When I heard last year that the German emo-pop band Tokio Hotel was performing in Israel, I was somewhat amused. When I read in the Jüdische Allgemeine the other day that the immense popularity of that band had led to an increased demand of German classes among (mostly female) Israeli teenagers, I started getting worried.

I’m all for cultural exchange between Israel and Germany and foreign language learning in particular, mind you, but I’m concerned that Israeli girls will suffer a shock comparable to the Paris Syndrome once they find out that average German males their age don’t appear androgynous and don’t don black eyeliner or weird hair-styles (unless they’re emo, which I like to define as “depressed punks that would start a revolution if only they could be motivated and this world weren’t so depressing”).

Dear parents of Israeli teenage girls affected with TH-fever, please break it to your daughters gently that their average male German peer does not look anything like the lead singer of that band and that, actually, the “cool” lads consider such music “Tüsschenpop” (= “sissie-pop”) or “Aufreißmucke” (= music intended to get a female in the mood to comply with sexual favours asked from her). If you don’t want to discourage your princesses from learning German, there are many more German bands out there (who even use proper syntax and lyrics that make sense), e.g. MIA., Wir sind Helden, Juli, Rosenstolz, Die Toten Hosen, Die Ärzte, Ich&Ich, 2Raumwohnung, Seeed etc.

There’s a silver-lining though: some Israeli girl called Naomi cited in the JA article explained TH’s popularity by likening them to freaks and stating that there was nothing comparable in Israel. No offence taken…

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froylein

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