My Story...

 

 My smile is misleading

 

We spontaneously decided to go to the wine festival in Traiskirchen with our neighbours. In joyful anticipation we put on our Trachten (*traditional Austrian and South German clothes). I felt beautiful and strong, when I came home I was fighting back tears.

As a woman born in Bavaria I have been wearing Dirndl (*the traditional dress) all my life. I was particularly proud because my grandmother sewed it herself (luxury pure!)

I was a star in the Trachtenverein (an association for the upholding of the traditional wear), of course I was, “oh how pretty” and 927272 pictures with tourists was the standard for me.

As you do, we took the Badener Bahn to get to Traiskirchen. When we got there we hadn’t even walked 10 meters before hearing the first racist remark. “Now I’ve seen it all, a n*gger in a Dirndl, I guess I can cross that off my list”. A group of boys aged 16-17. When I asked them if they wanted to take a picture as proof they mumbled something of an apology ran away embarrassed.

We arrived at the festivities. All eyes were on us. No, all eyes were on ME!

I heard people whispering. “A black woman in a Dirndl!”. Everywhere I saw confused eyes, mad eyes, amused eyes. We went to get something to eat, and no, I did not get even 2 minutes rest.

I could not take a step without hearing people talking or laughing.

I feel like a leper. Observed and exposed. Yes, I am very well aware that there might have been a few people who thought I looked very pretty. But I felt like an alien, as if I were not allowed to be here.

I resigned, and managed not to freak out until I got home. I am boiling inside, I just wanted to have a nice evening with my friends.

I was told later that an old woman was very happy when she saw my blonde friend in Lederhosen, but when she saw me her loving grandma-face turned to stone.

What did I do? THIS is my culture. All I know is Bavaria and Austria. Lederhosen and beer. I feel robbed of my identity. For these people a “n*gger in Tracht” is a caricature, for some of them it’s an insult. I would love not to have to deal with any of this any more, I feel ashamed for Seehofer and Söder, where the fuck is your Gmiadlichheid (*dialect → describes the Austrian and Southern German outlook on life as relaxed and warm)?

The only thing you are doing is forcing people with an ounce of sense left in them to reject your “Leitkultur”.

For my part, I feel deeply hurt and will only go to events in future where I can be sure to avoid such hostility.

I feel shut out and constrained. Strache and his minions are right, there are no-go areas, for me definitively. I just want to pull a blanket over my head and never leave the house again.

This indoctrinated hate is eating me up inside...

 

Translated by Christopher Hütmannsberger

 

This post can be shared but must remain my original wording

 


Kommentare: 16
  • #16

    Alex (Donnerstag, 29 November 2018 02:13)

    I didn't realize that racism of this caliber exist towards blacks in Europe...especially outside of America. It breaks my heart.

  • #15

    Alan Hay (Mittwoch, 28 November 2018 17:11)

    I am definitely in the “She is beautiful in the dress” camp. Not sure I agree with her about cotton candy though...but come to our Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (in September) and you will have a great time.

  • #14

    Sandy (Dienstag, 21 August 2018 19:56)

    Being a new resident in Austria(married to Austria )I have felt this very strongly since day one. People judge me by my brown skin, they treat me different and give awkward look .

  • #13

    Sarah (Donnerstag, 26 Juli 2018 11:25)

    Im so sorry that this has hppend to you. Stay strong and thank you for making others aware of your struggle.

  • #12

    Hel. (Mittwoch, 18 Juli 2018 22:25)

    I once went to the traditional maket in Neustift a part of Vienna, where I took my japanese!!! friend, who clearly looks japanese. I borrowed her my dirndl - traditional styrian style - non of your experience happened to her. not a single person stared at her, not a single bad or racist comment was received. I am sorry, you apparently had a bad experince that day, but I am not sure why this must be representative? In Madagascar or Panama City people were racist to me, so what? Shall I write my pitiful story now? The dirndl fits you very well, feel pretty no matter what jackasses (they are all around the world!!!) say.

  • #11

    JuB (Mittwoch, 18 Juli 2018 21:51)

    You look beautiful in your traditional outfit. I hope you have an easier time next time you wear it.

  • #10

    Attila (Mittwoch, 18 Juli 2018 14:40)

    Hi...
    I have found something for you...
    Maybe if you read it, you can understand better the people in the country you choose for living...
    It is about Germany, but it could be about Austria

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-and-immigration-the-changing-face-of-the-country-a-1203143.html

    Many Germans feel foreign in their own country and are afraid that immigration is changing their homeland rapidly. Every fifth person in Germany comes from an immigration background and that number will continue to climb. What does that mean for the country?

    After reading this (maybe you can find the original in German) maybe you can make a difference between real racism and a fear of changing everything around someone who can not do anything about it.

