I’m glad that the German society is changing and becoming more multicultural. I like that. It changes things, it makes people more open-minded.
What do you think of the debate that German multiculturalism has failed?
I don’t think it has failed. It just needs time, because German society has been very homogeneous. It is changing rapidly and people are not coping with it fast enough. But it hasn’t failed, it’s still going on.
Most of the young people leave the country now at least for a year – either to study abroad or to do some kind of voluntary service or maybe move to another country in Europe. I think that’s changing: people become more open.
What do you think of the stereotypes?
There’s this wonderful stereotype that we Germans are so organised and do everything by the book. I don’t think it’s true for everyone: I am a living proof for that. Then the punctuality, the hard language… Of course, the language is not going to change, it’s going to stay like that. But then punctuality… I’m not always the most punctual person. Surely I do a lot of things “the German way”, but that is how I was raised.
Stereotypes are not necessarily bad, because they help to describe a larger group of people, even nations. It only becomes a bad thing when people don’t see anything else but the stereotypes. What upsets me is that politicians are using stereotypes, for example, against people from Bulgaria or Romania. As you might have heard how people from Bulgaria or Romania moving to Germany just because of health benefits or social security. Saying that all Bulgarians are lazy and just coming to Germany to get “our money” is absolutely stupid. This is using stereotypes in a bad way.