In a bit more than a week it’s already Christmas Eve…can you believe it? How come that time just seems to fly a bit faster every year? But hey, at least we are almost done with our christmas gifts, and the ones that still need to be done involve baking, crafting and wrapping….all things that I love to do (also, I think my baking curse is almost gone).
Unfortunately, we found the perfect christmas present when most of our gifts for the family had already been bought. So we thought we’ll advertise our perfect gift here and maybe inspire you to buy it too. It’s a perfect combination of a present and a good cause! But in order to explain why it is a perfect gift for us, I have to go a bit farther back:
See, things have been going on in Germany during the last weeks that we don’t approve of. Movements that actually really worry us and that we have been aware of for years now but that seem to increase every month, if not every week or even every day. Xenophobia is something I wholeheartedly condemn. I understand that some people fear for their jobs and personal freedom (whether that is justified is another question…) and that some people might feel uncomfortable by being surrounded by the non-familiar. I also know that xenophobia is not a specific German problem but that you’ll find it in almost every society, no matter where, and in almost every shape. But that doesn’t mean that I have to take it for granted.
One specific form of xenophobia which has, in my opinion, heavily increased during the last months is the aversion and aggression towards asylum seekers. I can neither understand nor accept it. May it be in Switzerland where asylum seekers in one region were suddenly not allowed to enter public spaces like pools, playgrounds or churches, or in Germany were you can’t open a new asylum building without being confronted by demonstrations and violence. When I read about things like this, I can’t help but wonder why people feel this way and whether there is still something called empathy to be found. What is so wrong about helping those who need help? Why is it so hard to be friendly? Especially when even our definition of low-income is still incredibly high compared to most parts of the world. Why don’t people wonder what the other person might have been through before applying for asylum? Applying for asylum surely isn’t something that you do out of a clear blue sky and it is not an easy process either.
A few years ago we thought neonazis were the big problem. Nowadays I notice that it’s not just the neonazis – with all the new nationalistic parties and a general islamophobia among the population the whole issue is taken to a whole new dimension. And I don’t like it.
Fortunately, there are projects and ideas which show that stupidity has not taken over the whole human race. One of these projects is called “Über den Tellerrand kochen” and was founded by students in Berlin. It started as a project to bring together refugees and residents and is about cooking together, spending time together and sharing stories. This December, a cook book was published which includes recipes from all over the world as well as the stories of their contributors.
The cook book is written in both German and English and with the revenues of the book new projects will be supported in order to improve the integration of refugees. So if you are still looking for a good christmas present: here it is! Buying this book doesn’t solve the problem. But it’s a good way to support integration projects and it is a way to oppose xenophobic movements. Go for it!