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Berlins Karneval der Kulturen 2012

published on 2012-05-29 by Sara
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The “Karneval der Kulturen” is, as the name promises, a multicultural celebration taking place in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. And it’s a pretty old celebration as well, established in 1996, every year at whitsun and usually blessed by good weather. Think of it as an explosive Love Parade minus the excessive drugs plus more families and lesser techno. But even more colorful, displaying all those wonderful nationalities and cultural heritages Berlin has to offer. From huge Brazilian communities to little Palestinian dance performances, the floats and wagons on the parade are an incredible sight. Peace, tolerance and loads of diversity are the key mottos of the festival.

Over time, the Karneval der Kulturen has become more than just a parade. It’s become a celebration of multicultural identities. There are many little food and drink vendors spread through Kreuzberg and partly Neukölln who provide visitors with snacks and beverages. But of course, nothing in Berlin comes without the appropriate political controversy. Since 2014 (this post was updated in 2016), the Karneval der Kulturen struggles to survive. While the parade and the festivities took place regardless of the discussion after all, it is worth mentioning that there were many fights about the funding of the parade and about its concept. Even though the Karneval was originally implemented to advertise multiculturalism and freedom, as well as tolerance, many people criticize the steady rise in commercialism as well as the lack of actual political discussion and tolerance. Much of the carnival is based on exoticism instead; costumes and music help overlook the fact that the parade has a political meaning and spirit.

For now, the Carnival is safe.

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