Culture & Art

BERLIN CONNECTS: The German Capital through the Eyes of a South American

In my experience, Berlin connects – and not just in the networking, social sense of the word. For someone who was born and raised in a Latin American country, the connection Berlin provides can be physically, concretely seen within the city, reflected in its amazing public transportation system. When such binding is so efficiently provided by the government, it gets infinitely easier to connect in other senses. And this increases the quality of life in a manner that cannot be described; it gets easier to meet, bound and go out with people; regardless of how much you drink, you are not obliged to drive in the middle of the night – a problem that is not as discussed as it should in the Americas.

Many people in Berlin are out of the "common standards", and the most amazing part about it is that it doesn’t seem to matter – not to them nor to anyone else. Everybody minds their own business, and that is truly fascinating. Most South Americans read that as “coldness”; but the truth is it is a respect of privacy and space. The problems of others concern only themselves, and it is intrusive to give any input from an outsider perspective. As a result, people seem to be less judgmental.

Nobody really cares what you do, how you do it, why you do it. Most Berliners will be helpful and - you can erase this German stereotype from your mind now - very warm once you create a friendly bound. They will not judge you. They will let you do what you do while they do what they do. This is really valuable because unlike in South America, unrequited opinions cease to exist, and people live more freely and have less to worry about.

Berlin past appears to have motivated it to always seek unity. Because children grow up learning to never repeat history, it is easy to feel welcomed. Of course there are exceptions – unfortunately intolerance has been increasing in light of recent events, but so far acceptance still prevails.

Why then, would a South American leave the sunshine and warm weather to settle in this iconic city? Berlin has culture. Berlin has history. Berlin is old, Berlin is new - and this gives it an appeal you won’t find elsewhere. This was once a city that used to divide the world, and now it works hard to finally unite it.

About The Author

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Susana Boatto

Susana Boatto has acquired a degree in Portuguese and German studies in her homecountry of Brazil. She has worked in linguistic fields, namely publishing and translation, and aspires to get a Master's degree in Cultural Studies in Germany - where she currently lives. Amongst her interests are history, languages and diversity, and she is a firm advocate for human rights.