Monday, May 19, 2008

Bavaria... Germany's Texas

Bavaria's brother from another mother...
Germany is slightly smaller in size compared to Texas, however I'm concentrating mainly on Bavaria, after all I'm only comparing the two states. 

This may come as a surprise to many, however there are many reasons why I have come to this conclusion and lucky for you ... here is my rational:
  • They are both Southern and central states - Texas is central in America, Bavaria is southern in Germany and central in Europe. 
What Germany is lacking in size compared to Texas, they are clearly not lacking in their Bavarian amour-propre.
  • I have noticed that if you confront an American that is from Texas they will proudly reiterate they are from Texas and may also throw something in about being the only state that was once it's own country. Bavarians also have immense amounts of pride. On my train ride to Ljubljana, I overheard someone in the next compartment telling tourists from Australia that he was 'Bavarian'. I had to laugh... then I had to laugh a bit more as I walked past and noticed he was a police man. He continued to recount to the family that they were in Bavaria. 
They both have a unique distinguishing 'uniform' and women with hair unique to their area of the country.
  • Texas has: cowboy boots, blue jeans, cowboy hats, and bolo ties, and women with big hair.
  • Bavarians have: lederhosen, woolen jackets, and women with burgundy hair (OK, so the burgundy hair is not unique to Bavaria.) 
Both places are recognized internationally for one state. 
  • When I travel, people I meet that have never been to the US instantly tell me how they also want to lasso horses and live the 'wild west' that is portrayed in movies. 
  • Americans see lederhosen and instantly think 'Germany'... au contraire - that my friends is strictly a Bavarian thing.
Texas is a state with many immigrants and distinct sentiments on how they should behave or contribute to society - Bavaria likewise, has many immigrants and distinct sentiments.
  • Both states under many circumstances, don't really follow a politically correct way of approaching the matter.
  • Politically both states are traditionally very conservative.
Munich's own, M. Sasek, wrote children's books about many wonderful cities of the world... and also one about a state, you guessed it - Texas.

Another area of similarity is that both states have very distinct accents. 
  • Bavarians have so much pride in not being understood by people that speak 'hoch Deutsch' that they even have a name for it - Boarische Språch (Bairisch). If you end up on a subway and the driver sounds like he's under the influence, chances are good he's just speaking with a Bavarian dialect. As for America, I'd like to say President Bush has a Texas accent, however I think he has something uniquely his own going on - some would even debate he sounds like he's under some kind of influence.
The connection isn't so far fetched according to Wikipedia:
"In 1842, German nobles organized the Adelsverein, banding together to buy land in central Texas to enable German settlement. The Revolutions of 1848 acted as another catalyst for so many immigrants that they became known as the "48ers". Many were educated artisans and businessmen. Germans continued to arrive in considerable numbers until 1890."
There is even a 'Boarischn' Wikipedia.

So there you have it... 

3 comments:

JoernandAllison said...

HA!!! I love it!!! Joern has been saying this for as long as I have known him. The "Free Bavaria" party doesn't help really either :)

I have to say though, some things come awfully close to my own Schwabenlandle. Swabians take a lot of pride too in not fitting in, especially when it comes to their own incredible dialect. But, it doesn't really compare with the German verison of Texas :)

alala said...

BAAAhahaha! I've been saying that for years too! The similarities are really quite striking. When I first met my husband and asked where he was from, he didn't say Germany, oh no. He said "Bavaria." Among Americans, only Texans and Alaskans do that.

Hi, by the way. I wandered over from Gone Dutch.

Emily said...

Oh I am so happy you both understand!