Multicultural Berlin, Berlin
Unexpected hitch happens with us in the front of an arch of the Brandenburg Gate - I saw with surprise, that the landscape behind an arch differs from habitual. I shout: "There is one more arch!". We approach close, and I saw the Parisian Triumphal arch! Only there I understand, that the Brandenburg Gate from the western side is veiled by a cloth on which the Parisian sister - the Triumphal arch and Tour d'Eiffel are drawn . When we passed the gate, I looked back, and I saw on a cloth of east of the gate, the native Red Square and Vasily Blazhenniy Cathedral. Germans are able to make repair beautifully and with sense!
The Turks in Berlin originally came to Germany as "Gastarbeiter" - guestworkers - in the 1970s. Today, many of their children and grandchildren are not yet citizens, because German citizenship is based on blood and the naturalization process is difficult. However, many Turks have also chosen not to become German citizens. Many still retain hopes of returning to Turkey or of sending their children and grandchildren there to study. However, many second- and third-generation Turks grew up speaking German with their German peers and resent their parents' plans to send them "back " to Turkey.
Regardless, the Turks represent a colorful presence in Berlin and have made many contributions to the city and to Germany as a whole. Late night doener kebab and falafel stands are extremely popular among Berlin clubbers. The Turkish market in Kreuzberg is a great place to shop for cheap goods and eat delicious Mediterranean food.
This picture of an apartment building near Kottbusser Tor shows the attachment Turks have for their home, culture and language - satellite dishes on almost every balcony receive Turkish programming daily.
Berlin is a multicultural city not as much German as I thought before my visit. I found quite many Asian and Turkish people there. They added a lot of new colors to Berlin's life. From my, visitor point of view, I could find many ethnic restaurants and some stores esp. Turkish and Asian.
There were quite many people from all over Europe living and working in Berlin as well, among them Poles. I had one college friend living in Berlin but we didn't meet yet.
I was very confused and a little ashamed looking at the freshly painted wall at... the restroom of Jukebox Diner restaurant. Hmm... someone wrote there "Gdynia" which is a name of city in Poland. Behave my friends, please!
From my friend Ingo (german_eagle) from Dresden, Germany:
I also had the impression that Berlin is not a typical German city anymore - it tends to become a sort of cosmopolitan "international" city. Certainly with local flair, but not for a short-time visitor I think.
Before the Nazis came to power in 1933, Jewish community in Berlin had 160.000 members. I was told that today Berlin's Jewish community is the fastest growing in the world due to Russian Jewish immigration.
Walking Frankentaler Ufer along northern bank of Landwehrkanal I fouund this building on my picture. There were many cameras on and around the edifice and two police officers watching. I first thought that it was an office of someone important.
But the building accommodated Jewish community centre and a small synagogue. Both were closed to public when I was there.
There are also more known Jewish culture centers in Berlin, both open to the public and located nearby:
1. New Synagogue on Oranienstra?e, which houses the Centrum Judaicum. There are various expositions open to the public. A large, golden dome is open to the public but exclusively April 1 - September 30.
2. The Jewish Museum - the most significant example of contemporary architecture in Berlin, hmm... I only drove along the building and liked it.
Next time I am going to visit both Jewish centers.
There are over 2 mln Turkish people living in Germany of which many live in Berlin.
That's why I could easy find quite many Turkish restaurants and food (kebab) and some Turkish shops in Berlin esp. in Kreuzberg district where I saw stalls on which Turkish vendors sold cheap clothes.
The large numbers of Turks, Greeks and Italians originally came as "guest workers" in the 1960s. I found lots of races, colors, tastes and faces in multicultural Berlin including Turkish, Arabs, Asians, Africans.
Not so much as a tip, but an experience. Tips are under my Germany page. I was in Berlin the weekend that Turkey beat South Korea to get third place in the World Cup. Berlin has (I think) the largest population of people of Turkish descent outside of Turkey. Within minutes of victory, there was a huge parade, people everywhere had Turkish flags, the streets were shut to traffic, and those who could still drive were honking and waving the Turkish flag. And then, out of nowhere, a South Korean contingent came out with their flag and some drums. And everyone got along just fine... no problems, to my knowledge. Berlin... an international city with a lot to offer (especially in the food department!)
Berlin is really multicultural city. You can find there lots of races, colors, tastes and faces. Turkish, Arabs, Vietnamese, Chinese, Africans and more live in it. I took this photo of an 'Asian Look' kid looking into the camera, near Oranienburger Str.