X Epic Reasons Locals Are Proud to Be Berliners

A view of Berlin's Skyline at night and Molecule Man in the Spree | © eriger / Pixabay
A view of Berlin's Skyline at night and Molecule Man in the Spree | © eriger / Pixabay
Photo of Alice Dundon
31 May 2018

There’s an old aphorism that no one living in Berlin was actually born there, and while this isn’t exactly true, it does shine a light on the transient and welcoming nature of the city. Berlin is a city of constant shifts, it’s dynamic, multicultural and international and regardless of the amount of time spent calling the city home, there are certain things that always make the locals proud to be Berliners.

It’s a city that fights for its rights

Gentrification, alt-right rallies, a tide of nationalism sweeping across Europe? Berlin is certainly not immune to any of these, but for most of its residents, showing up and protesting is an important part of being a Berliner – and the city sometimes has a truly ‘Berlin’ way of doing so. Recently making headlines, the city’s techno protest rave against an AfD rally attracted some 20,000 counter-protesters.

And the rights of others

Beyond protesting and demonstrating for their own interest most Berliners are happy also show their support and solidarity for people outside of Berlin or Germany. With locals actively participating in Women’s Marches, protests for refugee rights, fighting for the rights of the global LGBTQIA community, and showing solidarity globally as well as locally for tolerance and respect.

Trans*march Berlin 2014, coming together for more visibility, solidarity, self-definition and respect | © Franziska Neumeister / Flickr

A haven for artists

Berlin is a magnet for young creatives and artists, with an estimated 20,000 artists living and working in the city. Drawn in by cheap rent and an underground atmosphere, many have found a voice and have stayed to make Berlin home.

Street busker playing by East Side Gallery in Berlin | © Tommes64 / Pixabay

Multiculturalism is celebrated

Every year in May Berlin ignites in a vibrant street parade and party called Carnival of Cultures. It’s a loud, proud and electric four-day celebration of cultural diversity and an annual event that represents the general feeling of Berliners all year round.

Carnival of Cultures ends in a huge street parade with dancers from all over the world | © Alexander Whillas / Flickr

The city definitely knows how to throw a party

It’s a well-known fact that Berlin is home to some of the wildest, most debauched and pleasure-seeking parties in Europe. With techno often as its guiding force, the city’s clubs create safe spaces across the city for locals and tourists to bask and explore themselves in.

People Dancing and Enjoying a Show in Berlin | © Martin Fisch / Flickr

Self-expression is respected

Going hand in hand with the city’s club culture is a sense of liberal self-expression. Whatever your kink or regardless of how you want to express yourself, as long as it’s rooted in respect there is a place for you in Berlin.

Men dressed in leather gather in Berlin for Easter in Berlin leather festival | © torbakhopper / Flickr

Underground cultures still thrive

In this sense, underground and counter-cultural movements still thrive in the city. Berliners are proud of their edge, and rightly so, beyond the buzzword ‘edgy,’ locals here still start, thrive in and shine in underground, boundary-pushing cultures.

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