For Oliver Henninger, watching Germany during the World Cup isn’t just about football, it’s about unifying the nation.
“The Germans have a hard time showing that we love our country,” he said yesterday at Niche in downtown Halifax. “Wearing our colours and having our flags … it’s not so usual for us.”
Henninger, 37, came to Canada two years ago after meeting his girlfriend while travelling. He said he’s a little homesick watching the action so far from home.
“It means more than just a football game,” he said, holding a bucket of beer in one hand and a German flag in the other. “The world championships are always big in Europe.”
More than 100 people crammed onto the Niche patio yesterday to watch the semifinal match between Germany and Spain. Fans who weren’t lucky enough to find a seat blanketed the floor, stairs and even stood in the blazing sun.
Bettina Saier, 42, played hooky from work to catch the match, not unlike her fellow Germans, she suggested.
“I think its eight million people … The country loses because people stay at home and watch the game,” she said, sporting German face paint and ribbons.
Saier, who came to Dalhousie University from Germany in 2001, echoed Henninger’s German spirit.
“It’s just good to see all the different nations and the German team playing together peacefully,” she said after clinking beers with a fellow fan.
Unfortunately for German fans, their team failed to advance.
However, Spain fan Kate Browning was ecstatic about her team’s victory. She said she loves the country and the team and is hoping for Spain to win it all.