I was born in Hamburg, but have lived all over Germany during the course of my life. Although I now live in North Rhine-Westphalia, Northern Germany is home to me and always will be. I am a writer and reader. I get booked by people who want to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, who wish to sit down, relax and listen to me and my short stories.
My interest in the British way of life led me to my own blog Britlandish. Whenever I came back from the UK I lacked clotted cream or the “Original Source” shower gels or the full English breakfasts… So I googled and googled and started to collect information on places in the Rheinland that offer full English breakfasts or pub quiz nights, shops that sell British products, cinemas that show OVs etc. I also became part of an English meet-up group and slowly but surely got in touch with British expats or Germans who like the UK as much as I do.
I think it is great to live in a country where so many nationalities come together, without fear of war amongst certain ethnic groups. And I am impressed by how some areas in Germany have made foreigners part of their culture. Take Düsseldorf for example. There is this huge Japanese community. Of course, the Japanese have their own schools, supermarkets, even a Japanese garden, but many of them have learnt to speak German, are married to Germans or send their children to German kindergartens and schools. Another good example is the Danes and Germans in Schleswig-Holstein. The Danes there have their own political party, the SSW!
I think that in every country there are people who are scared by multiculturalism. They fear that too many foreigners will take their jobs, that they lose their national identity or feel intimidated by foreign life styles, religions and so on. So it is important to learn about different cultures. If people who are against multiculturalism got to speak to these “scary foreigners”, got to know them better and learnt that – after all – they are also “only” human beings, a lot of these fears would probably be eliminated. But there will always be people who are not interested in others -not even in their fellow Germans and they will never know how interesting and enriching it can be to get to know different cultures.
Just like in any other country, a complete multiculturalism is hardly possible. As long as countries are inhabited by humans, there will always be human emotions involved, such as fear, jealousy or incomprehension. Thankfully, a lot of us are also able and willing to overcome negative feelings and turn the idea of multiculturalism into something vivid.