I wanted to see the traditional Oktoberfest parade: 9,500 participants in traditional folkloric dress marching to equally traditional Bavarian folk music. But what did I hear from the distance? Something that sounded like jazz, soul and afrobeat rolled into one. And then I saw them. Yes, a brass band, but they are dressed in kaftans of every imaginable color and design.
What’s happened to Munich and its Oktoberfest, the epitome of Bavarianness with its lederhosen and dirndls, brewery wagons and giant pretzels, yodeling and oom-pah music? Who has added this oriental note? The hoards of Chinese and Japanese who congregate in Munich at this time of year? Obviously it can’t be the thousands of Italian and Australian visitors who have come to drink themselves silly.
This is multiculti Munich. In this case the Express Brass Band was playing, native to Bavaria. The official parade was over and the crowds on their way home stopped to clap and tap their feet to something different. Yes, we are international here in Munich, even in the midst of the Oktoberfest.