Wednesday, July 18, 2007

German Anti-Americanism?

I know it does exist, and I commend this blog as a source of reminders.
But I want to talk about my recent experience, spending time in Austria, largely watching German TV on satellite.

The theme on TV was Auswanderung! A focus on those who want to leave Germany for other places clearly more attractive in some way. The first two shows followed people leaving Germany for the US (in the next episode for Sweden). The first one we saw was a wonderful portrait of a very contrary air conditioning mechanic from Hamburg who simply pulled up roots and moved to Texas; by the end of the episode he was moving into a lakeside home, his kids were settled in high school, and he was revelling in freedome he said were inconceivable back home (no doubt true). Meanwhile the whole family was learning to ride horses and shoot (well, they knew how to shoot back home). There was a good deal of struggle with language, but otherwise the family seemed right at home.

The second episode followed a software engineer who moved to the Detroit area. The main problems seemed to be the quality of the beer and the fact that yards are not typically fenced in in North America (wherever I go in Europe, one is seriously caged into one's yard, er... garden).

But it was fascinating to see a weekly show utterly devoted to those leaving Germany for a variety of reasons, though largely the opportunity to do things German regulations and bureaucracy inhibit.

The shows were decidedly not anti-American. They showed America as a little exotic and different but in no way inferior.


At 1:21 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I think the thing with anti Americanism is to retain ones national identity, not being soaked up into a culture which stongly conflicts with what we believe, there are too many influeneces which causes us to not only forget who we are but offend our very selves, the rise of American culture in Europe is now so big that very few people respect or recognise when induviduals are truly living in the way that is not tradition to us.
I personally dislike the strong over shadowing influence in Europe, manners are on the demise, very few young people even realise that they are actaully acting like Americans thugs,dress, attitudes, not being American in act means keeping our identity, one dose not have to be American to be your self or rejecting everything that is Americanism since we in Europe gave birth to America.


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