Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's a Different World...

Coming to Germany was the easiest cultural transition for me as a person who has lived in four different countries. (In fact, the hardest was moving back to the States at 18.) And yet, there are still things that happen here that make one wonder what are people thinking.

This past weekend in a poorer area of Dresden, police conducted a volunteer DNA sampling expected to collect the saliva of over 1500 male volunteers. The supposed reasoning behind this collection was to help solve a series of rapes and attacks that occurred in that part of town five years ago that remains unsolved. German authorities have apparently used this tactic off and on around the country for years, every time a suitable crime presents itself as an excuse. They are seemingly trying to set up a total population database.

Think about it. This is a voluntary participation collection. If the guy who committed the attacks is still around, he will not participate. There is no way that the authorities can hope to solve this crime with this procedure. There has to be another purpose behind the attacks.

Why would most men participate? If my experience with Germans is accurate, it is due to two reasons. They would see their participation as a sign of their innocence, revealing a subtle “guilty until proven innocent” mentality, and they implicitly trust the government. This is just one of many aspects where German Culture is very different from American, and a perfect illustration of why cross cultural evangelical workers have no business getting into the culture’s politics. Whether their views are right or wrong has little to do with why I am here, and is none of my business.

That being said, what are they thinking?

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