  • #9

    Sam (Mittwoch, 18 Juli 2018 05:15)

    We stand with you. Make sure those racists get what they deserve.

    Racism is a human rights violation.

    Racists don't care about anyone, they care about superficial standards, they care about appearance, they are bullies, they care about themselves.

    They are selfish, and irrational. They reject the talents and skills of large groups of people, and what they may contribute on the basis of appearance, but would never want themselves treated that way.

    They make preconceived judgements about people on no rational basis, but would not want the same to be done to themselves.

    They refuse to judge individuals, and lump people into categories that are irrelevant to one's character and conduct, but would not want the same to be done to themselves.

    They make the lives of minorities, and anyone else who deviates from the norm awful, they inflict suffering for no reason, and they are vile. I pity them, I wish they could change, but until they do, they must be confronted.

    In places like Canada and the US racism is much less common today than it was in the past, so that should give us hope that if we work together and uphold the principles of compassion, fairness, equality, human rights, democracy, and love, we can build a more cohesive, respectful, fair, and just society all over the world, including in countries like Austria.

    We must make it clear, there should be no tolerance for racism, because racism refuses to tolerate people for characteristics that they did not choose, and characteristics that have nothing to do with whether or not someone else will tolerate another person. Racism has no place in society.

  • #8

    Penny Chen (Mittwoch, 18 Juli 2018 05:02)

    Love and support from ��Canada �� ❤️!

    Stay strong, you have the right to wear whatever you want, you have the right to control your body, and you have the right to live free from racial discrimination.

    Racism is injustice and a crime against humanity, we will march on!

  • #7

    fiilip (Dienstag, 17 Juli 2018 06:50)

    Stay strong my dear.

  • #6

    Attila (Dienstag, 17 Juli 2018 00:28)

    Accidemtally I was putting it in the German section first...

    Yes... You have "right" to wear your dirndl.
    You decided, to live in Austria, where the peole in general welkoming you.
    But for few minutes, try to think with those peoples head, who created a life for themself, and they would like to live that life like that.
    But "life" around them changing fast, and they was not asking for this changes.
    The streets, the neighbourhood changes, in their favorit cafes now sitting strangers, talking strange languages, wearing strange clothes...

    We are talking about peoples rights to change their lifes...
    And we are NOT talking about peoples, who do not want to change their lifes.

    Do we have the right to preseve a type of culture, habits, neighbours?
    Is there an agreement anywhere, that a mixed society is better than a homogenous?

    You know probably very well... the similar like similars...
    And you probably happy to move to neighbourhood, where are already some people, similar to you.
    This is true for the austrians too...

    There is no problem with you.

    You maybe just the last drop of water in the glass for some people, who do not want any more changes around them. It is completly different to be nice to a handfull of strange people, than to an increasingly overhelming number of strange people...
    Your dress is representing to them, that you would like to keep your culture, instead of integrating into theirs. You have your right to keep your culture. The big part of austrian culture is, that it is monoculture... So accepting your dress meaning to them, that they have to give up their monoculture... And they asking: WHY?

    So I don't think, that most of them really racist, they just dont want to change their comfortable life.

    Let me make an example with a silly little joke:

    A man visit the doctor, saying, that all of his friends think, that he is crasy.
    The doctor asks, why?
    - Because I really like the chocolate cake - says the man
    - Nothig wrong with that. I like the chocolate cake too - says the doctor.
    - Oh, Excellent ! Doctor, then I bring you 5 tonns of chocolate cake tomorrow!

  • #5

    Flora (Montag, 16 Juli 2018 23:24)

    Thanks for sharing your story, stay strong, don't let these hateful people get to you! You are a beautiful and brave woman, a real inspiration for me and many others. Keep being yourself:)

  • #4

    Pj (Montag, 16 Juli 2018 20:56)

    Keep strong, and know you are not alone, been there and still going through what you're going through, as a person of color. Always fill your heart with love, joy, peace..Never hate, fear, we have nothing to apologise for,..stay true to who you are and stay joyful...

  • #3

    Tiffany Lindsey (Montag, 16 Juli 2018 20:40)

    As an African American ( born and raised, and from a family that has lived in the U.S. for over two hundred years), who is often treated as an outcast in my own country, I feel your despair. In the current political climate across the west, it feels more and more as if people think it's ok to treat others as if they don't belong. Stay strong and be you. It may be difficult at times but just remember, you belong. You have every right to celebrate your culture. And you are greater than any smallminded idiot who seeks to make you feel otherwise.

  • #2

    Howard Rhett (Montag, 16 Juli 2018 19:41)

    Stay strong, there is only love and fear in the world when we are born into it. People who seek to dominate others run only on fear, never love. Always choose love Imoan.

    Howard Rhett
    Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

  • #1

    Colin (Montag, 16 Juli 2018 19:00)

    Well done for standing up to these vile rasist idiots but please remember we are not all like them ��