Every time I spent a longer period of time abroad, staying in big cities always make me aware of what I appreciate the most about life in Berlin. Granted, it is exciting to roam through the restless streets of Bangkok or indulge in some ice cream while watching the sky go up in flames at sunset hour in LA, but never would I trade in Berlin for any other city in the world. Maybe this feeling can be blamed on the fact that I grew up here, but I believe that if you fell for Berlin once, you will stay incurably in love for the rest of your life. Below I put my feelings into words, summing up what I missed most about Berlin while visiting busy cities on the other side of the world.
Before I proceed, you should know that I am Black and a first-generation immigrant. Therefore, it is not completely lost on me that my feelings on this subject of identity will be met with resistance, disagreeing opinions and questions, all of which may emerge because “Today, I feel German” will be considered by many an atypical declaration. It is not every day a man who was born and raised at the heels of Mount Fako, Cameroon audaciously declares himself part of a giant colonialist nation, Germany, in such a public format. These are not feelings I am allowed to claim ownership of, because possessing such opinions can easily be mistaken for the denouncement of one’s own traditions and heritage in the quest to insert one’s self onto a culture that has no place for one’s sensibilities and difference.
Ah, December in the city. Have you spent winter in Berlin before? No? Well, then here’s a list of my Top 5 things not to miss during my favorite time of the year – because all of a sudden, everything’s magically different.
Deciding to move away from your home country to study abroad can probably be one of the most difficult decisions in your life. Choosing the right city is not about spinning the globe with eyes closed and dropping a finger on a random destination. Unfortunately, the choice is way more complicated, and even if it is not easy to realize it at the very start, it can be literally life-changing.
Sending applications to universities in other countries means to gradually plan your future and to figure out a lot of important issues, like which university and which program could be the right one for you or for your future career. But besides all that, the choice should not fall upon the university only, but also in the city you would love to live in!
Community integration is a goal we are all working towards in Berlin. The fact that our city is home to individuals from many different backgrounds is something we should cherish and never take for granted, especially given the current trends in politics. We have already written about the actions you can take against the xenophobic far right – be it taking part in demonstrations or supporting particular initiatives. Today, we want to look at things from a more positive angle and focus on the amazing ventures which have truly enriched the city and which were started by people who came to Berlin as refugees. One organization that provides an environment which genuinely fosters such projects is Give Something Back to Berlin – we spoke to them and created this list featuring five success stories.
While the grey November is already in full swing, we had the chance to escape the cold and darkness of Berlin Winter for one night. We recently had the chance to travel with our eyes and our taste buds to one of our favorite countries to visit for holidays: Italy.
The Italian olive oil brand Bertolli invited us to take part in a workshop about Italian food culture. Together with 10 other media colleagues, we spend an evening with Aperol Spritz, little Italian delicacies and lots and lots and lots of different oil blends to taste.
A poetry slam is a creative writing competition where contestants perform spoken word poetry. This fresh take on the oral performance of poetry first originated in the USA in the 80s. Later, the format has spread internationally, encouraging many to explore the world of spoken poetry.
One such enthusiast is Florian Cieslik, a slam poet, and lyricist. This true master of the words has made a name for himself on the German Poetry Slam scene, performing and taking part in competitions all around the country. Lucky for us, he’s willing to share some of his expertise with other language aficionados and the iHeartBerlin team had the chance to take a closer look at his technique during a recent Poetry Slam Workshop organized by the Irish Whiskey brand Tullamore D.E.W. Read on…
One motif recurring in all kinds of Berlin-related memes is the metamorphosis one is supposed to go through after living in Berlin for a certain amount of time. The emphasis is usually on the stark contrast between the person’s initial chastity and beauty and the result of the transformation – most often symbolized by an ugly mess in some form.
Although the mundane day to day routine sometimes makes us forget all about it, German is in fact way more than the apparent mother tongue of bureaucracy. Some actually use it to communicate on a daily basis – even in a joking or figurative manner. While you might have reasonable doubts about the feasibility of such venture, we’re here to introduce these 10 ingenious idioms from the German vernacular that will instantly elevate your conversational competence and make you question everything you thought you knew about particular farm animals at the same time.
The recent sale of dozens of iconic buildings inhabiting thousands of people along Berlin’s grand boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee by a private real estate company is symbolizing the sinister developments in the city’s housing market. But is it all just sell, sell, sell, cringe and carry on, or who has the final say here?
700 apartments in Berlin’s famous, postwar, palace-like apartment blocks along what was formerly known as GDR’s prestigious ‘Stalinallee’ change ownership. The buildings were acquired by ‘Deutsche Wohnen’ – the largest private real estate firm in the capital region, often criticized for its rigorous rental increase politics. – Oh my. I live there myself. What now?