Saturday, 16 January 2010

The east German traffic lights man: Das Ampelmännchen

I want to introduce you to one of the icons of the culture of East Germany that goes back to the 1960'ies and German Democratic Republic (DDR): Das Ampelmännchen, a the little man wearing a hat. This unique and friendly symbol was used as an advisor for childrens education on road and traffic and even animated stories were broadcast with the Ampelmännchen as the main protagonist. After the reunification of Germany , there was an attempt to get rid of the Ampelmännchen and standardize all traffic light men like the west traffic lights man but a strong campaign to keep a cultural icon such the East traffic light man prevented that from happening.

Nowadays you can find even a female version of the trafficlights man in some cities from Germany and there is even a version of it in a car! If you want to meet the Traffic light man you need to go to East German cities such as Berlin or Dresdenh. If you like him as much as i did you can find shops only dedicated to him called "Ampelmann shop" on may spots in Berlin.

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