Montag, Februar 07, 2011

German culture: Beer, cars and football

And again, thanks to my Effective Writing Course, I am happy to post this small essay on "three objects that symbolise German culture". While I am quite happy with the text itself, I think I end it quite suddenly - I was limited on the words here. Two paragraphs are having a rather cynical undertone which I hope will be forgiven by my teacher. Enjoy!
'Schland '10' on the Rathausplatz Augsburg

Beer, Cars and Football

Before long a raging public discourse did regularly commence over symbols and traditions that might reflect German culture in a negative connotation: every four years, during the beginning of the world cup and its season of celebration, drinking and enthusiasm, both naysayers and fans of German culture, whether from abroad or an inhabitant, concentrate on one thing: the decline of the German culture.

In Bavaria people are not only proud of having a religion that doesn’t prohibit alcohol, but even brews and produces the booze in its own cloisters and monasteries. Yet Bavaria is not the only home country of beer-consumption: the citizens of the Ruhrpott, Hamburg and Berlin are all well-proud of their own special ‘Alt-‘ or ‘Pils-‘Brew. As a local specialty and one of the most popular exports of Germany, beer clearly represents an important part of German culture. Did you know that even in the Valhalla-Saga, a giant goat would provide beer for the fallen warriors? As an important item of German culture, beer deserves a very special place to be consumed and honored: the ‘beer garden’, for its own a very famous export, linguistically as well as gastronomically. Alas, how can the beer garden be reached by a thirsty warrior?

Same time like the picture above, in Sonthofen - what a wonderful place.
Of course: by driving a German car – the symbol of manufacturing tradition, German craftsmanship and quality, all around the world. Although nowadays the cars tend to be produced all around the globe by people from every nationality, the brand-value and the brand’s image is still a very German one. Critics anticipated a loss in popularity as a cause of the rise of eco-friendly cars and a more natural and sustainable way of living, but media and agencies were able to establish a solid image of the German car-companies that would survive also this crisis. As a fun fact, did you know, that a Bavarian Minister of public transport once drove so intoxicated that he hit an immigrant with his German car and wounded him fatally? Having been such a great ambassador of German values, he immediately got promoted to be Minister of Economics.
My ride for Alsace 2010 - what might it be this year?

Last but least, all these products and items of the German ‘savoir-vivre’ culminate in Football – which is not a genuinely German invention, to be admitted, yet still one of the main parts of the typical German’s quality time: whether to play or to watch, to consume on TV or to enjoy with family, friends or kids in the stadium, the German ‘Bundesliga’ and, of course, the German national team are an important factor for the public mood. Besides, football is a huge economic machine all about trade, advertisement and consume.

Concluding can be stated, that there exist many items that tend to be usually associated with Germany. Whether it might be the Black Forest or the Oktoberfest, Nazis or a time of contemporary artists in vibrant Berlin of the 1980s, all of these are having a connotation with clichés and opinions that differ from the point of view. Despite very cultural-historic landmarks or dry fact-like icons like Goethe, the Battle in the Teuteburger Forest or the German economy, these three mentioned values combine a lot of perspective on this small, struggling but strong little nation of ours.

How did you like it? According to the very informative and well-structured page of the Sprachenzentrum Augsburg, this might also be my grade for this term. Oh well...

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