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Feel-good German film says multiculturalism not dead
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1.       si++
3785 posts
 27 Feb 2011 Sun 06:09 pm

"Almanya," a rare feel-good movie about Turkish immigrants in Germany which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, defies recent political declarations that multiculturalism has failed in Europe.


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Script writer Nesrin Samdereli, director Yasemin Samdereli, actors Farhi Yardim, Demet Guel, Lilay Huser, Aylin Tezel and Vedat Erincin (L-R) arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the movie ´Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland´ (´Welcome to Germany´ at the 61st Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Charisius



Coming amid an anguished public debate about the place of foreigners in Germany, the debut movie by two Turkish-German sisters delighted filmgoers with its comic and optimistic depiction of immigrants´ efforts to integrate in an alien society.


"After so many dark films we wanted to show a perspective that we felt a lot closer to, that was not so extreme and negative," said Nesrin Samdereli, who wrote the screenplay, at a news conference in Berlin.


"Encounters between Germans and Turks are often quite comic, and that is what we wanted to portray."


Turkish-German films such as Fatih Akin´s "Head On" -- the first German film in 18 years to win the top prize at the Berlin festival -- have won much critical acclaim in recent years, yet have mostly focused on social troubles in immigrant communities.


"Almanya" humorously narrates the story of a family of Turkish origin that moved to Germany to find better-paid work in the 1960s and now bridges two cultures.

Turning the classic perspective of immigrants as the Others on its head, "Almanya" shows how shocked the family is to arrive in a country populated by blond giants who devour pigs, worship a suffering figure on a cross and speak "gibberish."

Director Yasemin Samdereli says she created a fantasy language as a stylistic means "to give German viewers the same feeling of oddness and confusion caused by a new language."


Chancellor Angela Merkel last year declared that multiculturalism had failed in Germany and newcomers needed to better integrate, a sentiment French and British leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron echoed this month.

"Almanya," which will be released in Germany in both Turkish and German, pokes fun at the need to assimilate. In one scene, when a "Gastarbeiter" (guest worker) seeks to obtain German nationality, a bureaucrat insists he commits to devouring pork, holidaying in Majorca and sporting a Hitler-esque mustache.

But the film also shows the great efforts made by immigrants to integrate, while retaining their own culture.

"We had noticed over many years that the issue of Turks in Germany is often cast in a negative light...and it was quite tiring," said Yasemin Samdereli. "My own family tried very hard to face up to the new challenges (when they arrived in Germany), but this was never portrayed."

The Samdereli sisters said they incorporated many autobiographical experiences into the film, such as forcing their mother to stage Christmas for them.

The film ends on an optimistic note, with Merkel holding a ceremony for the Turkish guest workers to acknowledge their contribution to the German economic miracle. A third-generation Turkish-German boy holds a speech in perfect German.

"It shows multiculturalism hasn´t failed (and) is perhaps still emerging," said actor Vedat Erincin, who plays the elderly guest worker. "We feel like neo-Europeans, we live here, this is where our children are growing up and it is going to get much, much better."

The 61st Berlin film festival runs to February 20 this year, culminating with the awards ceremony taking place on February 19. "Almanya" is screening in the main film line-up but is not in the running for awards.


Source: here

2.       vineyards
1954 posts
 28 Feb 2011 Mon 01:39 am

This whole thing works like this, if you are a European elsewhere, you expect the natives to learn your ways and your language too. As long as you have the hard cash to spend you can´t be bothered with visas or stuff like that. Foreigners meanwhile are not welcome in Europe in the first place. If they must live in Europe, they must accept being thoroghly assimilated since this assimilation is a benign process after all. Having said that no matter how assimilated you may think you have become, you must accept being different, more dangerous and less welcome compared to an ordinary citizen.

Yesterday, there was multiculturalism, today it has just died. The new slogan is monoculturalism. God only knows what tomorrow will bring...

cedars liked this message
3.       si++
3785 posts
 28 Feb 2011 Mon 04:58 pm

A follow-up post:


Turkish PM slams German ´xenophobia´, urges integratation

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday slammed "xenophobia" in Germany as he urged Turkish workers there to integrate into German society, but without abandoning their own culture.

