Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Oktoberfest "Under Attack" from Unlikely Source

Oktoberfest opened this weekend, but according to an article in Der Spiegel it is "under attack from cheap Lederhosen made in China, India and Eastern Europe."
Hans Lehrer, a member of the Munich-based Isargau folk costume society and a former spokesman for the federation, said: “Folk costumes should be made where they’re worn. I’ve got a problem with imported folk dress because heritage refers to one’s homeland. If people buy Lederhosen made in Romania just because that’s cheaper, I’m opposed to that.”

Lehrer said a good pair of embroidered deer-leather short Lederhosen made by a Bavarian tailor would cost at least €600, while imported Lederhosen costs just €150. But it was worth paying the extra money, he added. “A good Lederhose is like a second skin and it will last you your whole life if you don’t get too fat.”

Alexander Wandinger, an expert on Bavarian folk dress, said: “Lederhosen made in India and all over the place may be fine for the Oktoberfest but it has nothing to do with true folk costume.”

Right... I suppose folk traditions being made more accessible and less elite is a bad thing? Blind protectionism, or legitimate respect for tradition? I tend to think the former...

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