Berlin: Grumpy no more?

13th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

As part of the campaign, which is expected to cost 200,000 euros (255,000 dollars), civil servants will hand out postcards with phrases such as "What d'you think your looking at?" and "Do I look like an information pillar?"

Berlin -- The Berlin Senate has appointed 4,000 civil servants, including police and train drivers, as "good mood ambassadors" to rid foreigners' perceptions that the capital was an ill-tempered city.

"A few years ago we did a study that showed that non-Germans consider Berlin a place full of grumpy and boring people," senate spokesman Richard Meng told AFP. "We need to show the world that this is not true."

As part of the campaign, which is expected to cost 200,000 euros (255,000 dollars), civil servants will hand out postcards with phrases such as "What d'you think your looking at?" and "Do I look like an information pillar?"

The provocative phrases are intended to light-heartedly poke fun at the stereotype of the grumpy Berliner, and are meant to show that it is possible to be courteous and friendly on a day-to-day basis.

"These cards are fantastic, they show that we don't always take ourselves seriously and that we can laugh at ourselves too," Meng says.

Berlin, which is this year celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, is visited by more than eight million tourists annually.

"This year is a huge year for us," Meng says, "We're hosting the Athletics World Championships and want to show the world that we are a friendly and worldly capital city at the heart of Europe."

AFP/Expatica

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