A 10-minute secretly filmed video produced by a German popular fashion blog has sparked controversy and a conversation in Germany over the difference in shopping culture between Europe and the Middle East; in particular the wealthy Gulf families.
The prank was carried out by an actor who impersonated a Khaleji sheik with three women who are playing roles of his three wives; their youngest is 14 years old. All of them had hidden cameras documenting the prank.
The family visits one of the largest German stores where they are being warmly welcomed by a special staff holding umbrellas for them taking them on a tour around the store to help them complete their order.
In the beginning, he asks for a new bag for one of his wives before they check the lingerie section for his youngest wife, as he is planning to buy her “something special” as a gift on the fifteenth birthday.
Despite the fake sheikh’s attempts to offend the female workers between asking them to help him try the socks, carry him while walking because he is tired and lighting his cigarette despite the fact it was not allowed, the workers’ compliance with his orders were shocking.
Opinions were split over the prank. While the Dandy Diary blog, who produced the video, did not clarify their aim behind the prank, they questioned the employees’ reaction, whether it was respecting other shopping cultures or complying to whatever they are being ordered to do as long as they receive a good tip at the end of the day?
Meanwhile, the video is believed to achieve its purpose and made rounds among Germans.
On the other hand, Alsterhaus, the department store where the video was taken went to the media to respond to the controversy and the criticism they received over the guidelines followed by its employees. They acknowledged what appeared in the video and confirmed discussing it with their staff to bring their attention to the values and standards followed by the store promising it will never happen again.
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