"We are following xenophobia in some European countries, primarily Germany, with great concern... We urge politicians and especially the media... not to fan it," he told a crowd of Turkish immigrants in the west German city of Duesseldorf, in a speech aired on Turkish television.

"Islamophobia is a crime against humanity as much as anti-Semitism is," the Islamist-rooted Erdogan said.

Germany is home to 2.5 million Turks, mostly workers living in often closed communities, frequently under fire for a poor integration record despite having settled in the country decades ago.

A German central banker sparked a controversy last year when he said that poorly educated and unproductive Muslim immigrants made Germany "more stupid".

"I want everybody to learn German and get the best education... I want Turks to be present at all levels in Germany -- in the administration, in politics, in civil society," Erdogan told the crowd.

"Yes to integration... But no to assimilation... No one can tear us from our culture," he said.

Erdogan´s remarks were similar to controversial comments he made in nearby Cologne in 2008 that assimilation, which he defined as a person being "forced" to abandon their culture, was a "crime against humanity".

Erdogan said Turkey would issue special documents -- "blue cards" -- for Turks who abandon their Turkish citizenship in favour of German nationality, a procedure required under German law.

"We will recognise the blue card as an identity document and make it easier for you to make transactions at government offices and banks" in Turkey, he said.

On Monday, Erdogan was to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover, where the two will jointly inaugurate a technology fair.

Germany, together with France, opposes Turkey´s bid to join the European Union and advocates a special partnership for the sizeable mainly Muslim nation, an idea Ankara flatly rejects.


Source: here

4.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 28 Feb 2011 Mon 05:06 pm

Ehm..no. Nowhere have I expected people to speak Polish, I´ve always tried using English as, like it or not, it is the most popular language spoken. Also, I´ve always tried to learn at least a few phrases in the language of the country I visited. Not to mention that I have never demanded anyone to learn my ways. I didn´t complain about lack of pork in Turkish shops or refused to cover my head entering a mosque. If I ever go to SA, I can assure you, I´ll be wearing a potato sack over my whole self if only I manage to find one big enough lol and I won´t insist on having a gin´n´tonic in a pub. From what I´ve observed most tourists respect local customs and social rules. If they break them, it generally stems from their lack of knowledge about what it should be. Most tour operators inform you about such things. Sure it´s different in holiday resorts where tourists hardly have any contact with local people but spend their time in a swimming pool with their fellow countrymen and eat their national cousine.

It´s hard to compare how immigrants differ depending on which way they migrate (west->east or the other way around) as the numbers are incomparable. Should there be a non-Muslim, western immigration in Muslim countries similar in numbers to the Muslim immigration in the western countries, we´d have something to compare.

5.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 28 Feb 2011 Mon 09:18 pm


Quoting Daydreamer

Ehm..no. Nowhere have I expected people to speak Polish,

 But, But.....does this mean I can drop out of Polish school....I am having such a hard time with all the consenants lumped together.  I didn´t even know that "dz" "zdr" "sz" "wcz" made an auditable sound when put together!{#emotions_dlg.rant}


In anycase, I don´t ever expect people to know English if they are just tourists here in the US.  It is just irritating when people who have been here for 30 or 40 years still don´t speak even conversational English. 

Edited (2/28/2011) by Elisabeth

Daydreamer liked this message
6.       si++
3785 posts
 01 Mar 2011 Tue 10:48 am

For Daydreamer:


In the future, you may have a growing Turkish community in your country as well as warned below.




MEP warns of Muslim immigration to Poland

28.02.2011 09:46


MEP for the conservative Law and Justice party, Ryszard Czarnecki has written a blog post in which he warns that while immigration in Poland is not a problem “for the time being”, that could change in the future.


In the blog post, Czarnecki writes that immigrants are avoiding Poland as long it is not as rich as other EU countries, although the MEP points to German as an example of “what could potentially happen […] in the future.”


