'German village' basks in limelight

PONTIAN: Hundreds of people have been turning up to take photographs of the Kampung Parit Jerman signboard since Germany’s triumph at the World Cup 2014.

The signboard of the village - which has a population of 100 - says: “Selamat Datang ke Kampung Parit Jerman, 82020 Telok Kerang, Pontian, Johor”.

The village is located about 20 minutes away from Pontian.

The villagers, who are mostly average income earners, do not mind the attention at all. In fact, they chat freely with outsiders, especially during the World Cup football mania.

“Naturally, all of us here are hardcore Germany fans, even during the previous tournaments. However, it was only when Germany won the World Cup that our village became famous,” said car sales adviser Ahmad Daud Mohd Saeng, 47.

Ahmad Daud, who has been residing in the village all his life, said many travellers would stop by just to pose at the signboard and snap pictures since the Germany victory.

“At least four or five cars stop daily to take photos. Some football fans also come around to mingle with us,” he said when met at the village here yesterday.

Ahmad Daud said there had been numerous photos of people posing at the village signboard being circulated on Facebook and Instagram.

“Once, during the World Cup season, even our Mentri Besar tweeted about the village,” he added.

Teacher Mohd Khair Thambi, 42, who lives in the village with his family, said it was believed that the village got its name from the Germans who once resided there before World War II.

They owned pineapple plantations before leaving the place just before the war began, he said.

He said the villagers had been talking about football non-stop and the younger ones would even have posters of German players in their rooms.

The village, which has about 40 families, was soaking in the attention, he said.

“We have emerged from being an unknown kampung to becoming famous not only among Johoreans but also among people from as far as Kuala Lumpur. All because of the name of our village. We feel so glamorous,” he said.

On the night of the final match, he said villagers set up a huge tent and invited neighbouring villagers to watch the final game with them.

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