“We Are All for the Nation”

June 14th, 2010

As the World Cup is underway, black, red, and yellow stripe the streets of Beirut as German flags wave in the center of intersections, from balconies, and out of car windows (often from all four). Their reproductions flip-flop underneath rearview mirrors and wrap snugly around Lebanese wrists. I asked a German acquaintance who was visiting Beirut if Berlin looked the same, rippling with flags. He sounded startled: “I haven’t seen any flags in Berlin for the Cup… Germans are too proud to raise flags.”

While we in Lebanon aren’t too proud, we have funny allegiances. As a taxi driver said recently, as we passed under a German flag that stretched from one side of the street to the other,  “If only the Lebanese loved their country as much…”

Here is some explanation for the Germans’ hesitation to raise their flags in their country. I found this some time after this post:  “German World Cup Patriotism Still Touchy Issue

Here is a recent analysis of the World Cup craze in Lebanon at the Beirut based blog The Long Slumber.

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