I am sitting on the terrace of a beautiful timbered house, enjoying a "Eisbein“. There are many blond heads amongst the other clients of the Bierstube.

Local beer brands are: Eisenbahn, Wunder and Baden-Baden.

The temperature is hot: 32 degrees in the shade.  Posters boast the next Oktoberfest.

The speakers broadcast "Mein Hut hat drei Ecken". But, listening more carefully, I realize that the song is sung in Portuguese.

I am in Blumenau, Brazil, the largest German city in South America. Hermann Blumenau together with 17 companions founded the city some 150 years ago. They were soon joined by other German immigrants; the city grew and prospered rapidly. Today it has 300,000 inhabitants, a figure that triples every year during the Oktoberfest. Ditto for the price of hotel rooms by the way. Blumenau is one of the safest cities in Brazil, and has one of the highest standard of living as well. Everything is nice, well kept and clean, very German. Even the drivers are disciplined.

But today there are not many people who still speak German, mostly they are older people. Within a generation or two, the practice of German will probably have disappeared; sad.

In the historic center of Blumenau are a few really nice half-timbered houses, in best German style. But the houses of Vila Germanica, where the Oktoberfest is held, and also twice weekly the Sommerfest, are unfortunately imitations.