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Syrian refugee crowned 'wine queen' in Germany

Ninorta Bahno was chosen by locals in the Mosel region [Reuters]

Date of publication: 5 August, 2016

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Twenty-six-year-old Ninorta Bahno who arrived in Germany three years ago was chosen by locals to promote wine from local vineyards.
A Syrian refugee was crowned "wine queen" in Germany, snatching the traditional annual honour title from local young women of wine-growing families.

Twenty-six-year-old Ninorta Bahno was chosen by locals in the Mosel region to counter growing resentment against refugees in the country, which hosts around one million Syrians after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany's doors to refugees last year.

Bahno, who fled the war in Syria three years ago, thanked wine fans for taking her in.

"I know that as a refugee it is very difficult at first to integrate in a new country," she said. "First you have to understand the laws and traditions here, and then you have to practice them.

"Therefore I want to be an ‘ambassador’ so that I can put this into practice and integrate here in Germany, and for other refugees," she added.

Bahno, who unlike the majority of Syrians is a Christian, did not have to break the taboo associated with drinking alcohol, which Germans feel is an important part of their culture.

"You have to have a bit of courage to ask one of the refugees," chairman of the Trier-Olewig wine-growers association Peter Terg said, "I wanted to send a message by doing that."

"Lots of people say 'we cannot manage it'. I say we, Germany, can manage it and she has managed to become an excellent wine ambassador," he added.

In her new role, Bahno will be publicising wine from Mosel vineyards.

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