Bollywood Berlin

Trivial Thoughts in Berlin

Bollywood Berlin

Hello and welcome to Bollywood Berlin, here is where I'm going to showcase berlin as I saw it.

Berlin is very much a city which has been a product of being a guinea pig of the cold war - a sort controlled experiment of ideology. As all you know for greater part of the century it was very much capitalism versus communism and since one ideology lost in the end so did one part of the city and so did the wall that divided them. I've probably mentioned all this before in my previous post on the city but I thought I might as well visit it again and move forward to my thoughts.

Germans are very different from Indians - they follow rules with a vengeance. They follow road signs, stop at zebra crossings, signals, vacate their seat for the elderly, are polite at all times and they pretty much don't talk. They're much the antithesis of any Indian generalisation. But all this dissimilarities makes them a suckers for procedure and therefore they're probably as bureaucratic as any babu [indian public servant] anywhere .
Berlin's West and East are filled with stark dissimilarities. For one most of the east berlin is old pretty buildings filled with cafes, restaurants and shops whereas the west is filled with shiny ultramodern glass pyramid like structures housing corporate offices of sony, ibm and their likes. The east is obviously poorer and more underdevoloped and the the unemployment rate in the east is as high as 40%.
As Geetanjali mentioned in her comment, Berlin is the city of museums and it is there is actually a island on the river Spree in berlin's east that's called museum island.
Most people think I'm Brazillian or Argentinean for some reason and greet me with Ola. Thank god I'm not in London.
Indian fashion is really 'in'. It's quiet common to spot women in kurtis ,indian jewellary, jutis , and even lahengas [All pointed out to me by my sister]. There is also this very prepy store my sister likes looking at called zara which actually sells them for 100 euros [5000 rs] a piece. My sis sees bussiness opportunities.
India is popular destination with germans - kerala and goa are hot favourites. It's not rare to bump into people who've spent as longs 6 months to 2 years in India. Many a person you meet also wants to visit India to enjoy Indische Kultur as they call it.
"They love their nudity here", a grinning brit resident of berlin told me. "Don't be suprised if you find some berliners sun bathing nude in the park or enjoying events like nude volleyball or marathons.

U2 was actually named after one of berlin's underground lines U bahn 2.

The Punk movement - marked my a philosophy of Individualism, anti-authoritarianism, political anarchism, free thought, and ethics are concepts, among others - is said to have started in Berlin.
Hitler's bunker [F├╝hrerbunker] is now a parking lot - in an apartment block.

If you want to read other posts in the Trivial Thoughts series you could read Bombay ,Dehli and Pune at the links given.

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>|' ; '| said...

i loved this post. informative and beautifully done!

niki yokota said...

hi brazilian akshay! (^o^)/
hitler's bunker and punk? COOL!! i didnt know that germans are sooo close to indians. heard that there are a bunch of turkish ppl living there tho. yeah i learn a lot from ur blog. thanks a lot!!!!

Akshay said...

poison - thanks

niki - well I don't think I look very brazillian personally but then again it's all perception. Yeah there large turkish community in berlin and in germany.

Rushi said...

oh you rock so much, akshay. I always wish to write things as you do, observations through writings, but I always think that I will muse some other time.. and that is my stupidity. Because I don't find the time to muse and softly go through facts.. well thank god I have you.

Rushi said...

oh i absolutely hate how the rest of the world has picked up on Indian fashion. I am not pleased to see my peers dressed as if they are from my country... Mom says I shouldn't feel like that.. But I can't help but be protective of my culture.

Anonymous said...

Paji...first of al unemployment is not 40% in East Berlin....please read the stats before posting these 'facts'...secondly..I never stop at zebra crossings and always cross the streets when it is red like so many other Germans...the ones you portrait are of a certain age and social milieu ...and Indians...who seem to fall into blind respect for "following rules" ..and "clean cities" ...