Earlier this year the EU bureaucracy sought to ban the wearing of revealing costumes by outdoor workers on the grounds that such attire exposed people to too much UV radiation [here]. This would have banned many traditional forms of clothing such as the dirndls worn by female Bavarian beerhall servers at Oktoberfest. Of course protest ensued and reached such proportions throughout the EU that the bureaucrats retreated. Finally, two weeks ago, the EU parliament rejected the offensive regulation, just in time for Oktoberfest, which began today. The pictures above demonstrate just why attempts to ban the dirndl caused such distress to the drinking public.
I might note that not only men protested the ban. Women also were upset that male construction workers would no longer be allowed to go topless; so sexual objectification runs both ways.
This will probably be my last post on this important subject; She who Shall Not Be Named thinks that I'm paying far too much attention to it. But when I was young I lived in Bavaria for a while and this is a way of revisiting, many decades later, my youth. And, let's face it, dirndls are cool.
There's a serious side to it too. The German national elections will be taking place during the celebrations. Reuters reports:
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Legions of thirsty beer-lovers flooded Munich for the start of its world-famous Oktoberfest on Saturday, bent on bacchanalian excess but vowing to stagger to the polling booths for Sunday's elections.
Germans face the sober task of choosing a political leader to tackle the country's mass unemployment and feeble economic growth, which studies say have left them feeling poorer, angst-ridden, and pessimistic about the future.
But those concerns along with the gloomy skies and drizzle were cast aside on Saturday as Germans and thousands of visitors alike donned traditional dress and embraced German culture at its cliched, hedonistic best.
"I have been coming here since I was little, it is just fantastic," said 20-year-old Sonja Maruhn from Munich, wearing a cheerful pink dirndl and rustic Edelweiss flower necklace.
"I'll stay right to the end at 11, but I'm definitely voting tomorrow morning -- or more likely afternoon. The polling station is only staggering distance away."
Over the next 17 days Munich, the capital of the southern state of Bavaria, will welcome around six million devoted drinkers, expected to consume enough beer to fill around six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Read it here.
It's good to see that the celebrants are not going to let something as frivolous as politics to stand in the way of the good times.
Deutsche Welle reports:
Read it here.