reform ca. 20 years ago was rational, because here the "o" is spoken long and that is why there is this "ß" [which was 150 years ago a "sz" or a "scharfes s" (= "sharp s")], in the word "Fluss" (= river), the "u" is spoken very short and the two "s" show that difference in addition.
 
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Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
I have heard that there also seem to be some uncertainties about borders at the North American continent, because there were seen federal border patrols in Portland, Oregon, so I think it is because the border between the USA and Mexico is situated much more to the North than the Austrians thought it to be:
Adjacent to Portland, Oregon, there is a city named Vancouver, near the border with the state of Washington, and not to be confused with Vancouver, BC in Canada, just across the US border.
These border guards are probably convinced, they are doing patrols near the Canadian border. :doh::BangHead:


I simply cannot remember his name ... must have been similar to Shittler, Tittler, Twittler or so ...
Herr Schiklgruber, most probably?:confused:
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Yes, maybe they were seriously misled by some tourist guides in that region around Oregon.
Additionally, I have heard rumours that some Canadians would like to build a wall at their Southern border, too. It seems to be now something like a virtual rallye: Some Europeans would like to build a wall to their Southern Coast and everyone suddenly seems to like the idea of a wall in the South, only we Germans do not really like this idea of new walls because we had built one special wall for 40 years at the wrong place.

But that reminds me of a cartoon about "Hägar, the Horrible"
In that cartoon, Hägar and his son are walking along a very long and very high wall and his son asks Hägar: - "For which reason is there this wall here?"
- "It was built in order to protect the builders against the brute Barbarians on the other side of the wall."
- "And who had built this wall?"
- "The brute Barbarians on the other side of the wall!"
:eek:

Yes, this little man from Austria must have been a member of the family "Schicklgruber", but these Schicklgrubers had such brute and barbarian family relationships that no one really knows who was the grandfather or the grandmother or if they were the same person, so let's better not talk about it ...
:eek::confused:
 

TheLimey

Magistrate
Regionalism is a bit more "pronounced" in Southern Germany than in the Northern half, maybe also because of the landscape. In my childhood, the same children's game could have a different name in the next village behind some hills and one mountain. So, in the federal state of "Baden-Württemberg", it is almost a deadly insult to mix a Badener with a Württemberger or not to know where the one part of the country ends and the other begins. In the North where the landscape is rather flat and there are no visible borders, it is not so terrible to mix a citizen of "Niedersachsen" with one of "Schleswig-Holstein", but south of the "Weißwurst-Äquator", it is indeed almost dangerous to call a "Franke" a "Bavarian".
And by the way, the "e" behind a German "i" is usually only a stress-mark to make the vowel (vocal?) sound longer: The "i" in "Bier" or "Niederfranken" is only an "i" which is spoken possibly one second longer than the "i" in "nicht".
"Neiderfranken" could almost be a German pun for "neidische Franken" who are "neidisch" (= envious) of or for something.
;)
It is also a way for Germans to remark at once, if a person with or from a native Slavic language is speaking German because there are no such long spoken vowels in Slavic languages like in the German words Oberfranken or Bogen.
When they say the German word "Bogen", a German immediately remarks the "un-German" difference, because Germans speak it like "B-O-gen", speakers of Slavic languages speak it almost like "B°gen".
Similar is the word "Floß" (=raft), and here the German spelling reform ca. 20 years ago was rational, because here the "o" is spoken long and that is why there is this "ß" [which was 150 years ago a "sz" or a "scharfes s" (= "sharp s")], in the word "Fluss" (= river), the "u" is spoken very short and the two "s" show that difference in addition.
I don't know about the Weißwurst.... Nürnburger Bratwurst were the main things... The infamous 'Drei im Weckla'! Coburgerwurst were pretty good as well.

Bamburg was always a good beer trip. Rauchbier, anyone?
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Usually, German cities are ending of "...burg" (= castle), but this time, it is "...berg" (= mountain): Bamberg !

