Tuesday, October 3, 2006

German Reunification Day

The Germans... how funny they are. Today is the celebration of the reunification of their country, east and west. It's now been 16 years. How do they celebrate? By traveling. Since many workers get the day off, they took Monday off too and made it a nice four day weekend. The tourist areas and hotels of Berlin were filled with tourists from all over Germany. Many Berliners took their turns traveling too... the local streets were empty, parking spaces all over! Many of our friends here in Berlin headed south into Bavaria. While I was biking around on Sunday night I found that many of the tourists were from the south. Kind of reasonable, eh? N said something cute. She said that all of Germany was traveling this weekend, and they met each other on the highways.
German Flag - Wikipedia has more about German Reunification Day
What was so sad and strange to me was to see what should be a patriotic day celebrated without a single flag. Today we went to the main celebration of Reunification Day here in Berlin... not a German flag in sight. There were some balloons hanging around in the colors of the flag, but that was it. The Germans have a bit of trouble with national pride. It seems the only time they allow themselves any such pride is during the World Cup. At that time there were German flags all over, hanging from windows, draped over people, attached to 75% of the cars. It was a sight to see. Everyone seemed to have discovered national pride, unfortunately it was short-lived. Of course this aversion to displays of national pride is related to the wars, the last one the most significant. Any show of national pride is simply frowned upon. It seems the Germans have really perfected the idea of shame. Man, it's been 60 years.
Wikipedia - German Reunification Day

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