“Karnavel der Kulturen” was inspired by other European carnivals - like Notting Hill Carnival in London or the Zomercarnaval in Rotterdam. There are many musical and theatrical performances and last year there were over one million visitors. (according to @tagesspiegel)
That’s a lot! Imagine that Berlin has a population of 3.7 millions and one third of it celebrates the diversity - by dancing or singing and eating or drinking. There is alcohol and street food (I ate a crunchy burrito 🌯), there are trucks with different music and there are people in costumes and we let them “entertain us” (cc: Robbie Williams 👋🏻 😀)
It’s a different vibe as you move from one music truck to another and I asked the girl from pic1 if it’s okay to take a picture of her. It was something about her smile that made me smile back. She was happy to be there, and this type of happiness is contagious. ✨
But - as I mentioned before - there is a lot of food around and a lot of alcohol. So what do we do with the garbage? It’s easy to buy beers even from the corner shops, and there are many empty bottles on the streets. (pic2)
If you live in Berlin you know that you get some money at the supermarket for every empty beer bottle you bring back. And many people do that, while others leave the bottles near a trashing can, for others to collect them. It’s “an unwritten rule” a woman once told me. “It’s part of the Berlin way of living - you put your empty bottle next to a trash can.” She emphasized on the “trash can”, making sure that I understand it clearly. #notrashleftbehind
There’s more to the story, though. And that’s when pic3 comes as an explanation. There are people who are working a full day to pick up what’s left behind. It’s hard work, that’s for sure. And they are doing a fantastic job. 👏
Remember how many people are on the streets?
And now imagine that the morning after the carnival is over, the streets need to be clean for our everyday commute.
But there’s more to the story...because it is a four days festival in Berlin and let’s face it - incidents can happen, whether you are drunk or not, whether you are high or not. There are inherent dangers associated with every large public gathering and someone needs to keep us safe. And I looked at the policemen and policewomen who were on duty those days. It takes a lot of energy and determination to be on your feet for so many hours per day. It takes months of physical training and psychological strength to deal with a crowd that big. It’s not easy and it should be said more often. Chapeau, @berlinerpolizei. 👮🏻♀️👮🏾♂️
Behind every event there are the unsung heroes that make it successful. Women and men like me and you, doing the work on the ground, both being the gear and oiling it.
If you’re reading this and you were working behind the scenes know that we acknowledge you all and we are grateful for everyone who worked hard so we can celebrate.
Here’s my thank you for the people we don’t talk about that often! Here here!