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The world mocking Trump

Countries battle it out to win over the US President with satirical videos

In his inauguration speech, Donald Trump, the new President of the USA, summarised his intentions for his four years in office using a syntagm which has in the meantime become the symbol of the new state policy, sparking concern in the international environment and particularly among the closest allies of the United States: “America First“.

However, amidst all the fear and incertitude, the world has adopted a laid-back attitude by starting a trend involving short videos in which countries introduce themselves to the new US President using his favourite words and phrases, as well as promoting aspects of their history and culture which would appeal to Trump’s social and political views. The creators of the videos claim that their presentation is a message from the government of the respective state, at the end asking Trump to put their country second, as the first place is already occupied by America.

©youtube.com, NEO MAGAZIN ROYALE

It all started on 23rd January with the Dutch television programme “Zondag met Lubach” broadcasting a video which was then posted on Youtube and social media with the title “The Netherlands welcomes Trump in his own words”. The video immediately went viral, having so far reached 49 million views on Facebook and 23 million on Youtube. Soon after, other states followed the Dutch example, creating their own introduction videos. Several European countries accepted the challenge, with Middle Eastern (Iran, Israel) and African states (Morocco, Namibia), Australia and New Zealand joining the fun. Germany is no exception, thanks to the video prepared by the satirist and Neo Magazin Royale presenter Jan Böhmermann. Furthermore, a number of federal states created their own presentations.

The numbers keep rising, as new videos from different countries appear every day. A collection of those already posted can be found at http://www.everysecondcounts.eu/, a website especially conceived for keeping track of the videos.

Although most of the videos contain stereotypes and mildly offensive attacks directed at certain countries or groups of people (to match Trump’s well-known nationalist behaviour), they are only meant as jokes and should therefore be interpreted as signs of self-irony. Moreover, these country presentations attracting millions of viewers from all around the world thanks to their comical approach also promote geographical, historical and cultural facts, which help expand the knowledge of the audiences regarding the world around them. At the same time, they might act as unintended travel advertisements, potentially boosting the tourist potential of less visited countries.

The inauguration speech of President Trump may have alerted the world concerning the future involvement of the USA at global level, but the viral country presentation videos have certainly helped relax the tense atmosphere, while promoting culture and society in an accessible, light-hearted manner. After all, what better way is there to confront an unpleasant situation than humour?

 

English – German glossary:

to mock sb = jdn verspotten

to battle it out = um etw kämpfen

to win sb over = jdn auf seine Seite bringen

in the meantime = in der Zwischenzeit

to spark concern = Sorgen bereiten

amidst = inmitten

laid-back = locker

to appeal to sb = bei jdm Anklang finden

to claim = behaupten

respective = jeweilig

to broadcast = übertragen

to go viral = rasend schnell bekannt werden

to conceive = entwerfen

to keep track of sth = etw nachverfolgen

mildly offensive = leicht beleidigend

to attract = anziehen

approach = Ansatz

to expand one’s knowledge = sein Wissen erweitern

audiences = Zuschauer

unintended = unbeabsichtigt

to boost = antreiben

to alert = alarmieren

tense = gespannt

light-hearted = heiter

manner = Weise