Saturday night. Time for a movie. The lobby is packed. Masses squall into mainstream movies such as “Just go with it” or “Powder Girl”. I am surprised to hear that “Almanya – welcome to Germany!” will be shown in the largest movie theatre. I wonder whether it is due to the interest in our turkish fellow citizens or whether it is the prospect of an enjoyable evening at the cost of the “others”?
We take a seat in comfortable big easy chairs when the less comfortable journey through the beginnings of the immigration movement to Germany takes place on the screen. A young man called “Hüseyin” takes centre stage who enters Germany as the 1.000.001 migrant worker only due to his generous gesture to admit somebody first in a row in front of the immigration office. To his disadvantage he thereby looses a brand-new “Zündapp” motor scooter splased out by the German governement. A venturesome journey begins which takes partly place – in flashbacks – in Germany and in Anatolia of the 1960ies.
We already have a premonition that young Hüseyin will forge ahead in Germany. He takes his family to Germany which interestingly hold the same prejudices against Germans as vice versa (“There is so much talk that Germans are dirty). The audience might be astonished in course of the movie hat Hüseyins grandchild, the 22-year-old Canan who is pregnant out of wedlock from a “non-turk” is not – contrary to prevalent assumptions – expelled from her family nor is there talk of dishonoring the family.
I felt uncomfortable with one of the opening scenes when Cenk, the six-year-old grandchild of Hüseyin, is told by his teacher to let the class know where he “really” comes from, even though he was born in Germany. The answer is Anatolia which is not sketched in the wall map and can thus not be marked by the teacher. The wall map simply ends in Istanbul. What seems to be ostensibly overly comedic and owed to an intercultural misunderstanding leaves not least due to the local practical experience in schools – considering the PISA-study outcome – a stale after taste.
Here comes the question everybody should ak itself: Assuming that the situation had been conversely and the Turks had been looking for migrant workers from Germany at that time. Let’s face it: How many of us would have been prepared to leave for Anatolia and would have fit into the society the way German politicians ask migrants in Germany to do it? Who would have spoken Turkish fluently and would have laid of its German culture? Is it not rather that spoiled European citizens take it that where ever and for whatever reason they might go and live abroad he will be more than welcome and that the population of every country will adopt to his values and standards and not the other way round? Let’s be honest: How many expatriates of a German, English, French or American big company takes the effort to learn Mandarin, Hindi or Arabic not to mention a further approach to the other culture and to take up an ethno relativistic attitude?
Rather the “Aldi-Uwes” come across abroad who take every opportunity to fly back to Germany at the company’s expense to buy Aldi out and to pocket a Senator-Card by LH after flying back and forth for the sixth time and a so called “jungle bonus” once a year to ensure their stay in the “awful” Ghetto meeting for a tryst or German beer in one of the “it” bars of the town every evening to get rid of the “blues”.
If those ladies and gentlemen would only take up a little bit of that intercultural comptence which is demanded in their home countries from every migrant worker a lot could be obtained.