Sunday, 6 September 2015

Proud to be German

Yes, I know I am not German, although I have grown to love the country in the last few years.

I obviously have a German partner, and have been learning the language, first at the local adult learning course, which although was a good start to the German learning process did not quite work out for me, so I only stuck at it for the first year. This is very normal apparently, and I take solace from Adam Fletcher as he brilliantly describes the journey he went through trying to learn the language while living in Germany in his book Make Me German.

I am now using the app Duolingo to help me learn, it seems to be working for the weird way my brain works, dripping the language into my head in small burst each day. I feel in a few months of using this app I have learned more than a year in class. (Ivonne is using the app to learn Spanish too, as being fluent in two languages is not enough...)

We have German music on in the house as much as English language music (I am listening to the excellent Silbermond as I type!) and regularly listen to the Bremen based radio station Bremen Eins, of which I identify about a word every 5 minutes...

I also have thrown myself into drinking German beer, this is something I find quite easy, this bit of 'being German' I am a natural at!

But the thing that recently most made me wish I was German was their response to the refugee 'crisis' in Europe. Germany seem to be mostly dealing with thousands of people seeking refugee in the country in a grown up, organised (well you would expect that), humanitarian, and friendly manner.

In the UK we seem to be terrified to let a few thousand people across the channel from Calias, and some of the attitudes and opinions I have heard from politicians, the media and individuals I work with has really disgusted me.

Yes, I am sure these attitudes exist in Germany too, and I am sure that there have been incidents that we don't hear about in the British media, but overall if I was German then I would be very proud to be German right now!

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