Today is the kick off of the biggest Royal Wedding medieval spectacle you will ever watch.
Every four years the Bavarian city of Landshut, Germany, transforms itself into a medieval scene of a big Royal wedding with over 2000 actors in historic costumes performing the wedding as it took place in 1474 including knightly games.
So maybe you can still get some tickets on Ebay and enjoy some knight tournaments or games at the fire – the festival lasts for a whole month.
A good opportunity to chat about stereotypes tonight!
Traveling a LOT I painfully realized that Germans are mostly stereotyped by Hitler, Kraut and Wurst.
“Propaganda” (what else can we call the never ending BBC history version) is doing their best to keep Germans in the black-and-white WW2 documentary zone. The 60th cultural revolution? Never heard of. Arts? Music? Beautiful nature? Inventions? The miracle of the reunification? What’s that. English people actually believe Georg Friedrich Handel was British. The miracle of the reunification? Do not teach it!
Time and time again I get incredulous looks when showing pictures from my German home town: What, you have colours there? Trees? We thought it was always snowing.
And yes, it hurts a lot when “the boy in the striped pyjamas” is discussed over every dinner you are having with new acquaintances.
Never mind the fact that Germans are generally much more supportive of Jewish culture and appreciate modern Jewish literature. German kids have student exchanges with Israel – I myself have been send to live in a kibbutz my my German High school!
The horrible war is over for 70 years now and all German kids still have to go on educational trips to the concentration camps and are taught how horrible their ancestors were. I haven’t heard of an English primary school sending their kids to commemorate the South African camps the Afrikaans people were interred in. Oh, wait, there were no museums build to keep that guilt alive, right?
German is still paying big amounts to all victims and is the country whose war criminals have been painstakingly taken to court and punished which we can not say for the atrocities others have done in many nations …
Rather, let’s talk science and education, free state-of-the-art healthcare for everybody and playgrounds everywhere…
It is hard having to fight stereotypes every time. If the only German you know is the evil European in any given Hollywood Thriller actor, it might be time to widen your horizon. Just saying. Stereotypes are so 1933.
That’s why I act a bit over the top when people talk like all Russians are thieves (been there, met amazing musicians and poets), all Chinese know martial arts (been to Asia and learned a thing or two) or all Americans are shallow (traveled almost all of the states and was surprised by the variety of culture – and if you want something DONE, an American will tell you that you can do it …) the list goes on and on.
We all need stereotypes to quickly have a frame of reference at hand to know what to expect. But don’t expect a grey, stiff, work robot when you hear German. That’s not what we’re all about. Please.