Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I work in an european community with french, belgium, spanish, dutch, german people and some other countries are represented as well but mostly by marriage. We almost all have the same history, meaning that we all come from different countries, with a good background and a previous international career. For whichever ground we ended up in Berlin and try to make the best of it. We of course try to make colleagues know more about ourselves and our culture, organizing some events but this stays an individual manifestation. There is one thing nevertheless that leads us in the same direction is the European Song Contest. It took place this week-end in Belgrade (the winner of last year) and as far as I remember It always existed since TV is switched on. Now It is more worldwide than european because I learned last week (It's been years since I watched It for the last time) that Iceland, Israël, Albania, Russia and some other far away are participating because they are members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It all started in 1956 and the most famous winner is certainly ABBA and their hit Waterloo in 1974. But do you remember Céline Dion in 1988 singing for Switzerland ? The original idea was to create one television show to be transmitted simultaneously in all represented nations. The competition was based upon the Italian Festival di Sanremo, held for the first time in 1951, and was also seen as a technological experiment in live television : In those days, it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist yet at that time, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. Without interruption, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, which makes it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. The competition has been broadcast throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. What is fun is not the songs to hear by themselves (we hate them all and the artist will never survive such an event, maybe one more song ?) and thanks to Youtube you can make your own decision way before the official contest but It is the never ending countdown of points that is worth seeing. Today there are 43 countries so I let you imagine each of participant scoring from 0 to 12 points (maximum rate). But the organizers decided It was too much even for the more patient human so now each representative of the country broadcast has less than 30 seconds to announce 8-10 and 12 points while on the screen you see the rest of the scores. It's funny how some try desperatly to maintain a suspens when there is absolutly none and some other making mistakes announcing 12 points for Greece ! (Hurrrraaayyyy) oh sorry It's 12 points for Russia oups sorry and bla bla bla. So the countdown can take hours and I understand organizers had to clean a little bit. Anyway this year before the finale we all went to Youtube and made our pronostics. We were very disapointed that our Belgium colleagues did not reach the finale, we French were OK to admit that we would lose this year again and Germany as usual was going there to win and nothing less. In the end the one we thought the most ridiculous won (Russia, the singer with his opened shirt and the ice skater turning around him while a third one is doing whatever), France was in the middle lost somewhere but happy to participate and we were not sad about the hilarious make-up and Germany arrived the last. They were so mad that they left before the end, they said It was a disaster (who cares ?) and argued what they can do well is playing football and fucking France which gained more points than they did. They just can't help themselves. Playing for the only pleasure of the game and being simply happy is unknown concept to them and that is what certainly make me the sadest in the end... for them because from my side I had a wonderful time sharing with my european community one of the best show of the year.

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