This last weekend, while T and I were running our errands, we came a crossed so many little decorations for the German flag. This is because of the upcoming World Cup (Football – for you Americans).
It actually starts tomorrow. So this post will be fitting.
For those of you not aware: Germany hardly ever waved their flag (especially not like we Americans do). Ever since WWII, Germans have shied away from showing any pride in their country. This is because of the Nazi party.
The word Nazi comes from the German word: Nationalsozialismus. Essentially, this party had the country convinced that if you did not follow this Nationalist party then you did not love your country and was therefore a traitor.
After the Germans lost, they spent years since swinging in the opposite direction. Thorsten told me how he was raised to be proud of being German, but just don’t show it. They were too worried that the world would think they were going back to the Nazi party. They wanted to show the world that they would do anything to not repeat history.
But in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, it was the first time since the 40s that German suddenly were able to proudly show their flag without fear. It was a major turning point for them culturally.
Now that we’re back for the World Cup this year and once again the Germans are taking advantage to proudly and publicly wave their flags, just like the rest of world.
As someone who was raised constantly seeing the American AND the Peruvian flag, I can’t imagine what it is like to be fearful of pubicly showing how proud you are of your own culture.
For Thorsten, someone who is two generations away from the war, it is a wonderful and freeing time to show how much he loves being German.
It’s great to know that the world is changing and becoming smaller. This allows for countries to see each other and be more connected. This also allows for more progressive thinking and moving away from actions that have happened 70 years ago.
I told Thorsten that the best way to love your country is to love the good with the bad. Every country has had its shady history; others may still going through ugly phases while others have moved passed it and learn from it.