I was raised to believe that modesty

2017-06-15 09:52:38 | 日記
These friends' parents were the generation known as "1968ers" — West German baby boomers politicized by the student protest movement of the late 1960s. They questioned their own parents about what they did in World War II, and then passed on the responsibility to keep questioning to the next generation. Now I see these same friends helping their own children try to comprehend the barbarity of the Holocaust and what it demands of civil society, democracy and humanity — to ensure it never happens again. And now that I am also German with full suffrage, I realize I share this civic responsibility. Such diligent efforts to face up to the past are, perhaps, needed more than ever as Germany's populist right-wing Alternative for Germany — AfD — party whips up fears about the large numbers of refugees and migrants who have arrived in the past few years. But even as right-wing populists like AfD member Bjoern Hoecke call upon Germans for their past, Germany's perpetual act of self-reflection is facing other challenges. Some argue that Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung is actually enabling , which labels it as elitist political correctness. (Others suggest that Hoecke's comments are .) I hail from a country where reckoning with the past is not part of the culture. Unlike German schoolchildren, who are routinely taken to see what remains of the concentration camps, I was, regrettably, taught nothing at school of the darker sides of Britain's colonial past. Like many of my friends back in England, I have never been overtly proud of being British. The very idea of waving a Union Jack flag has always struck me as somewhat distasteful and conjures up old images of the far-right .
I was raised to believe that modesty, even self-deprecation, is preferable to glaring displays of patriotism. Nicholson vacationed on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall in her native Britain in 2013. But perhaps this unease about national pride is another reason I found myself drawn to German culture. Many Germans, for obvious reasons, are not always proud of being German. Yes, since the country hosted the soccer World Cup in 2006, fans have lost this inhibition and wave their flags together with the rest of the world, but many Germans I know still feel uncomfortable at such a patent display of patriotism, even in the name of sport. So, on the day of my citizenship ceremony last month, I arrived at the turn-of-the-century town hall in the Berlin borough of Neukoelln feeling somewhat detached from the process. That changed as soon as the service began. I was one of 50 people from 22 different countries being granted German citizenship that day. We came from Ethiopia, Italy, Britain, Iraq, France, Turkey, Syria, Korea, the U.S. and beyond. A pianist and cellist played the national anthem for the country of origin of every single person there. On hearing "God Save the Queen," my usual awkward reaction gave way to an emotion for which there is a very fitting word in German — Fremdschaemen — which means feeling shame on behalf of others.
In this case, the shame I felt was on behalf of those who voted for Brexit because of — or in spite of — an ugly discourse about immigration. Yet as soon as the duo moved on to the national anthems of others, many of whom were forced to leave their countries for fear of persecution, the musical offerings moved me. It was a touching gesture of respect, a respect that is enshrined in German Basic Law, the constitution to which we all had to pledge our allegiance before receiving our certificates from the district mayor. Once we'd all been declared German citizens, we were required to stand and sing the German national anthem. It was the first time I've sung a national anthem of any country and I felt LED Down Light uncomfortable doing so. Then again, so do most Germans I know. But one anthem that day moved me to tears, and led me to cast aside my cautious misgivings about national pride. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," the EU's anthem, reminded me of my European identity and of the EU ideal that diverse nations and cultures work together for peace and prosperity. I left the ceremony feeling a sense of hope that had diminished over the past year, on account of political developments across the globe. My quiet optimism was triggered by the mayor, who quoted the German Constitution:
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