A warm Berlin celebrates its annual ‘Karneval der Kulturen’ – evidence if any was needed of the the city’s lively multicultural fare.
There are many events each weekend in Berlin – difficult to keep track of them. However this happens to be ‘Pentecost’ weekend – if you still use the feudal Christian calendar to measure time – and this means its carnival time in Berlin and the city hosts the 17th Annual Karneval der Kulturen.
This 5 day event has a street parade on Sunday and is one of Berlin’s big events focusing on the Latin and Asian communities of the city Berlin.
With music, dancing, food, and colourful culture brought directly to an otherwise somewhat dour and stolid Northern European populace.
The annual ‘Karneval der Kulturen’ in Berlin has nothing at all to do with similar carnivals in Bavaria and other places in Catholic southern Germany.
“ORIGIN OF AN IDEA” taken from …… [http://www.karneval-berlin.de/de/concept.180.html ]
Berlin is a city with a large international population. Among the 3.4 million inhabitants of the German capital 450.000 do not have the German citizen-ship. Many more have a mixed ethnic background.
The idea of a carnival which presents the cultural and ethnic diversity of Berlin was developed in 1995, i.e. at a time when – as a consequence to the political and economic changes since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of the two German states – a lot of social, economic and cultural changes happened. Due to these changes, to the economic decline of Berlin and the different economic levels and social and cultural experiences of people in East and West Berlin, social conflicts became more evident and even increased. This state of change resulted, among other things, in a biased and prejudiced view on immigration, which was reflected in the public discussion.
At the same period of time, Berlin attracted a growing number of artists from all over the world and a new cultural off-scene developed, which added to the cultural richness of Berlin. Berlin developed into one of Europe’s music centres with a focus on different styles of electronically generated music.
There had been attempts to initiate a carnival in Berlin in the past. Those concepts which had been based on already existing patterns, like the carnival in Rio or the Notting Hill Carnival in London, did not gain sufficient support and could not be implemented in Berlin.
With the concept of a carnival which focussed on the cultural richness of Berlin, also highlighting the often hidden treasures of its international cultural scene, the Carnival of Cultures was the concept that was a success from the start. The idea was adopted by organizers in Bielefeld and Hamburg. Both cities celebrate their Carnivals of Cultures every year, based on the concept of the event in Berlin, yet still charmingly different.
There is also a smaller and less well-known event called ‘ The Carnival of Subculture’- an alternative to the more traditional Karneval der Kulturen, which has as its noble raison-d’etre to oppose of racism, sexism and homophobia’ -
Karnevalbüro c/o Werkstatt der Kulturen
Nadja Mau, Stefanie Schatte & Vassiliki Gortsas
fon: 0049.30.609770.22 (Karnevalbüro)
oder 0049.30.609770.0 (Sekretariat WdK)
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A warm Berlin celebrates its annual ‘Karneval der Kulturen’ – evidence if any was needed of the the city’s lively multicultural fare – by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog contributor Ms Cindy Su from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.