Falt Earth: A lot of bottle

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The Independent Online
OBERAMMERGAU, the village in the Bavarian Alps where the Passion play comes from, has found a rival at the far end of the world. Paeroa, a settlement beside a peat bog in New Zealand, known only for a soft drink of the same name and the gigantic concrete replica bottle that guards its main street, has thrown down the gauntlet.

At Christmas it began billing itself as the Oberammergau of the South Pacific and Drama Capital of the Southern Hemisphere, after evangelists from Australia took over the town for 12 days (geddit?) for a Christmas 'sights and sounds week'. Our correspondent reports that one of the attractions was a huge milkshake, and that decorations on the Christmas tree were packets of rice risotto. The visitors said they wanted to turn Paeroa into a 'mini-Disneyland on a religious theme'. Usually the only entertainment after dark for the 2,000 inhabitants is a weighing machine outside the post office. This may change. From now on expect to see the slogan: 'Oberammergau every 10 years. Paeroa every 12 months'.

(Photograph omitted)