Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ho, ho, ho!

There are few things perceived as so 'typically German' (in a positive way) as the Christmas Market. I have heard that they are even springing up across the United Kingdom, complete with stands selling Glühwein.

And so we might assume that here in Munich the 95 Christkindlmärkte in and around the city are places where traditional German handicrafts... nut-crackers made in the Erzgebirge mountains... hand-blown glass baubles for the tree... cherubs crafted in wax... toys and decorations of all kinds... can be found in abundance. Pshaw! Humbug! Investigative reporters from Bavarian Television have discovered that a good number of vendors offer to the 1.6 million visitors merchandise 'made in Germany' which is in reality sourced from low-cost suppliers in Asia.
The result, of course, is that a 20 Euro nut-cracking hussar made in China sells far better than one costing 60 Euros but made by families of craftsmen who have been carving these figures for generations.

All a bit sad, I think.

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