The carnival in Cologne is not only one of the biggest but also one of the most amusing festivals in Germany. People are about to celebrate the end of the carnival season which starts in November and furthermore herald the Christian season of Lent. From “Weiberfastnacht”, the Thursday before Shrove Monday, until “Shrove Tuesday” there is a proven period of sessions, balls and parades, and it is celebrated, sung and danced mainly in the halls, restaurants and pubs. People from all over the world unite to join the processions and try to catch the sweets. The local beer “Kölsch” flows like water and every year cologne provides another theme to entertain the carnival revellers.
Popular song from a local band:
On Tuesday, 26 January, at 8.04 pm the Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR) will broadcast a 2.5 hrs programme on the writer W.G. Sebald. On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, the programme will discuss, amongst other topics, how Sebald’s literary writings dealt with the atrocities of the Holocaust. Infos on the programme can be found on the Sebald blog VERTIGO.
Among the experts interviewed is our colleague Uwe Schütte, whose PhD was supervised by Sebald. He will argue, however, that it is a mis-conception to regard Sebald as an author of Holocaust fiction. Sebald, in his view, actually questioned the uniqueness of the Holocaust, which he considered a part of an overarching destructive tendency he called the “natural history of destruction”.
You can listen to the programme via the SR Lifestream here.
Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi! – I heard people singing inside the tent.
During the last week of October people from all over the world came together and met up in Digbeth to celebrate Germanys biggest beerfestival called Oktoberfest. Together with friends they came to sing, dance and enjoy the unique bavarian culture.
As a german girl I also went to my first Oktoberfest which seems to be funny as I have never experienced an Oktoberfest in Germany. When I arrived and stood outside the tent I could already hear the people singing along to the german lyrics of typical Oktoberfestsongs. When I entered I saw people either standing on the benches with their pitcher – as a Bavarian would say “Maß” – or sitting on the ale-bench enjoying their “Schnitzel”. The atmosphere was very friendly and spirits were running high as a band from southern German played typical Schlager such as Rotes Pferd, Nena or Anton aus Tirol.
Nevertheless, apart from the waitresses, people did not wear the typical dress called Lederhosen and Dirndl. As I thought that visitors will try to imitate the original beerfestival I had bought myself a typical Dirndl but when I arrived I deterrmined that I was completely wrong. Well…at first I felt a little bit silly but in the end I was funny as people thought I would be a waitress and wanted to make orders all the time – so yes, it was kind of funny.
Depite the fact that beer and Schnitzel seemed to be very expensive, people from all over the world – including me – had a nice evening with good music, original bavarian Festbeer and of course German Schnitzel.