I have officially been in Germany for a week now and I have so much to tell!
Germany won the World Cup! This had to be the coolest, most adrenaline filled moment of my trip- and I have had some pretty exciting moments. Some friends and I watched the semi final game between Germany and Brasil. After the first goal, we started muting the television because outside my roommates and my window there was an eruption of cheers and honking horns. When German won, the party outside seemed to go on until the sun rose. The Final game was going to be fantastic.
The day of the game, a large group of us went to the Brandenburg Gate to watch the game. We didn’t leave until like 5, so of course we didn’t make it into the closed off area. However, we did get to see hundreds of people cloaked in red, yellow, and black, marching and yelling and singing while waiting outside the gate. There were so many people who were bound together on that day by that sport. Everyone was a friend and everyone was excited.
We ended up watching the game at a small cafe miles from the gate. Even this small place was packed. Many people were standing, and we were squeezed into a corner in the back. I would walk outside every couple moments and the streets would be completely deserted.
When Germany won, the entire country exploded. People were hanging out of their cars yelling, and car horns were blaring. People were jumping and singing all over the place. I went to bed to the sound of partying outside my window.
Today, Berlin welcomed the winning team home. Thousands of people could be seen walking to the Brandenburg Gate. The flags and Germany colors are starting to disappear though.
One important thing I have learned this last week is the meaning of German pride. I’ve been on a ton of tours this last week- Berlin, Cold War, Jewish Life, and Sachsenhausen concentration camp. one thing thing that all the guides had in common to say was how odd it was for them (being mostly middle-aged) to see Germans waving a German flag. As an American, it is hard for me to understand collective guilt of ones country. While America has done atrocious things, I still feel patriotic towards my country and I still feel as though I have a right to wave a flag if I want and sing my national anthem whenever- I mean, I didn’t do anything, right? Many Germans though, feel that patriotism and nationalism are synonymous with one another and that flags are inappropriate. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it makes me upset with myself for being connected to something so flimsy as a symbol and a song. On the other hand, it makes me appreciative that I’ve been able to grow up without feeling responsibility for my countries past wrong-doings. Maybe collective responsibility is a truer form of patriotism than worshiping a flag. I don’t know :/
My computer died and I am currently using a friends. Unfortunately, I cannot upload my pictures on this computer, but I will post again with lots of pics soon!