Jul 16, 2014

World Cup 2014: Celebrations in Braunschweig, Germany

Although the city in which we live isn't a Berlin, a Hamburg or a Munich, it was still good fun seeing and being a part of all the craziness that went down last Sunday. To think that simultaneously, every city in Germany was partying as hard as Braunschweig - if not harder - is beyond comprehension. As soon as Die Mannschaft got their hands on the cup, everyone took to the streets and it only started to really pick up as we were leaving, around 2am (CEST).

Honestly speaking, I'll always be Canadian deep down. But this one night was the only time I've ever felt pangs of Germanness. Nobody questioned why I was madly flailing my arms and constantly bellowing "WOOOOOOOOOOO" at all the passersby while circling the city centre in a scooter. On this night, it was perfectly acceptable for me to be one of them.

Donned and waved in every which way last Sunday, the German flag was an essential accessory to have at the celebrations. I lamented the fact that I was ill-prepared and didn't have one dabei, but egal. Ole. Ole. Ole, Ole, Ole! Supa Deutschland! Supa Deutschland! Supa Deutschland, Ole Oleeeeeeee. >>

...and then fireworks happened. I think it's important to note that fireworks are technically illegal to set off in Germany other than on New Year's Eve. But the Polizei happily tolerated it this night. *honks horn*

Since it's been a few days since the big win, I've been asking my students whether they think anything will be different from now on. Most of them have simply laughed at the question. They see no reason why everyone wouldn't go back to the way it was before. They recognize that Germans are a modest people and that being patriotic in one's country is something really only reserved for football tournaments. They admit that nationalism will remain a sensitive topic for them. In the meantime, however, I've still been seeing German flags on cars and hanging from balconies, so perhaps there's hope for it yet.

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