“In Germany, immigrant children and youth up to the age of 25 years old comprise 27 percent of the population,” Czarnecki informs, saying that the figures should “serve as a warning.”


Czarnecki finishes his post by adding that he is not afraid of immigrants from Slavic countries which used to be past of the former USSR, but rather Muslim immigrants. (jb)


Source: here

7.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 01 Mar 2011 Tue 06:46 pm

I wouldn´t worry about what Czarnecki has to say, he´s been in every political party just to get a seat in the Parliament. Now he´s a member of the most idiotic right wing party whose aim is to prove that we´re still in 1945 and both Germans and Russians want to take us over. He believes it was Russians that caused the crash of the Polish presidential plane in Smolensk in April 2010 (96 people died). PiS (Law and Justice Party) are aa bunch of bitter midgets who are not rooted in reality. 4 years ago they had to dissolve the Parliament after just 2 out of 4 years as they were corrupt and started introducing something like a police country.

Anyway, back to Muslims in Poland, there is a group of Tatars who have been assimilated for centuries, they have no problem sticking to Islam. I don´t think Poland is a very interesting country for Muslim immigration, the money sucks (minimum wage is about 250/month), there is no well developed system of social welfare (if you lose your job you get a benefit of less than 180euro a MONTH for a year, after that you´re on your own) and the costs of life are comparable to the west. You just HAVE TO drink to get by in the Polish reality lol

8.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 01 Mar 2011 Tue 11:53 pm


Quoting vineyards

This whole thing works like this, if you are a European elsewhere, you expect the natives to learn your ways and your language too. As long as you have the hard cash to spend you can´t be bothered with visas or stuff like that. Foreigners meanwhile are not welcome in Europe in the first place. If they must live in Europe, they must accept being thoroghly assimilated since this assimilation is a benign process after all. Having said that no matter how assimilated you may think you have become, you must accept being different, more dangerous and less welcome compared to an ordinary citizen.

Yesterday, there was multiculturalism, today it has just died. The new slogan is monoculturalism. God only knows what tomorrow will bring...



What a load of... something. I am European, and I am not writing on here in my native language. Where ever I go, I don´t expect people to speak Dutch. Whenever I am in Turkey, I adopt to local customs. Ofcourse I won´t start drinking as much tea as the locals, I will never be totally Turkish, and perhaps I will keep some of my Dutch customs. However, it´s not like "Europeans" expect all Turkish people to become 100% "European" and leave everything of their home country behind. 

I am a believer in the multi-culti society, and I have seen it work on many occasions. I do expect foreigners to adjust to the local culture though, but who wouldn´t? It´s a matter of mutual respect, and talking about Europe like it still has a colonial mentality is without any respect for the people who DO fight to make this multi-culti thing work.

9.       vineyards
1954 posts
 02 Mar 2011 Wed 03:45 am

Well, if you fly like a bullet, you will find your target sooner but you will miss so many fine details in the process.

Do you think Europeans deserve a standing ovation for all the efforts they have paid for achieving multiculturalism? This point does not reflect in the laws that are passed in the parliaments, speeches addressed to people by politicians and the apparent need for being anti-Turk, anti-muslim if one wants any success in the elections. In fact, people are getting used to the notion that Europe is nothing more than a Christian club and it wants to firmly close its doors to other religions and cultures. Otherwise, Europe would not deny rights legitimately won by Turkish people in line with legal agreements.

Your reply is full of misunderstandings and casts quite a shallow perspective to say the least. You are also hovering on the verge of insolence with some of your statements about me. Not particularly this last one, but in general. I suggest you take me a bit more seriously, if you really wish to communicate and possibly learn from another contributor.

Edited (3/3/2011) by vineyards

10.       vineyards
1954 posts
 02 Mar 2011 Wed 01:36 pm

Silly me, I accidentally deleted Daydreamer´s message. I hope she has a copy somewhere or she can reconstruct it somehow. I was trying to delete another message. My apologies.

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