Fact or fake: Kevin Vogt on the Ruhr Region

The "Fact or Fake" series has previously always focused on a country, but this time Kevin Vogt grants us an insight into his home region: the Ruhr region. Many myths and stereotypes surround the "Pott", with hardly any other region in Germany associated with so many special things. In this SPIELFELD interview, the TSG defender introduces us to the Ruhr region and explains which preconceptions are true and which are false.

Kevin, first of all "Glückauf" (editor's note: a typical miners' greeting). Is it true that the people in the Ruhr region are curter and the language is ruder?

"Glückauf is of course part of the Ruhr, it's inextricably linked to the Ruhr region and has a nostalgic significance for people due to its mining history. I can confirm things are a bit harsher in the Ruhr region. I noticed that especially when I first moved out and went to Augsburg. People in the Ruhr are very direct; you always know where you stand quickly. If you're not from the Ruhr region and don't know that, it can quickly be off-putting. But it's not meant in a bad way; it simply saves time."

The Ruhr region is grey and the only green spaces are allotment gardens.

"When I think about my hometown of Bochum, there's a lot of truth in that. One exception is perhaps the Stiepel district, but that's also the more affluent area. Bochum's primary appeal is not its beauty – you can see that from looking at me. (laughs) But the people make up for that. In terms of pure architecture, we're not at the very top of the league; there too, we make our mark with character. But overall, the Ruhr region is also home to beautiful lakes and more nature than you might think."

Everyone in the Ruhr region has the Wolfgang Petry "Best of" CD at home.

"At our house, his music used to be playing over and over. I would entrust every Ruhr native to have Wolle Petry on his shelf somewhere. He absolutely belongs to the Ruhr. 'Wahnsinn', 'Bronze, Silber und Gold' and all the other hits – it's a must for everyone in the region. If you don't sing along, things can get difficult."

The collieries, coking plants and industrial buildings have really spoilt the landscape.

"That's simply part of the "Pott", that's what makes it special. Every city has its own charm. But they all have the miners' mentality, which is why these buildings simply fit in with the people. That's why I think it's part of the cult and gives us character. What's more, many sites have now been beautifully restored, for example the Zollverein colliery in Essen, which is a World Heritage Site."

Football is more important than anything else, including religion.

"Yes, 100%. Football comes first; they live for it in the "Pott". That applies regardless of the city. People would give the shirt off their backs to go to the stadium. That's why football is even more special in the Ruhr region, and you notice it at away games in Bochum, Dortmund or Gelsenkirchen."

Let's be honest now: the home of the Currywurst is not in the Ruhr region, it's Berlin.

"Ah, that's the biggest lie. I can't accept that; it makes my hair stand up on end. (laughs) There are many great things about the Ruhr region, but the greatest is the Currywurst. That's the way it is. Food tester "Jumbo" Schreiner from Galileo has already confirmed that; he must know. Herbert Grönemeyer doesn't sing about it for no reason either. Berlin is a beautiful city, but they don't get close to our Currywurst there. This still applies today: if you come to my house, I can always offer you a Currywurst. I always have the "real" Bratwurst from Dönninghaus in Bochum in the freezer. You can be sure that I make the best Currywurst in Heidelberg."

To finish off: the Ruhr region is much better than one thinks?

"Yes, I think so. There are certainly many people who don't get on well with the Ruhr region. But I was born and grew up there, and I really like the mentality. Everyone talks freely and it's easy to make connections everywhere. If you go into a pub on your own, you'll be chatting away within five minutes. The people can be harsh, but they all have a good heart. The human element makes the Ruhr region much nicer on the inside than the outside may suggest."

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