Friday, October 1, 2010

Funny Foto Freitag

I don't pretend to understand (most) Germans obsession with Native Americans or der Indianer but Baby Bird (my 4 YO not the baby) often comes home with a ring of feathers around his head doing a pseudo-native American dance and chanting. His preschool teacher even asks me about cowboys. Cowboys? I visited Silverwood once but that hardly qualifies as a history lesson. (Update: Silverwood was at one time a Wild-West theme park complete with a Hold-up train ride by bandits. It appears to be just a theme park now...with Garfield?)

Which is why even this surprised me when I turned on the morning news here last week:

Why was she interviewing an Indianer? Why was der Indianer dressed in a bathrobe?

As far as I could tell (everything being in German and all) the conversation was pretty innocuous. Perhaps it had something to do with the most ridiculous of musicals, Der Shuh des Manitu guessed it...

but as far as I can tell, der Shuh des Manitu's run in Berlin is over.

On another note, somehow I managed to give birth to the baby-that-doesn't-need-sleep. As soon as I figure out how to:

a)make him sleep longer
b) type with 1 hand

both of which are seemingly impossible goals, I will return to blogging. Until then, it will be a bit sporadic.

Happy Funny Foto Freitag!


Blopper said...

Maybe try swaddling?

Xander said...

Germany's obsession with Native Americans started when Karl May started publishing his wildly popular books about life in the wild west, starring the Indian chief "Winnetou" (which "Der Schuh des Manitou" is a parody of). May had never been to America himself, and most of his stories were entirely made up, based on his romanticized view of what life in the west would be like. Even today, most German's opinion of what a "real" American Indian should look like is based heavily on the images presented in May's books.

May's books (and thus the obsession with Native American culture) remain especially popular in East Germany, where they were more or less endorsed by the communist government. Since they mostly featured "noble savage" type Indians fighting the corrupting influence of the white man, they were thought to support socialism.

That said, I don't think that guy dressing up on the morning news had anything to do with May or his books. He looks kind of like Matze Knoop, a (IMHO horrbily untalented) comedian who seems to rely mostly on national and cultural stereotypes in his routines, so I'm inclined to believe that it wasn't worth watching anyway ;)

Harvey Morrell said...

For the Indianer obsession, most of the blame rests with Karl May.

C said...

I can't tell you what a great party guest I am for Germans -- every time I reveal I am a real-life true-blooded Indian, the questions (and stereotypes) role... Love their obsession :)

Amber Liddle said...

I had never known about this obsession!! It's somehow hilarious to me.

I hope your babe starts sleeping soon! Do you ever wear him in a sling? I had to do that with Ingrid for a long time before she'd lay by herself, and that way I got to do stuff still...

jabgoe said...

i think the commenters are right. our german obsession with indianer is strongly influenced by 19th century authors like karl may or friedrich gerstäcker - gerstäcker perhaps less, since today he's relatively unknown.

but this particular indianer is someone really special: it's rainald grebe. he specialized on absurd musical comedy and he and his kapelle der versöhnung are fantastic. one of his songs has gained a little popularity : brandenburg :

but also his other shows are great. e.g. volkslieder :

or 1968 :

unluckily you have to understand german very well or you will miss the subtext.

sarah1976 said...

A real thing that happened in my VHS German classes:

I was the only American in my upper level classes. The teacher started talking about Winnetou one day and said, "Of course, our American can explain a little about Winnetou!"

I replied, "Winnewas? I don't know what you're talking about."

"Come on, you know! Winnetou, Karl May..."

"Please write out what you're saying, because I don't understand."

She then explained a little about Winnetou. The blank look remained on my face. In horror, she said, "I can't believe you've never heard of Winnetou!"

I drew a quick comparison. "Have you ever heard of Colonel Klink? No? Sounds like a simliar situation..."

kitchen roach/galley roach said...

sarah1976, I had a good laugh, that is exactly how it is!

How can you, as an American, not knowing Winnetou? I am an German/American expat living in Alaska and I always talked and laughed about Winnetou....but I was the only one, until I gave the english version of the book to my friends....and I am still the only one laughing!