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The great Oktoberfest clearance sale

Sunday, 6 October, 2013

This evening in Munich, the 180th Oktoberfest ends. The organizers are very pleased with the statistics: 6.4 million drinkers and 6.7 million Maß beer drunk. And then there’s the business of Tracht, the traditional attire that was worn by peasants in the Alpine regions during the 18th century. Back in August, in an article titled The Lederhosen boom, The Economist noted that, “Tracht has never been so common and cosmopolitan — even cool. Increasingly, it is the Alpine answer to American cowboy hats or Chinese qipao (their sheath-like, high-necked dress).” In times of uncertainty, people yearn for tradition, noted the writer, “And although patriotism remains psychologically complex in Germany, regional pride as expressed in Tracht is free of suspicion. Like Scots with their kilts, Germans can don their Lederhosen and still be good Europeans.”

Inevitably, that deliberately mischievous last line stirred up the commentators.

Tracht


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