Some thoughts on being German and the change I observed in our society on engagements and my newly discovered love to diamonds… Not too long ago, I was told by a man that Germans have no taste, no taste when it comes to our appearance. We are rather pragmatic and practical orientated and would not put a lot of emphasis on our looks. It felt like a slap in the face. I was stunned and speechless.. I took it very personal and still don’t know if he was talking in general or referring to me. A woman’s look and appearance refer to clothing, make-up and obviously jewellery. Well, I guess there is some truth in what he said, especially in regards to the pragmatic way and I won’t exclude myself here. As much as I love going shopping, love reading the latest fashion magazines and getting spoilt at the beauty salon, I am not a huge fan of 10cm heels, neither of visiting a hairdresser only to get my hair blow-dried (ok.. I must admit my hair is pretty easy to handle) and neither of over-doing it with jewellery. I am just still busy figuring out if this is because of my German (in this context German = pragmatic) heritage OR because I don’t earn the big bugs OR maybe because I think “less is more”.
Since change is the only constant in our lives, my attitude is about to change, too. Especially since I live in one of the diamond capitals of the word (Johannesburg). Where I was brought up diamonds didn’t mean a lot. It happened rather seldom that a man proposed with a diamond ring in the pocket. Engagement rings were usually simple and plain silver or white gold. I’d like to add that proposals in general were a rather rare thing to happen. That’s probably why , when I first moved to South Africa I didn’t understand the hype about engagements and “the ring”. For me a diamond used to be merely an allotrope of carbon. Pretty, no doubt but worth the money?? Not for me.. well, until am discovering my love for jewellery.
The interesting thing is that with my changing attitude, I am observing a change in my Landsman behaviours. Recently, quite a lot of my friends back home got engaged – my fellow countrymen on their knees with the ring! (Big shout out to those brave men). It’s nice to see this changing attitude and behaviour. It allows us German women to become ladies again, girly and not ashamed of our romanticism which was suppressed for the past 30 to 40 years (in Germany) when it was all about emancipation and Alice Schwarzer’s way of portraying the “modern woman” (on this note.. I am just trying to picture Alice Schwarzer wearing a Solitaire on her finger… can you imagine this????)
Here speaks the tourist in me: One of my favourite cuts is the Protea Solitaire ring from Browns (one of the country’s finest jeweller). This magnificent piece of diamond jewellery has been inspired by one of South Africa’s most unique and beautiful national treasures, the Protea. Isn’t is just beautiful? Simple, puristic.. does this mean I am pragmatic???? I guess I still have too much of Germanism in me…