• Germany's news in English
Syrian refugee crowned wine queen in Germany
New Trier wine queen Ninorta Bahno being crowned by her predecessor. Photo: DPA

Syrian refugee crowned wine queen in Germany

DPA/The Local · 4 Aug 2016, 15:38

Published: 04 Aug 2016 15:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Aug 2016 15:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

At family gatherings back in Syria, Ninorta Bahno had always been a wine-drinker.

After arriving in Germany three-and-a-half years ago, she took a crash course under wine experts, and now she’s the first ever refugee wine queen in Germany after she was crowned Trier’s wine queen on Wednesday evening.

But there’s more to her title than a pretty crown, grapes and vines.

In the coming year Bahno is set to present at between 30 and 60 events in Trier, which is in Germany’s esteemed Mosel wine region, as well as at wine festivals extending all the way to Luxembourg.

“All the refugees I know are excited about my new position,” she said.

“It doesn’t mean she has to become a wine expert overnight,” said Peter Terges, chairman of the association responsible for electing the Trier wine queen.

The 26-year-old is an Aramaic Christian from the Syrian city of Al-Qamishli, and she escaped the Syrian civil war with her sister at the end of 2012, ultimately ending up in Trier.

“I never knew how hard it was to be a refugee until it became my reality,” she said.

“We had to give up everything and start again with absolutely nothing in a new country.”

Bahno admitted that it was very difficult trying to integrate into a new home as a refugee, but she feels accepted in Germany and wants to let people know how great it can be.

“I want to show people that Germany is a welcoming country, that Germans are very hospitable and that they support quick and successful integration,” she said.

“I want to become an ambassador for integration and coexistence in my new country,” she told DPA among the vines in a Trier vineyard.

Every September, Germany elects a national wine queen, but it is unlikely that Bahno will enter the running, according to Terges: She would have to pore over books about wine or she would have to study wine, he claims, which she doesn’t have time for.

Before the war Bahno studied law in Syria, and plans to continue her studies in Germany in September.

Story continues below…

“I get people asking me why we didn’t crown a woman from Trier as our wine queen,” says Terges, who says he also heard the same questions years ago when a woman from Düsseldorf was elected.

He met Bahno last summer during a wine festival for refugees in Trier, where Bahno was interpreting.

“After the first conversation it was clear that she loved wine from Trier,” he explained.

“She is a good-looking woman who can do something for our culture, for her country and for integration.”

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd