February 2017 – Catherine’s Intercultural World in Review

Catherine's Intercultural World

I’m writing this post shortly before leaving for sunny Cuba, so I’ll keep it short! If you’d like to see photos from my trip, please visit my Instagram account (@rochereul), although I’m not sure how much internet access I’ll have during my travels.

More Trump Inauguration Parodies

Remember last month when I pointed out a Dutch parody of Trump’s inauguration speech? Well, the idea was already viral when German satirist and presenter Jan Böhmermann invited the world to guess which country would write the best follow-up.

Here’s the video about Germany coming in second with its parody (the English voiceover starts at 1:47; before and after the video, Böhmermann speaks in German):

You can find all participating countries’ videos on the website “Who wants to be second?” at www.EverySecondCounts.eu. Follow the organization’s Twitter account @itsgreateu to get firsthand information about competing countries.

In my opinion, the winning video is from a German region called Rheinhessen (inside joke: they are on the wrong side of the Rhine!). Watch it here:

Political Unrest in France and Germany

After the United States’ presidential election, I think France is also looking like a TV show. François Fillon, the candidate of one of France’s two major parties, has been drained into a corruption scandal, which started with allegations that Fillon fictively employed his wife and children for 10 years, paying them around a million dollars. To read more, check out this article from the Denver Post:
“France’s election is becoming a mud fight”

Three month before France’s election, I’m concerned that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen will profit. That’s also Fox News’ opinion, as you can see here:
“Drain Le Swamp? France’s Le Pen gets boost as rival Fillon hit by scandal

I will not only vote in the French presidential election in May but also in the next federal election in Germany in September. Angela Merkel has been the German Chancellor since 2005, and until recently, her reelection seemed safe. Then, Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Union, announced he wouldn’t seek a third term but would run for the German Chancellorship. This sudden announcement means that Merkel is really challenged in the race.

This article from Politico summarizes this scenario pretty well:
“Germany’s new front-runner: The Schulz

International Industry Surprises

According to Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Germany-based grocer Lidl has moved up its timetable to open its first U.S. stores to this summer.” Larger media outlets like Reuters and ABC News reported similarly, and more details can be found in this article from Supermarket News:

Lidl: First 20 U.S. stores to open this summer

or in German from SPIEGEL Online:

Lidl öffnet im Sommer erste Filialen

Finally, my French-German heart was thrilled to hear the news that French automaker Peugeot-Citroen wants to take over the German brand Opel (owned by General Motors). The Irish Times suspects that this would create “the biggest auto industry merger or takeover since Fiat bought Chrysler at a knock-down price from the US government in the wake of the global recession.” To read more, check out the article: “PSA and Opel – who wins, who loses?

Did I forget something from this month? Don’t be shy—please let me know!


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