Thursday, September 24, 2009

How many Germans want the Wall back?

A recent poll taken in Germany found 1 in 7 Germans want the Berlin Wall back. With the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall looming in the near future, some resentment still remains among the formerly separated sides.

One of the most interesting things about living in Berlin is that both Easties and Westies still live together in one city. Although I usually don't give much of a thought to whether a German is from the former East or West, as far as I can tell, there are immediate signs evident to Germans that give them away.

For example, we invited our German neighbors over for some dinner. They noticed we had this brand of mustard on our table.

Much to our disbelief, they wrinkled their nose at our choice of mustard from the former East Germany. I didn't realize that we needed 2 different types of mustard at our house for different guests!

Of course, I do this for for other Americans I meet- dialects and choice of words often give origins easily away. And almost every American I meet knows where I hail from as my still occasionally strong and distinctive accent gives me away.

There are other products as this article from the BBC points out. Vita Cola seems to be making a comeback for the nostalgic for Eastern bloc types. Good bye Lenin was a fantastic movie about this very subject.

There is even a political party that pokes fun at this surprising attitude. Die Partei promises to change the national symbol from a eagle into a bunny and turn the former East Germany into a wildlife refuge and populate it with pensioners.

I have felt comfortable enough with a few of my German friends to ask if whether an East German and a West German could marry easily. The answer I get is usually "yes but..." I don't think the South and the North in the U.S. are so different that it would be difficult to marry but come to think of it, I can't think of anyone that fits that label. Anyone else out there have any experience with any of these scenarios?

Well, if naked hiking was your thing, I might too, be skeptical of reuniting. :)

Special thanks to D & I for pointing this article to me! Maybe they should too start a blog??? in their spare time of course! hint hint!

6 comments:

arturgreensward said...

Thanks Yelli but the day I start a blog is the day hell freezes over and there's peace on earth. No offense to all you bloggers of course. :)

Sandy said...

”Much to our disbelief, they wrinkled their nose at our choice of mustard from the former East Germany.”

Huh? I have exactly that brand of mustard in my fridge. That said I should also add that I was born and grew up in former West-Berlin. So, there is no reason that somebody could possibly wrinkle one's nose because of a brand of a, well, mustard... How sick is that anyway, 20 years after reunion?

Yelli said...

@Sandy - I wish that I could say I was mistaken. I know that they are probably extreme but not only did they wrinkle their noses but asked us if we knew that we bought "East German Senf!" Guess there are knuckleheads on both sides of the pond.

@artur - Schade!

Claire said...

It keeps amazing me that there is so much DDR nostalgia. I know quite a lot about the DDR, and although I understand there where some aspects that could be missed, the overall regime was totalitarian and repressive. I simply cannot understand how someone would want that back.

Sandy said...

Yelli, extreme or not. Yet it's just mustard, isn't it? What if you put this terribly evil “East Senf” into a neutral thingy (such that nobody could know)? A little trick (or: experiment?) for the next time, perhaps... ;-) Lol.

Yelli said...

@ Sandy - That might be a fun experiment. That being said, I had no idea that I had bought "East German senf" when I had them over. They are nice otherwise! :)
I will still continue to buy whatever mustard I like regardless of origins.