Every year, Berlin is host to the Karneval der Kulturen, and last year was my first time there. To be honest, I have mixed feelings regarding the whole event. Overall, the idea is a good one, and I love the beautiful photographs that people capture of the weekend. I also like the idea of people getting together to celebrate culture and diversity, which is definitely an important part of Berlin life. And it’s silly, but another favorite part is actually riding my bike down main streets that are blocked off to cars for the occasion.
On the flip-side, there are also the caricatures and stereotypes that are highlighted as a result of the street fest and the parade. And for me, the main thing I dislike is all the loud, obnoxious, drunk crowds. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is a regular occurrence in May, given all the days off and celebrations.
Last year we spent a full Sunday walking through the street festival and sitting down for 30 minutes to an hour to watch the groups pass by during the street parade. For this particular KDK, we did visit the parade, but namely because we were in the area; earlier in the day we had a tasting with our wedding caterer, and after that was over, we made the short trek to see how the celebrations were. Same old, same old. After five minutes of looking around, we left, and instead joined friends BBQ in their courtyard nearby. I also made some cat friends, which is always a marker of success for me. But all in all it was nice to be outside that day, regardless of the reason why, because the weeks to follow were filled with gloomy skies and rainy days.