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Germany

German Advertising Innuendo To Sell Curvaceous Mountain Getaways

Who knew these were the reasons to visit the scenic Black Forest.

Exploring the Black Forest in southwestern Germany
Exploring the Black Forest in southwestern Germany
Nakissa Salavati

MUNICH — The claims are true, at least. Germany's Black Forest does indeed have tall mountains, moist valleys prone to fog, and plenty of trees. So the tourism association known as "Ferienland Schwarzwald" (Vacationland Black Forest) isn't promising too much when it states the facts in promotion campaigns.

But you know there's more to it when Martin Sonneborn, a German satirist and member of the European Parliament, reacts to a Black Forest ad in the Ryanair in-flight magazine by commenting on a social network, "Black Forest? Hot place!")

That breathless appreciation was a reaction to the tourism association's new campaign to promote the Black Forest communities of Schonach, Schönwald, Furtwangen, Sankt Georgen and Unterkirnach in southwestern Germany.

On the poster, next to the words "Big Mountains, Moist Valleys and Forest Aplenty" is the stylized outline of a naked woman wearing a Bollenhut — a traditional Black Forest ladies' hat with two pom-poms on top. The viewer is apparently also meant to register the placement of the words "Ferienland Schwarzwald" — between the lady’s legs.

Such a heavy dose of double entendre is so blatant it hasn't escaped the attention of Schwarzwalders themselves. "The ad doesn't fit in with our style," Südkurier newspaper quoted the head of Unterkirnach local government as saying. He added that the sort of people who vacation in the Black Forest have high standards and wouldn't appreciate the ad.

Meanwhile, Sonneborn's Facebook page was inundated with outraged commenters. One person opined that the ad was sexist and primitive. The "Ferienland Schwarzwald" association responded by saying provocation and advertising go together, and anyway, the poster was designed by a woman.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any better, aesthetically pleasing or imaginative. Then again, this is an area where local T-shirts also feature the hat-wearing lady in garters. And the unofficial hymn of the region refers to the Black Forest's "beautiful girls." The song dates back to the 19th century. The Schwarzwald doesn't seem to have advanced much since.

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Green

As More Land Turns to Desert, Fights Over Water Erupt In Mongolia

There are too many animals for the available water supply in the Gobi desert region. The situation worsens each year.

Bolortuya Bekh-Ochir, right, and Jargalsuren Tungalagzaya fill a trough with water for a herd of goats outside of Dalanzadgad, Umnugovi province, Mongolia, June 5, 2022.

Uranchimeg Tsogkhuu, Global Press Journal Mongolia.
Uranchimeg Tsogkhuu*

DALANZADGAD — The scorching sun glares at them from directly above, and everything under their feet is parched, dusty and barren. The sheep and goats squeal and squeak, their nostrils sunken, their eyes glazed. Batbaatar Tsedevsuren, a herder with more than two decades of experience, knows this is how his animals behave when extremely thirsty.

He has walked with his 700 animals for several days in Mongolia’s Gobi desert in search of water and green pastures, when suddenly Batbaatar sees a well, and a fellow herder sitting on its edge. He comes closer with a smile, he later recalls, but the herder doesn’t reciprocate. “There is no water in the well,” the other herder quickly says. Batbaatar knows that isn’t true, and that the herder is just acting stingy. But he can’t afford a fight.

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