Moin! Long time, no blog.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been getting settled into my new host community after switching placements. However, I joined my host community at “the most German time” (to quote a classmate): Oktoberwoche.
Oktoberwoche is my host community’s spin on Oktoberfest. Even though Oktoberfest originates from Bavaria, my city in North-Rhine Westphalia was very enthusiastic about the celebrations. Many dirndls were seen that week, even outside of the fairgrounds.
A group of my classmates were kind enough to let me tag along with them to Oktoberwoche a couple of times. I got to learn new vocabulary like Risenrand (Ferris Wheel) and Autoscooter (Bumper Cars) and enjoy German fair foods. Back in America, my friends and I always made it a point to visit the South Carolina State Fair every year, so it was fun to experience an event which had similar elements.
It was also fun to dance into late hours of the evening to classic German songs. Some, like 99 Luftballoons, I knew well. Others, I had never heard before, but eagerly added to my ever-growing playlist of German music.
One of my favorite parts of Oktoberwoche was getting to see a German take on American culture. During the day, the Oktoberfest Tent was repurposed into a hall for dancing. Many people donned cowboy hats and bedazzled belts as they learned how to line dance, complete with a band covering classic American country tunes. Even though it may have been a bit of a caricature of American culture, it was fun to see Germany’s idea of what American festivities are.
Even though it’s a small part of a long year, I think that Oktoberwoche was definitely a bright spot, and I am looking forward to what comes next.