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Here we will share with you in-depth information on German culture, local events and education twice a month. Please feel free to comment your own experiences and opinions on each post and let us know, which topics you would love to read about in future posts.

Celebrating Easter the German Way

Easter is a predominantly Christian tradition celebrating the crucifixion and rebirth of Jesus. It is also the time of year when people celebrate the coming of the spring and the reawakening of life in the world. Germany has a wealth of Easter traditions many of which have been adopted by other countries over the years. One of the grandest and most unusual traditions is that of the Easter bonfire. In the UK bonfires are associated with long dark winter nights so imagining them as a way to welcome the spring seems a little odd. The bonfires were lit originally by pagans to welcome the spring and ward off evil spirits. They rather romantically believed that any house which the light of the fir

Germany's Shakespeare - Der große Barde

Along with Sunday roast dinners, Stonehenge and the Royal family, William Shakespeare is synonymous with British culture. If England was a stick of rock then Shakespeare would be the word running through its pepperminty centre. Shakespeare is England. He is its history as well as being one of its most well known historical commentators albeit one who used a heavy dose of artistic license. The great British bard is not confined to this little island, he is one of the countries biggest literary exports and Germany is his greatest fan. Shakespeare's plays have been translated into over 80 languages including into Klingon, the language of the Klingons from Star Trek. The very first language of t

Gutenberg - One of Germany's Great Innovators

The internet, newspapers and even this blog are distant relatives of one very important invention- the printing press. Constructed in 1439 the Gutenberg press changed the way in which information was disseminated across the world forever. It is difficult to imagine a time when books were not widely available. These days you will find at least one book in most households with the average being a staggering 158 in the UK. In medieval Europe books were precious. They were works of art which were created by monks by hand. These books were bejewelled objects prized by their owners who, of course, were the ruling classes. Most people were illiterate and would only hear the contents of a book at a

Learning German - Food and Culture

What is the old show business saying - never work with children? It has certainly been true for us as poorly children have prevented our lessons taking place for two weeks. A doctor friend of mine once told me that February and March are the months of the year when viruses are at their most prevalent. My seven year old is like a magnet attracting coughs and colds on an almost weekly basis – we look forward to the onset of spring with great enthusiasm. We were disappointed to miss our lessons as they have become a much anticipated event. We had practised the German ABC song and had plucked up enough courage to sing it for our tutor. It will wait, of course, although I am not sure that it will

German Sausages - From the Best to the Wurst

Germany has such a rich culinary heritage that many of its foods are known and enjoyed across the world. From the acquired taste of sauerkraut to the sublime sweetness of the Lebkuchenbiscuit, there is a German delight to suit every palate. One of the best known is the not so humble German sausage which boasts over 50 varieties. Traditionally sausage was a way of preserving meat for the family to eat during the cold winter months. The Romans ate sausage as did most cultures. In Germany meat was cured by dry winds in the mountainous regions of the country and this method eventually lead to the production of the bratwurst as we know it today. Roughly translated from 9th century German, the wor

A German Fairy Tale

World Book Day is the highlight of the week for many children across the world. The world wide celebration of reading encourages literacy. It will see children dress up as their favourite book characters as well as take part in literature based activities at home and at school. In Germany Ich schenk dir eine Geschichte is an annual activity for children in the 4th ans 5th grade. Booksellers help children get to know the joy of reading with a free book called 'Ich schenk dir eine Geschichte' which translates to 'I'll give you a story'. The book is printed for children and given for free on World Book Day. It is for many the very first book that they will own. Over 800,000 children across Germ

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