#Unteilbar – Berlin Marches Against Hate and Xenophobia

#Unteilbar – Berlin Marches Against Hate and Xenophobia

242,000 people marched against the right-wing last Saturday. The iHeartBerlin team took part and has some pictures for you.

“Solidarity, not exclusion – for a free and liberal society,” the unifying motto of the “Unteilbar” (inseparable) initiative lead a massive crowd of people out on the streets six kilometers across the capital from Alexanderplatz to Siegessäule. “Tens of Thousands Protest Racism and Discrimination in Berlin”, “240,000 demonstrate against hate and xenophobia”, “March against far-right draws huge crowds in Berlin”, “It’s finally a united movement”, headlines like these popped up all over the world the last few days. It’s a symbol of hope during otherwise gloomy days that not only Berlin needed, but the whole world. And we want to say thank you. Thank you, Berlin. We all needed that.

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Berlin, We Have A Problem – It’s Time To Stand-Up Against the Far-Right

Berlin, We Have A Problem – It’s Time To Stand-Up Against the Far-Right

photo: Dominik Pascal

While right-wing populism is spreading over Europe like a virus, we have to ask ourselves, is Berlin still the liberal and international safe haven we thought it is? Do we keep on doing what we’re doing or is this our wake up call?

Berlin doesn’t have a nationality. My next-door neighbor is originally from Slovenia. The flower shop in my house is owned by a lovely Korean lady. My Späti is run by a quirky mid-forties guy who was born in Romania and I buy my favorite Döner from Muhammad who grew up at Kotti but still visits the rest of his family in the East of Turkey twice a year. Every time I jump on the U1, I hear five different languages, but that never made me assume they were spoken by foreigners. These people live here. Nationality: Berlin(!?)

While knowing that I live in Germany, that’s what I always liked to tell myself…

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10 German Words You Don’t Want to Know

10 German Words You Don’t Want to Know

illustrations: Berk Karaoglu

It seems to be true for most relationships that after three years you get to notice things about your loved one that you’re just not very much into. And as I find, it’s no different after you’ve lived in a country for this period of time. Germany’s love for rules becomes apparent once you arrive at the airport and notice the line you’re supposed to stand behind while waiting for your suitcase to show up. Once you leave the airport, it may gradually start to dawn on you why is love sometimes synonymous with obsession.

We have chosen 10 German words that come from the field of bureaucracy. Chances are you don’t want to know them, but here there are anyway. You’ll thank us later.

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The Berlin Family Next Door – Depending on your Neighborhood

The Berlin Family Next Door – Depending on your Neighborhood

Sometimes getting along with your neighbors could be more difficult than releasing your childhood traumas. So, in order to smooth this process, we squeezed through your future neighbors’ windows to chronicle their lives, and give you a sneak peek at how they might look like.

From the family that “incubates” their hardcore-punk band in their apartment to the friendly gay couple that is obsessed with their visits to the psychotherapist — here is a short guide to the family next door depending on your neighborhood.

Disclaimer: No stereotypes were harmed in the writing of this text.

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This Gay Rugby Team from Berlin Knows How to Defeat Stereotypes

This Gay Rugby Team from Berlin Knows How to Defeat Stereotypes

photo: Slawomir Urban – URBANKAMERA

Straight men like football, basketball, and rugby. Gay men like gymnastics, ice-skating and yoga. These stereotypes can be right 60ish% of the time (this number is made up). But in some cases, they are so, so wrong and harmful. Stereotypes are a tricky thing. Of course, they help our silly human brains process information quicker and make faster decisions (though not necessarily better decisions). But when it comes to human interactions, your easy stereotypes can feel like a cage to the person you apply it too.

With the mission to show the world that stereotypes should be second-guessed in the case of sports and sexual preferences, the Berlin Bruisers take a strong stand on the field. The gay rugby team’s recent campaign – with the slogan “Fight For Being You” – was published on Facebook, Instagram and in print. When it came out, it caused quite some controversy (especially with straight men), which made me notice it.

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A love letter to my Berlin Friends who left the City!

A love letter to my Berlin Friends who left the City!

I find it really hard to believe it, but November will mark my third year of living in Berlin. The whole thing started as an innocent fling, and then somehow turned into this pretty serious business including university exams and tax declarations. I’m still quite stunned as to when did this all happen.

I’ve always aspired to a particular image of myself, carved out mostly by rock’n’roll lyrics, and when I came to Berlin, I decided to live that out loud. Accordingly, I have made my share of bizarre memories. But as I’m walking along the now familiar streets, without the need to consult every next step with a map, I look back and what really stands out are the dear faces of my friends. Some of whom aren’t in Berlin anymore.

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All Our Love to the Birds of Paradise in Berlin

All Our Love to the Birds of Paradise in Berlin

Glamorous personalities have all experienced it: The moment the mob gathers around, thrilled to have found a victim who dares to be different. Like a crowd of grey pigeons staring down at the colorful bird of paradise. Laughing, in the absurd belief that they are better because they are many. Lots of grey against a spark of glamour. Too narrow to see, it is this spark that makes all the difference. It is what makes you special and them so very simple. Too blank to understand that it is you who is the winner and them who lost so long ago. They lost themselves in the thirst to please each other. One grey pleases another grey. Now they like each other, but the fewest like themselves. It is hard to know who you are when you put on a uniform.

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Berlin Childhoods: Conserving the City’s History Through Personal Stories

Berlin Childhoods: Conserving the City’s History Through Personal Stories

With all of us being so busy with keeping up with our lives and this super fast moving digital society it is awfully easy to forget to take the focus off ourselves and onto others. An old friend of my parents said to me the other day: “You should really ask your mother about your childhood and also her childhood. When she isn’t here anymore, both of your stories will be lost. I have no one to ask about it anymore.” It was a harsh truth that I honestly never considered before. We need to conserve the childhood stories of us, our parents and grandparents, to keep them from disappearing like they never happened.

That exact thought moved educationist Johannes Zillhardt, when his lovely 80-year-old neighbor Waldtraud Gasche, used every opportunity to have a chat with Johannes. Of course only because “the TV isn’t working”, or “the heater makes strange noises”, but all she truly wanted was to talk about her childhood to someone. That heartfelt connection started Johannes idea to meet people from Berlin at any age and write up the stories of their past to keep them alive.

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Show Your Pride – A Rainbow in My Hair

Show Your Pride – A Rainbow in My Hair

Sponsored

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Wella Professionals to be part of their new #ShowYourPride campaign and participate in a photoshoot for Blonde Magazine along with the striking Strify, the luscious Leonie, and the daring David. It was certainly an unexpected request, but one I followed gladly, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about diversity and being different – but also because I got the chance to express some public pride myself with a dash of rainbow colors in my hair.

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Explore Berlin’s Past & Present through Music

Explore Berlin’s Past & Present through Music

Sponsored

The Deezer Music Tours, the new project from the streaming service Deezer, is definitely right up our alley! Experiencing a guided audio tour of the city with the right soundtrack in your ear sounds like a great idea to start with! They’ve asked unique personalities from the music industry – Marcus Staiger, DJ Westbam, und Bela B –  to share their first-hand insights on Berlin’s recent history and combined those with iconic songs that take you right back in time. Nothing left to do but hop on a Deezer nextbike and listen to three awesome audio guides that will give you musical trivia no Berliner should miss – and all of that completely for free!

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