Oh yes, Bamberg had almost no damages during the wars and it is a very beautiful little city in Oberfranken:


In "the good old times", "Rauchbier" was very common in Southern Germany, today it is a "specialty", especially that of Bamberg:

 

Silent_Water

Governor
... That was great. Get a Bahnkarte, and just travel the region. ... for dinner before the bus or train back.

By the way, I am possibly one of the few Germans who still like more to drive in buses and trains than in his own car because it is more an adventure to meet persons from around the world. You cannot have such experiences in your own car. In some German regions, only the poor and the immigrants are taking buses - and me!
Then, it is sometimes funny to see that Germany has an image of an "ideal" for immigrants from far away and it sometimes sounds like Germany is for them "the real land of unlimited opportunities" (= Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten).

Even "me myself" - being German - found two experiences during the last 4 years "a bit funny and uplifting":


1. At a train station, there were schoolboys and -girls standing around, obviously waiting for a train to their schools. One girl around ca. 15 -16 was obviously the leader of her "girl's gang" and she had two blonde German girls in her gang but the others were rather "Arabian" but this special girl was really like an "Oriental Warrior Queen", a bit bigger than the others, long open black hair, with make-up and good-looking like an Indian actress, dressed in leather clothing with small golden chains on it, smoking, a rather deep and loud voice, talking in perfect German, making rather "dirty" jokes about relations between girls and boys.

An Arabian-looking boy came up to her, asking in German: "You are not acting like a normal, decent girl from Turkey or Syria. Why do you behave in such a dishonorable way like an easy German girl?"

Then, I heard one German boy say to another: "Let's get closer! This will be an interesting answer for him because I know her from my school and he better had not talked to her this way!"

The "Oriental Warrior Queen" looked at the Arabian boy in feigned disbelief, made herself bigger like a bear in attack-modus and spoke every sentence of her answer in perfect German louder and louder so that everyone could hear it:

"What do you think, little Arab, where we are here and who we are? I do not belong to your family nor to your nation! You have not to tell me how to live at all! This is not your country and I can here live like I love to live. If you do not like how women are living here, you have to go back into a country of the Middle Ages! Some parts of Syria, Iran or Saudi-Arabia would be good for you, not Germany!
You are here in the wrong place and you have absolutely nothing to tell me, because we are not in Turkey, Syria or Saudi-Arabia! THIS IS A DIFFERENT COUNTRY! I AM KURDISH AND THIS IS MY LIFE AND ... THIS ... HERE .. IS .. MY ... GERMANY!" (And she almost shouted "... MEIN ... DEUTSCHLAND!" like Gerard Butler shouted "THIS IS SPARTA!" in the movie "300".)
The German schoolkids around her smiled or laughed and the girls of her gang even applauded. The Arabian boy disappeared without saying anything else, shaking his head.


2. In one of the almost empty buses which I was taking for a drive from one small German town to another and which had an "oriental-looking" driver with black eyes and black hair, a family which also looked "oriental" entered the bus and talked to him in German which was not so easy to understand because both sides were obviously immigrants and I sat 5 rows behind but I heard the driver say in his "foreign German":
"No, you cannot negociate with my about the price of this drive and not about the place I stop the bus. This is not a Taxi and we are not in Arabia here. This is a country of correct rules and of laws and order. This is not Syria, THIS HERE IS GERMANY!"

And again, the way this "oriental" bus driver said "das hier ist Deutschland!" sounded for me like a mixture of "Sparta" from the movie "300" and the land of his dreams.

Sometimes, for a German like me, it is really funny and "uplifting" to be a German listening to immigrants from far away about their look on Germany and their behaviour here.
 

Naraku

Draconarius

TheLimey

Magistrate
And the site of one of the worst witch hunts in history.
And the site of a Papal Relic....

My closest brush with German high culture was in Bayreuth. I used to live across the park from Villa Wahnfried. Never went to the Wagnerfest.

Closest brush with real German culture? The pub closest to the University. The Stammtisch was held on a Friday night for this random collection of Brits, Americans, French and Italian researchers. We would head in at 6pm, eat Goulasch Suppe and Leberkase, drink and play cards.
 
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