German Absurdity: Purposeful Oblivion

German Absurdity: Purposeful Oblivion

Without fail each day I find purposeful oblivion in Deutschland. There is a general obtuse mentality about anything remotely different to the goings on here. At first I tried to reason with it thinking of all the possible and plausible reasons most if not all Germans are this way. I felt like maybe it was an occupation, post-war, location based problem. Then I had to reason with myself because that war ended almost 75 fucking years ago. And it couldn't be a regional thing as the NRW and Köln are supposed to be the progressive areas of the country. In traveling, I realized things were not contained here and this behavior affected a myriad of Germans of all backgrounds and ages. So even the idea that this was a generational thing was debunked as Generation Z does all the things you would suspect of Boomers. Ultimately, I decided the dissonance was just habit. A habit they really want you to see and sort of align with them on as the obtuseness is culture. Ja. There is this unwritten, unsaid expectation that Germans are known for being oblivious to things not inherently German. So it isn't about the why anymore and more or less about how can we stop tolerating it.

For now I tolerate it from a standpoint of assimilation. In the process of integrating one learns German ticks, humor and social cues. However, I don't find anything funny about appropriating and exaggerating other cultures. There isn't any excuse for this. If it isn't completely ignoring origin it is blatantly showing a lack of understanding. All Asian styles of cooking is deemed as Chinese. Anything related to a mango is considered exotic and placed in the category of being Mexican. African and Black themed products are marketed with phonetically frustrating names and tribal motif. Traditions of Native American culture are exploited into fair trinkets and food truck themes. America is somehow XXL candyland. And of course regardless of nationality or ethnicity anyone with brown skin is looped into being from a village somewhere in Africa. I mean there is the internet as well as books. There are also actual people who can explain why these thoughts just don't work. It really isn't that hard to try to understand and respect others. So it feels like there is a genuine lack thereof and Germans have created this as their nasty lil schtick.

Case in point ... nail art has become a thing here and the field is dominated by Vietnamese immigrants. The Vietnamese were trained in this trade by American women who occupied their country in the late 60s and 70s during the Vietnam War. Of course this trade was taught to them for ulterior motives as the American women there desired similar beauty services like back home. I don't think those soldiers wives expected for the Vietnamese to take the skill and run with it. Now in the states Vietnamese, Korean and Filipino institutions dominate the world of nail art and other pampering beauty services. While there is a huge demand for these services it does feel as if Americans are exploiting this talent but it goes both ways. Asians especially Koreans now have a monopoly on the supplies for goods Americans need and want for their beauty routines. It makes it very hard for non-Asians to get in on the business of beauty and everyone is  pining for what they have. I find that 9 out of 10 German women do sport some sort of fashionable nail art or at least invest in weekly nail services. So there are many Vietnamese and Korean establishments throughout Germany. However, I have heard and witnessed German women refer to their providers as Orientals which is a term that was basically eradicated in the States unless it is in reference to decor. I am most certain Germans know that word is a no go but they use it because its use has been tolerated. Meanwhile those providing their services have learned Deutsch, integrated to a point they have a thriving business and still find themselves at the feet of people who considered their ethnicity decorative like a rug. Germany is accepting and welcoming but once you arrive, integrate and invest in everything they are selling there is no reciprocation. And when I try to explain this idea I am physically shooed with a hand as to say we do it like this and we don't care what you or they think.

So yeah I am learning that it is best to just stay silent as I don't generally like seeing and hearing things and then being treated like a menace when approaching them as teaching opportunities. Germans could learn but they choose not to. This mentality is very ironic as a lot of German culture and tradition actually came from elsewhere. Also the right to meinungsfreiheit is so coveted but not equal. I can't be myself or check them but they can say, do and appropriate whatever it is they want. The effort to be disrespectful is exuded and any opportunity to turn that around is just so anstrengend. And this is considered the German way ... to demand no coriander, to expect a boneless curry, to dress children as cowboys vs Indians, to say in print "Black is back" and so on. And the only way to not be beat up on any further is to go along with it as German wit and being. Well I am sorry I am not willfully ignorant and so set in my ways I am embracing the ignorance as a thing. Tschuldi.