Germany and its culture
The long withstanding and complex culture of Germany constitutes various elements that are representative of the country’s identity. These elements are commonly in the form of art, music, religious beliefs, customs and traditions, traditional clothing, housing and architecture, language, etc. Discussing everything that represents the culture of Germany would require time and effort that shall be spent on research and other activities or processes that will reveal the distinctive qualities of the German culture.
Therefore, it is essential to go over the German culture minimally in order to focus on the meaning or symbolisms that underlie each cultural representation. For this particular discussion, the cultural symbolism of the dachshund will be explicated. Dachshunds have long been a valuable part of Germany’s rich history and culture. Like all other elements that are highly popular as identifiers of Germany’s culture such as beer (and the popular Oktoberfest) and the sausages, or the popular automotive model, the beetle, the dachshunds remain to be part of the elements or cultural constructs that are easily referred to Germany and its culture.
The nation has tried to become known around the world by utilizing dachshunds to share a piece of the German culture. Aside from their popularity in the past as pets, dachshunds have also been featured in movies and television shows, and also being seen trotted by celebrities. This only means that Germany has succeeded in sharing their culture to other nations. (Gill, 2008) The dachshund is a popular breed of dog that has originated from Germany, as they were bred there initially during the 1600s.
The distinct features of the dachshund 0 with a long and elongated body and somewhat drooping stomach – were the look that the German breeders were trying to go for in their minds when they had the opportunity to do so. The purpose of the dachshund was to ward off and reduce the population of pestering badgers. However, as time went by, the roles and responsibilities expected from them. They became man’s companion for hunting and tracking (i. e. charging rabbits) and even hunting games. (“AKC Meet the Breeds: Dachshund,” 2007)
Although the dachshund has been around for more than a few decades, its popularity escalated and became known only in 1972, when it became the official mascot for the Olympic Games held in Munich. The mascot was named Dachshund Waldi. Since then, dachshunds have gained the attention of other nations and have become a symbol or representation for Germany. (IWALK, 2008) It has ceased to remain a “badger dog” as considered initially by Germans after its introduction to the world as Dachshund Waldi.
Since then, thousands of people not only in Germany but around the world have taken interest in raising dachshunds that they have decided to purchase and breed them. This opened up an opportunity for dachshunds that were originally from Germany, to be known in foreign lands and be the cultural representation of the nation. (DW Staff, 2007) Aside from the popularity of dachshunds internationally, the regard for it as representative of German culture is evident in the way the people celebrate or acknowledge the importance of this particular breed of dog.
Like the annual celebration of the Oktoberfest, the nation also holds Dachshund Beauty Pageants during the same time as one of the major activities ushering Oktober Brewfest. It has become a tradition, and the yearly celebrations signify how great a part the dachshunds are in the way of life or culture of the Germans. (“Celebrate German Culture at the Oktober Brewfest,” 2008) The celebration of the Oktoberfest and the Dachshund Beauty Pageant as a cultural tradition for Germans is backed up by the name dubbed to the country – the Dachshund Capital of the World.
There was a time in the history of Germany where the population of Dachshunds outnumbered the population of the people. Breeding dachshunds has become a number one priority, perhaps not only because of their cultural ties to the unique breed of dog, but also to the revenue that it obtains for the country as the dog breed is in demand in various countries all over the world. Aside from the profit that Germans gain from breeding dogs and selling them locally and internationally, they are also able to obtain finances from renting out the dogs for individuals who visit the country.
Apparently, renting dachshunds was highly popular for tourists. (“Dachshunds,” 2008) Although the cultural symbolism represented by the dachshund seemed to have left its mark to the locals and to other people around the world, the matter is being challenged by issues that question its authority as an identifier of Germany at present. Apparently, the rate of birth for dachshunds has decreased in the recent years and dog breeders have admitted that they, like the Beetle, has somewhat gone out of style. (Gill, 2008) The demand for dachshunds has slowed down and has caused panic to the country’s dog federation.
Along these lines, does it mean that the culture of Germany is dwindling along with it? Even though the lack of interest in dachshunds is alarming for the country, I do believe that the country has nothing to worry about in terms of their culture being forgotten by the locals and other nations. Dachshunds will always remain to be a popular dog breed, and although there seems to be no more demand for it, Germany has still left its mark as the first breeders of dachshunds, and along with it, has presented a portion of the German culture for the world to see and experience.
Works Cited “AKC Meet the Breeds: Dachshund. ” (2007). Retrieved November 17, 2008, from American Kennel Club. Website: http://www. akc. org/breeds/dachshund/index. cfm “Celebrate German Culture at the Oktober Brewfest. ” (2008). Retrieved November 17, 2008, from HamptonRoads. com. Website: http://hamptonroads. com/2008/10/celebrate-german-culture-oktober-brewfest “Dachshunds. ” (2008). Retrieved November 17, 2008, from The Breeds of Dogs. Website: http://www. thebreedsofdogs. com/DACHSHUNDS. htm DW Staff. (2007). Dachshunds Barking Up The Wrong Tree.
Retrieved November 17, 2008, from Deutsche Welle. Website: http://www. dw-world. de/dw/article/0,2144,2375358,00. html Gill, E. (2008). Wurst-case Scenario for Dachshunds. Retrieved November 17, 2008, from Expatica Communication BV. Website: http://www. expatica. com/de/articles/news/Wurst_case-scenario-for-dachshunds. html IWALK. (2008). Why they Chiose Dachshund Waldi as the First Mascot of Olympic Games? Retrieved November 17, 2008, from WordPress. Website: http://www. iwalku2. com/2008/08/dachshund-waldi-first-mascot-of-olympic-games. htmlSample Essay of RushEssay.com