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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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Geopolitics

Modi Is Wrong: Russia's War Also Creates Real Risks For India

By shrugging aside Russia’s aggression, India has shown indifference to fears that China could follow Russia’s example.

Photo of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visits Russia

Anita Inder Singh*

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — India is wrong to dismiss Russia’s war in Ukraine as Europe’s problem. The illegality and destructiveness of the invasion, and consequential food and energy crises, have global ramifications.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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This explains why 143 out of the 193 member-states of the UN General Assembly voted against recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions after holding sham referenda there. Ninety-three voted in favor of expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

India has abstained from every vote in the UN condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The reason? Moscow is India’s top arms supplier and some 70% of India’s military platforms are of Russian origin.

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