Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Come October and Munich goes wild with the celebrations of Oktoberfest, primarily known all over the world for the large quantities of beer that quite literally 'flow through the city'. It began as a nuptial ceremony and has turned into one of the most vibrant celebrations of harvest crop in the whole world.
When German Crown Prince Ludwig got married to Princess Therese, he decided to call for a city-wide celebration. A public march was conducted and the prince marched with his new bride. For days, the people of Munich thronged the streets, and drank to the health of the royal union. Gallons of German beer were poured out while the people made merry. Today, the tradition of this celebration has been carried over, except there is no bride or groom to toast. Horse races are conducted instead, where people still take to the streets to dance and drink.
When they gathered their crops in October, the beer was ready to be consumed, and they celebrated their crop. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
The celebration morphed and overlapped with the harvest festival by the end of the 19th century. People brewed their beer in March, and allowed it to ferment for six months. When they gathered their crops in October, the beer was ready to be consumed, and they celebrated their crop. Some of the farmers keep up this tradition even today, despite the mechanized breweries that produce much of Germany's beer.
Oktoberfest 1959 Image credit: wikimedia commons
Generations changed, traditions changes, and of course, the royalty changed, but Munich's streets come alive every October to the sweet taste of beer. Quality improvements have been made over time, and the once golden colour has grown to a darker copper colour. Not just Munich, but Germans all over the world organize great drinking events roughly around the first week of October. In Germany, the beer standards are very high, and only the finest quality makes it to the table, while across the world, it doesn't matter as much as the spirit of the celebration.
In 2010, this event celebrated 200 years since it was first announced. Nearly a million gallons of beer have been drunk each year during Oktoberfest, according to records available. Image credit: wikimedia commons
In 2010, this event celebrated 200 years since it was first announced. Nearly a million gallons of beer have been drunk each year during Oktoberfest, according to records available. Since the pandemic, the consumption has drastically reduced, and people have been unable to gather, but the celebration lives on in their hearts and households.
Keywords: Germany, Munich, October, Oktoberfest, Prince Ludwig
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
Keywords: Swastika, Symbol, Nazism, Hinduism, Adolf Hitler, United Nations, Buddhism, Jainism
Vladimir Putin is a well-known caninophile. His canines accompany him for official meetings at his residence, serving as a humanizing prop or an intimidating one. He has also been said to have compared ex-US President George Bush's Scottish terrier, Barney to his black Labrador Koni. He sardonically commented on the comparison by saying, "Bigger, faster, stronger," intimidating Bush.
His love for dogs has given other world leaders a plausible excuse to gift him puppies in hope of establishing cordial relations with Russia. Back in 2017, he received a puppy as a belated birthday gift from then Turkmenistan's President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
China is known to use Panda for diplomatic purposes, Russia seems to have also joined the league. Analysts might quote that Russia has invented a new chapter in world diplomacy, namely Dog Diplomacy. But, there is one particular rare anecdote about Putin and his beloved dog Konni.
" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">Vladimir Putin plays with Konni. wikimedia
Recently the outgoing chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel made headlines for the last time. She firmly asserted that it is important to talk to the Taliban, and Germany would take steps to evacuate the remaining German citizens from Afghanistan. The outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen as a good interlocutor between Russia and the west. It is reportedly said that she was quite impressed by Putin's famously menacing speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference. Wherein he attacked the "unipolar order" dominated by the United States. Publicly she was impassive but, backstage her comment was: "Cool speech!" ("Geile Rede!")
The relations between Merkel and Putin are all but cordial. Angela Merkel, having spent the first 35 years of her life on the eastern side of the iron curtain is well versed with the various intimidation tactics deployed by authoritarian regimes. On the contrary, Vladimir Putin being a former KGB agent is well versed with various intimidating tactics.
It was on 21st January 2007, the two world leaders met at Bocharov Ruchei, the Russian President's summer residence in Sochi. And during the onset of the meeting Putin's pet dog, Konni wandered into the room, leading Putin to ask Merkel, who reportedly has a "deep-seated fear of dogs", "The dog does not bother you, does she? She's a friendly dog and I'm sure she will behave herself." Merkel promptly responded in Russian, a language in which she is surprisingly fluent, "She doesn't eat journalists, after all." Konni then proceeded to sniff the German Chancellor and sat at her feet. Snapshots of the meeting, clearly show Putin smirking at Merkel's apparent discomfort.
" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">Vladimir Putin smirking at the apparent uncomfort of Angela Merkel. wikimedia
It is said that Putin after learning about Merkel's fear of dogs, apologized to her. A prominent magazine later reported that she had told journalists: "I understand why he has to do this -- to prove he's a man. ... He's afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this." Nevertheless, Konni the beloved pet dog of Vladimir Putin passed away in February 2015 at the age of 15.
The whole anecdote tells a tale of a man who is afraid of his own weaknesses and is trying to prove himself over others. Angela Merkel's impeccable career as the German chancellor has come to an end. It is up to her successor Armin Laschet to take up the reins of Germany and navigate her through the divisive, treacherous and most uncertain times of the century.
Young women’s hockey team defender Nisha feels that India could learn from the communication skills of the Argentinians and Germans to gain an edge over their rivals on the field.
“Both Argentina and Germany play very tactical hockey and the way they communicate and look for gaps to penetrate into the circle is very unique. Defending against them was not easy but at the same time, there was so much to learn from them,” said the 25-year-old.
Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.
Nisha, who was part of the India team that toured Argentina in January this year, says that playing against world No. 2 Argentina and world No. 3 Germany in their home countries had been a big confidence booster for her. Moving forward, Nisha wants to focus on the areas the chief coach wants her to work on.
“My immediate focus is to work on the areas as advised by the coaching staff. Following the Germany tour, each of our performances was analyzed and we have been told what areas we need to focus on,” said the defender who made her international debut against Uruguay in the 2019 FIH Women’s Series Finals at Hiroshima.
“With the Tokyo Olympics approaching, all players want to prove their mettle in order to find a place in the team. There is healthy competition within the core group, which pushes each other to perform better. Personally, I want to learn as much as possible from the senior players and execute my role in the team to perfection,” said Nisha. (IANS/SP)