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Customers of an Edeka supermarket in Hamburg, Germany, came with full grocery lists this past weekend.

But many of them left empty-handed.

Photo by Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images.


The majority of products throughout the supermarket had been pulled from the store floor.

Entire aisles were completely barren.

No, Edeka isn't going out of business, nor have you missed any news about  widespread food shortages blanketing northern Germany.

The shelves were purposefully left empty to send an important message.

The store pulled all of its foreign products for one day, a stunt designed to prove a point about the often unconsidered benefits of diversity and the dangers of xenophobia.

Tomatoes from Spain? Gone. Olive oil from Greece? Sorry, out of luck. Cheese from France? Tragically, no.

Signs proving the supermarket's point were placed throughout the store, with messages roughly translated to sentiments like: “Without diversity, this shelf is rather boring” and "We will be poorer without diversity."

"Today, our selection has its limits,” another sign — taped above a pathetic-looking buffet — informed passing customers.

Edeka's dramatic gesture was a response to the far-right, anti-immigrant ideology that has been growing in German politics.

As the European Union continues grappling with the Syrian refugee crisis, worries about the "dangers" of immigrants — in terms of both economic and national security — have spread far and wide. Many of these perceived threats, however, are misguided or born from bigoted perceptions.

It's not just happening in Germany.

This past spring, candidate Marine Le Pen came closer to winning the French presidency than any other far-right politician in recent history. The U.K.'s stunning Brexit vote has been attributed, in large part, to fears of the "other." And in the U.S., of course, we have President Trump.

But immigrant populations play invaluable roles in many countries, including the U.S. We wouldn't have things like Google, blue jeans, many of the vegetables on our dinner plates, or even the song "God Bless America"(!) if it weren't for people immigrating to our shoes (often undocumented).

A similar point was made in Hamburg. And, according to Edeka, it was a point that's resonating well with most of its customers.

“Edeka stands for variety and diversity," said a company spokesperson, according to The Independent. "In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany. But only together with products from other countries it is possible to create the unique variety that our consumers value."

Our world really does work better as a melting pot, it seems.

Watch and share a video by DW News about Edeka's campaign to promote diversity:

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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