an anthropological guide to the "German<->Austrian-problem"
I suppose the metaphor that this series is trying to express can be applied to any two neighboring countries that on one hand need and on the other hate each other.
If you cut down the metaphors to actual sentences the story can be explained like this: A stereotypical (from the eyes of an Austrian - like the writer) German family is traditionally vacationing in the Austrian Alps. After realizing that in the background they (and their fellow Germans) aren't welcome at all they (in fact mostly only the father) try to boycott the holiday area. But the mayor manages to persuade the family to stay and even "binds" them to the place by starting to make business with them. From now on a "looking behind the masks" from both sides emerges allowing both parties to dig a little deeper into the real cultures of their opposites. It is a changing play of illusion and disillusion and coming to terms with them.
In fact "Die Piefka Saga" breaks a taboo by telling the truth about the holiday industry that nobody (on vacation) wants to hear about. The German family comes to Austria with the illusion that this country is still "pure" and free of pollution, corruption, big industrialization and cosmopolitan bias. Isn't that the promise we get from the travel agencies about almost any country we (want to) travel to? The final chapter of the series is even a satire in itself as it uses almost US-American like slap-stick humor at some points to exaggerate this fact: History and tradition have become a lucrative business in the past decades which is a global matter. In this version it's actually Japanese people who took over in the background - assimilating everyone into traditional Austrians to keep up the illusion of uncompromised purity for tourists.
In fact (if you understand the metaphor) this is happening all around the world. People pretend to be traditional to sell a product - as a result even if you buy a souvenir in Brasil it will most likely be made in China.
Even if you are a non-German speaking person and can get your hands on a DVD with translations, don't hesitate. This is definitely more than just a satire and (by the way) gives you a great view on Austrian/German cultures and how they interact.
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