A buzz of languages and delicacies from all over the world: Thousands of people also turned the seventh Dresden Gastmahl into a colorful society on Monday afternoon. Along a nearly 600-meter-long table across the Elbe on the Augustus Bridge, Dresdeners, newcomers and guests of the city sampled favorite dishes. At the total of 270 tables sponsored by companies, initiatives and cultural institutions was tinkered and played, chatted and discussed, played music, recited and danced.
The guest meal is now firmly part of Saxony, "it shows the cosmopolitanism and the commitment of civil society," said Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU), who himself briefly plunged into the fray between two dates. People from other cultures and religions who integrate enrich a country, he said. "Here you see the social majority, and it is positive, open and curious." There are many such statements in the country, he said, mostly on a small scale, "among friends, neighbors, colleagues."
The multiple involvement of the population stands against attempts to push Dresden into the brown corner, said Mayor Dirk Hilbert (FDP). As can be seen here, the citizenry is open-minded.
The guest banquet "Dresden is(s)t bunt" premiered in 2015 to counter the then verbally loud protest of Pegida with the rather quietly lived togetherness. The aim is to show that Dresden is and remains worth living in for those who come to the city privately and professionally from other parts of the world and those who have had to flee. According to Ehninger, origin and language do not play a role at the guest banquet either: "What is decisive is the interest in the other."
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