Proverbial is the Heimatliebe of the Balve people. Even if hardly anyone can speak the ancient Balve Platt (low german) fluently, a phrase like "Säu faste ärre Balve" - as firm as Balve - has stamped itself in the minds and hearts of the people in the Balve country and explains their strong connection to this land. It comes from a time when its own confession - Catholicism - was defended with force against the pressure of the Reformation, together with citizens and nobility. Since for centuries the Balve country was a "borderland" between the Catholic archdiocese of Cologne and the county Mark. At that time Balve was a strong fortified small town, which had to be defended against all sort of attacks (more about Balve history and Balve Histörkes here).
The times have changed, today we have many confessions and creeds, and Balve now connects more than it separates: Balve lies exactly where the Märkisches Sauerland meets the Hochsauerland. However, the love to the origins, the attachment with the rough Sauerland scenery and the holding on the old Balve customs and festivities has been preserved to the Balve people. The small "cult film" of Winnie Rüth, a native of Balve-Mellen, documents the Heimatliebe of the Balve people:
You like to live there - impressions, observations, talks about Balve
The love of the homeland has always been rooted in the old, handed down documents of the emigrants, who emigrated to the "new world" around 1900 and before. There often was no back, and except occasional letters they had no contact with their families in Balve.
Homesick - Letters from St. Louis, Missouri
Theodor Pröpper - Balver "Heimatsänger", organist, composer and "Spielmann Gottes" - has expressed his deep Heimatliebe over and over again in a huge number of wonderful songs, which are published in his songbook "Klingemund - Ein sauerländisches Liederbuch". He often used flat-german (plattdeutsch) titles and texts full of sound, such as "Siuerland", "De Häime", "Dat olle Hius", "No Häime well iek gohn", "Meyn Siuerland", "Könn iek äinmol noch tärhäime sein", "Siuerland, könn iek di molen". The flat-german gives the songs warmth and depth of feeling.
Meyn Siuerland - Songs by Theodor Pröpper
But many of those who have moved away will not let their love and attachment to Balve and its surrounding villages, which are called in Platt: Gaabke, Hüerin, Früehlin, Langenholtsen, Ollenaffeln. They do not miss any Schützenfest. With some glasses of Iserlohner Pils (today: Veltins) in the Balverhöhle they express their home feelings with pleasure. Strong confessions of Heimatliebe are found in the social media over and over again.
Many new Balve people have found their home here. Some came from far, and and have become Balver. Not a few guests and vacationers express quite openly their enthusiasm about this nice region and his inhabitants. They also come back gladly - because they are welcome in Balverland and can feel at home here.
Fascinated view from the outside: A high on you! (By Wolfgang Pichler)
WP commentary: Declaration of love to a small town in the Sauerland.