Posts Tagged ‘Martina Matischok’

Ampelmann to marry Ampelfrau

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Berlin’s Ampelmann, the stout little pedestrian traffic light man of the former East Germany, is searching for a good-looking Ampelfrau. A child of the 1960s, Ampelmann doesn’t want to be called Ampelmaennchen (“little” traffic light man) anymore http://walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/ampelmannchen-former-east-berliners/. Having outlasted communism and the Cold War and turned into a beloved symbol of one of the often-overlooked positive things that came out of the former Communist Germany, Ampelmann is ready to settle down and is poised for marriage.

Ampelmaennchen (little traffic light men) created by former East Berliner, Karl Peglau

Ampelmaennchen (little traffic light men) created by former East Berliner, Karl Peglau

Ampelmann seeks mate

His plea to one of Berlin’s local assemblies last week read something like this:

ATTRACTIVE MALE, AGE 53, SPRING IN HIS STEP, WANTS TO SHARE LIFE WITH SELF-CONFIDENT, MODERN-DAY WOMAN. NO PONY TAIL, FULL SKIRT OR HIGH HEELS PLEASE!

Martina Matischok, leader of the German Social Democrat Party in Berlin’s central district of Mitte, played matchmaker. On 12 May 2014, she asked the local assembly to introduce an Ampelfrau alongside Berlin’s much-revered Ampelmann. The Ampelfrau should look “modern and self-confident,” the Social Democrat wrote in her motion. http://www.thelocal.de/20140515/berlins-ampelmann-needs-a-woman “It’s about equality,” Matischok said. “We don’t want to replace the Ampelmann; we want to complete him.” http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-27443656. The document further states that under no circumstances should the Ampelfrau conform to “sexist stereotypes” with ponytail or full skirt. Neither should she wear high heels or a mini skirt.

Ampelfrauen in Other Towns

Ampelfrauen already direct pedestrian crossings in several German and European cities. The former East German town of Zwickau was the first to install an Ampelfrau in 2004. Dresden, Sonthofen, and Fuerstenwalde followed suit. Belgium and England are examples of other locals that have introduced female pedestrian traffic guides at pedestrian crossings.

Berlin Mitte’s assembly will consider the request on May 22. What does a self-confident, modern-day woman look like? Any suggestions?

 

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com. Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.