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Thread: World Cup Preparations: Teaching Berlin How to Smile

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    World Cup Preparations: Teaching Berlin How to Smile

    Germans don't smile enough. But with the World Cup fast approaching, that should soon change. Numerous campaigns have been launch to turn German frowns upside down. But a smiling Berlin cop? It's enough to make one grumpy.

    "Smile! Smile!" The shout sounded almost desperate as it pierced the frigid air in central Berlin on Monday.

    "It's too cold," came the answer. "I need to do some sport to warm up!"

    The protagonists were Klaus Böger, Berlin's senator for education and sport, and Christine Schoknecht, a player on Germany's women's youth national soccer team. And smiling was the name of the game. After all, Monday saw the kick-off for an ad campaign which will see Schoknecht's face -- along with that of 11 other Berliners -- adorn 465 billboards across the city in the five months leading up to the beginning of the World Cup. The poster's tag line? "The Nicest Smiles for Our Guests."

    Germany's reputation is hardly that of a world leader -- neither in friendliness nor in customer service. Indeed, Germans themselves often refer to the country as a "service desert." But with the World Cup offering Germany a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn on the charm for the world, the German tourism industry is desperate not to pass it up. Indeed, with the launching of several "friendliness initiatives," the World Cup has already become a powerful excuse to get Germans, and especially the dour-faced Berliners, smiling early and often.

    Once-in-a-generation chance for Germany

    The charm offensive started early, with Germany's tournament organizing committee choosing "A Time to Make New Friends" as the official slogan for the soccer championship -- to run from June 9 to July 9. "We won't get this opportunity again for another 50 years so it's worth at least smiling for a few weeks," German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, president of the organizing committee, told journalists last month at the launch of a nationwide campaign to encourage friendliness.

    The psychological offensive isn't just limited to a few billboards either. Officials are encouraging restaurants, transport companies, airports and even taxi firms to train employees to smile more, to warmly answer questions about the World Cup and Germany, and even speak a bit of English.

    In the coming months, there will be road shows at all 12 host cities, followed by a series of TV and radio spots by prominent personalities to make sure the general population is aware of the importance of their role as ambassadors for their country. They've even come up with an official endorsement for excellent service. The goal is to have 100,000 workers turned into a crack friendliness troop by kick-off on June 9.

    One of the main worries of tournament organizers is Berlin itself. Much like the reputation New Yorkers have in the United States, Berlin residents are known in Germany for their abrupt, gruff manner. But with the capital scheduled to host six World Cup matches, including the final, a lot is at stake. "Smiles create more smiles," Böger says. "And in this city we need a bit more smiling.... We don't just want to see wonderful games, but also a long lasting effect so that visitors will come back to Berlin many times."


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    Lík börn leika best.

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    I hope Turkey is not in the World Cup?

    I mean, a final Germany vs. Turkey in Berling would, no matter how it ends, be incentive to riots... eyes:
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd
    I hope Turkey is not in the World Cup?

    I mean, a final Germany vs. Turkey in Berling would, no matter how it ends, be incentive to riots... eyes:
    No Turkey Didnt qualify
    Tired

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd
    I hope Turkey is not in the World Cup?

    I mean, a final Germany vs. Turkey in Berling would, no matter how it ends, be incentive to riots... eyes:
    That wouldn't be bad after all, in my opinion. A world championship concluding in street riots of the Turks in Berlin would foil the whole "all colours come peacefully together through soccer" propaganda and give the squares enough to consider ...
    Man ſei Held oder Heiliger. In der Mitte liegt nicht die Weisheit, ſondern die Alltäglichkeit.

    SPENGLER

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd
    I hope Turkey is not in the World Cup?
    No.



    Further info:
    Danke-Schweiz.de
    Die Intellektuellen von heute versuchen, den Nationalismus als eine Sünde gegen die Menschlichkeit zu brandmarken. Sie versuchen, uns glauben zu machen, daß dem Wort Nationalismus eine Infamie anhängt. Aber sie verkennen, daß der Geist des Nationalismus aus der schöpferischen Tiefe der menschlichen Seele stammt. Daß er aufsteigt von dort als das gewaltige Verlangen der Menschen, frei zu sein, frei von fremder Herrschaft, und sich nach eigener Art selber zu regieren! Herbert Hoover

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    Und weil d' Schwyzer zvil am Töggelchaschde rummache sind sie och so gut bei d richteg Töggele un hebe ins d' Türcke us em Landle chalte!
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Es geht gar nicht um die WM 2006? :redface:
    Die Intellektuellen von heute versuchen, den Nationalismus als eine Sünde gegen die Menschlichkeit zu brandmarken. Sie versuchen, uns glauben zu machen, daß dem Wort Nationalismus eine Infamie anhängt. Aber sie verkennen, daß der Geist des Nationalismus aus der schöpferischen Tiefe der menschlichen Seele stammt. Daß er aufsteigt von dort als das gewaltige Verlangen der Menschen, frei zu sein, frei von fremder Herrschaft, und sich nach eigener Art selber zu regieren! Herbert Hoover

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordgau
    and give the squares enough to consider ...
    ...further racial integration, because apparently the minority groups haven't been assimilated well enough, I know. Same old hat. eyes: :speechles
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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