Monday, August 2, 2010

dritte Platz

[ Third place ]

The world cup is now over, but watching Germany come in 3rd place was quite the ride. Of course we were all cheering to see Germany face the Netherlands in the finals, but nevertheless, I witnessed an extremely exciting event that really brought the nation to celebration and only comes around every four years.

World cup fever was incomparable to see not only in Europe, but in Germany, one of the most Fuβball frenzied nations on earth. City-centers all around over the month and a half international tournament were always clustered with people, and big screen tv's lined the streets, from open air pubs, even to the local gelato shoppe. Göttingen, being the young and diverse uni-city that it is, always had clusters of all kinds of fans to fill up seats and give a fun crowd. I probably learned more expletives in more foreign languages than I ever had in my life as well - German might be fun, but Italian reigns supreme for most creativity and drama.

[ Ganzelieselplatz ]

As the brackets narrowed down though, everyone [well, except my Spanish friends ] all began full-heartedly supporting their host nation, and we joined the crowds and celebrations including flags, lei's and cheering. Over the tournament I had seen games at home, as well as at public venues in the city, and public viewings in Göttingen and Berlin.

The photos I have display a very vibrant and exciting patriotism that swept Germany over the few weeks - but this is something that is only just becoming the norm. The 2006 World Cup held in Germany sparked a new pride within the German people, and flags and the German colors began to make a strong presence as the tournament took place. Four years later, I have heard from many that the support and patriotism has only increased - cars whizzing by with flags and decals, and cheering fans in the streets clad in Jerseys all day on game days. A German flag is rare to see anywhere in Germany and still is repressed by many, but the World Cup represents a special time of patriotism and pride for German fans where they all come together for the same cause.

The world cup has been an excellent opportunity to partake in some of the best celebrations I have seen all year in Germany, and possibly one of the best cultural opportunities to connect with German people in my host city and learn what the world cup means to them [ described by one, "the Super Bowl x 20" ], as well as international friends sharing the experience with me as well!

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