CULTURE (2017 | Issue 3)

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Dr Martin Ney

Germany has an extremely rich cultural heritage. Historically known as “Das Land der Dichter und Denker”, its poets and thinkers have had a strong impact on the world. It has given birth to great philosophers, musicians, artists, writers and inventors. Modern-day Germany continues with this long tradition of cultural contributions and achievements. It has a cosmopolitan society which prides itself on being open-minded and creative. According to the 2014 BBC World Service’s Country Ratings Poll, Germany is the most positively viewed nation in the world.

To my mind, what makes Germany really special is the beautiful amalgamation of tradition and modernity across its 16 federal states. We have a diverse plurality of regional identities and lifestyles, which can be experienced when you visit the different states. Germany’s cultural kaleidoscope spans from opera to art, classical music concerts to underground clubs. Testimonies to its vibrant culture, both past and present, can be found in every nook and cranny of the country. The past is palpable in the many picturesque castles, historic sites and museums, while the contemporary is celebrated through innovative product design and architecture, avant-garde theatre and street art. I invite you to visit Germany and experience German culture in all its fascinating facets yourself.

As a career diplomat and a Western classical musician, I enjoy contributing to bringing my culture to India. And what better way to do that than through music? My wife, Gabriele, and I play the flute. We have given public and private concerts in India, and the response has been excellent. I have also had the joy of performing with European classical ensembles in India before packed auditoria, which shows there is a demand for Western classical music here. The flute has enabled me to connect with people and to connect people and music. And this requires no language. Music has its own language. It unites through the heart. That’s what I call music diplomacy! It’s a great way to further deepen Indo-German ties.

What’s Up, Germany? Culture (2017 | issue 3)