Germany, the land of poets and thinkers, the country with thousands of castles and forts, the homeland of the Brothers Grimm and cradle of their fairytales, the land of old myths and sagas ... - but also the land of porhibitions, regulations and restrictions.
Am I as a native German even allowed to say that I love my country?
Haha, well, sometimes it feels like I'm not. But I don't care! I'm speaking up my truth anyway and I think everybody should be free to do so without being judged.
Germany is such an old country, so rich in history - and often it is forgotten that our history is not limited to the dark years from 1933 to 1945.
There has been SO MUCH MORE before that time...!
But somehow I get the impression that everything that formed our culture and traditions here, (before this dark chapter of our country's history) isn't very relevant anymore, is being forgotten more and more and will soon be faded away and completley be gone. And this makes me sad.
Why? Because the new generations are losing their connection to everything that our ancestors worked for and was meaningful to them.
And at the same time we lose a part of our roots and identity...
Who of the young people nowadays still knows for example about the old 'Nibelung Saga' that took place in Germany and is one of the most famous mystical sagas - not only in Germany. It was also written down in the 'Edda' the book of Norse Gods and Mythology in old Icelandic in the year 1220.
Icelandic students read and study the 'Edda' in school, even nowadays.
In Germany you don't hear a word about it, neither in school nor elsewhere.
Only some monuments and statues here and there are still reminding us of long forgotten stories.
On the first picture of this slide-show you can see Siegfried the dragon slayer. Secondly the 'Siegfried's Well' is pictured where he supposedly bathed in the drangon's blood to become invulnerable. And the third picture shows Hagen of Tronje who is throwing the Nibelung gold treasure into the Rhine.
This summer I've been to the north of Germany with my children for vacation and we've visited the city Schwerin and its' beautiful, romantic castle.
Experts say that we have around 25.000 castles, forts and ruins standing on nowadays German ground.
I like it to get to know more about the history of my country because it gives me a feeling of amazement what people were able to build up during hundreds of years, even without machines and the technical support we're having nowadays. And yet these old buildings are so much more beautiful, detailed, artistic and aesthetic than these cold, concrete blocks of modern architechture that it seems kind of weird.
I know that not everything has been love and peace.
The working conditions were surely much harder and more risky than today. And there was a big gap between the normal, rather poor people and the rich aristocrats - which is not so much different from nowadays situation to be honest, isn't it? ;)
But there's not only the cultural heritage on a material level, but also on the intellectual level.
Germany is the homeland of so many great thinkers, developers, scientists, poets, philosophers, storytellers, composers, musicians, painters and other artists that I won't even try to enumerate them here in this blog post.
BUT: I won't get too infatuated! Many things in Germany can be very annoying, too!
There are SO many rules, restrictions, declarations, orders and borders, porhibitions and regulations ... that it can be quite a challange to get the permission to do the simplest things in life.
I've experienced that for example when I first started to keep goats and sheeps. You can't just go to a farmer, buy animals and let them graze on your meadows. There have to be taken many steps before you can do so and it's linked to so many legal aspects that it has become quite difficult to keep animals in the first place (not domestic animals that you keep in the house, but animals who live outside).
Same thing on many other levels...!
There is a saying in Germany that you even have to apply to fart. ;)
Another thing is the overpopulation of this country.
Just an example: we have an average of 232 inhabitants per square kilometer in Germany and compared to that, Sweden has an average of 23 inhabitans per square kilometer - that's a tenth of German poulation! And the United States for example have an average of 33 people / km2.
So, as you can imagine, you don't find an inch of land which is not belonging to somebody and we don't have much wild nature left anymore.
And yet, I love my homeland Germany apart from als the 'cons' which I cannot change. And I think that it's absolutely normal and totally fine to feel patriotic about your country, culture and traditions. As long as you don't deminish those of others.
On the contrary: I LOVE many other countries and their cultures and traditions!
I've been travelling to at least 13 countries so far in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Central America and even Africa and I never stayed in hotels, offside of the 'real life' of these countries, but prefered to either rent a room in little guest houses, to camp (if possible) or even to live in the house of a local family and become like a familiy member for the time of my stay and even beyond, as it was when i was in Israel for half a year, living in the house and with the family of a friend of mine which I first met in India.
If you are interested in reading more about my tavelling experiences, let me know in the comments below! I'll be happy to look for some photoshots and tell you a bit about my abroad adventures!
But for now, what I mainly want to say is that
EACH and EVERY culture is beautiful and awesome in its' own unique and special way!
Only when we realize this, we will be truly able to live and celebrate diversity and variety in a beneficial way for everyone!
If we lose our culture, we lose a part of that what makes us unique and special as a people. And I think this would be a pity!
So, through my artistic work, be it with making folk music, videos and blog posts (like this one) about our culture and traditions or by reading German poetry and fairytales to my children, or be it by taking photographs in medieval inspired dresses, which might also submit a bit of our older history and roots and transport a feeling of reconnection with it...
One of the reasons that motivates me to be creative is to contribute to the preservation of our German(ic) culture and to share the beauty of it.
At the end of the day: we are all connected and one in the essence of our souls.
Much love to you,