We wish you all a happy and enjoyable Happy Easter !
… and just so that you know who is coming by tomorrow to sweeten up your day, we found a classic by Gerhard Polt for you. Enjoy!
Laughter echoes off the timeworn landscape of birch cabinetry
Pealing in my ears as I sit on
My straight-backed chair,
Chattering of my siblings such an archaic sound
Yet worn with a love I never forget.
The glare of cheerful electric lights enlightens every corner
Enhancing the metallic sparkle of the fridge.
Dull green paint on the walls
A faded memory of the old days
Like an endearing grandparent.
Calm air flows smoothly from the humming kitchen vent.
Classical music ever-present in the background.
Dancing flames tapping
A variety of rattling pots on the excited stove
Attempting to consume the savory scents drifting about the room.
Sugary orange yams with cinnamon
Melting in a tray of warm creamy butter,
Homemade goodness enveloping my senses.
A stark contrast to the homely furnishing
Splashing color upon the scene.
Dishes bang on the smooth granite countertop
Met with the subtle and sophisticated
Tinkling from champagne glasses,
And the merry jingle of silverware,
Preparing for the feast.
Ice-cold cider whooshes into glasses with gusto
Eggnog clouds my nostrils,
Radiating heat from the oven clings to my face.
Softened by the breeze of pattering footsteps.
Water merrily babbles from the sink like a well-known relative
Harmonizing with the whistling of the teapot.
Grouchily the oven screeches on its rusty hinges
Competing with the oblivious chirping of my parakeet
Not aware that a bird is being prepared for dinner!
The spice-filled pumpkin pie waits on the microwave
Awaiting its moment of glory,
Gravy splashes in the boat.
Mashed potatoes steaming impatiently
As the cranberry sauce giggles in its bubbly pot.
Stealthily, I sneak up next to the animated stove
The hilts of the knives glinting me a mischievous smile,
And there it is!
The gem of Thanksgiving dinner
A seasoned turkey roasting to a crisp inside of the searing oven.
Thanksgiving is shortly upon me.
My kitchen is now alive with newfound sensations,
A reassurance to me and my family
Warmly filling my heart.
Image: Rockwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ach wie schön war doch die Feier,
heimwärts schwankt der volle Meier.
Und des Vollmonds helles Licht
scheint Herrn Meier ins Gesicht.
Doch zu Meiers großem Schreck
ist das Mondlicht plötzlich weg.
Um ihn ist es stockedunkel,
´ne Wolke schluckt das Sterngefunkel.
Da schleichen Schritte auf ihn zu.
Vorbei ist´s mit Herrn Meiers Ruh.
Panisch hetzt er durch die Nacht.
Ein Schlag trifft ihn mit aller Macht.
Nun sieht er wieder viele Sterne.
Doch dran ist schuld nur die Laterne,
die in dieser Nacht nicht brannte,
wo Meier flott dagegenrannte.
Sein Feierfreund kam kurz darauf
und fiel auch noch auf Meier drauf.
So liegen sie im Suff vereint,
wie schön, dass nun der Mond erscheint.
Dieter Kermas, CaliforniaGermans Author and a true Berliner, turned to writing after he retired from his profession as an engineer. Family and friends urged him to document his many experiences during his childhood in wartime Germany. This made for a collection of various essays which have been published here at CaliforniaGermans. (You can find the stories here on CaliforniaGermans.com by putting “Dieter Kermas” into the Search Box.) Apart from his childhood memories, he is also sharing some of his short stories and poems on CaliforniaGermans. Dieter Kermas, who loves to write, has published his first novel “Kolja. Liebe im Feindesland” in 2016, available at Amazon . Some of his work has been included in anthologies.
To get in touch with Dieter Kermas, please send an email with subject line “Dieter Kermas” to: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Kate Müser
A native German speaker might struggle with the pronunciation of Connecticut, Tucson or my birth city, La Jolla. And I often hear them say Chicago with Tsch- rather than Sch-.
And, thanks to all the Germans who helped build the US, we have borrowed a whole number of Germany-inspired city names, like Germantown, Tennessee, or Carlsbad, California.
But the German language doesn’t contain alternative deutsche terms for US cities. Sän Diego? Nüjork? You won’t see those written anywhere.
English, on the other hand, has its own collection of anglicized references to many – though not all – German cities. Usually the English versions conveniently avoid the most difficult letters in the German language: Ä, Ö and Ü.
Here is a closer look at some of the German cities that have gotten revamped names, or pronunciations, in English.
By the way, this video was suggested by my YouTube viewers. If you would like to see a video on a particular topic, leave a comment below the video and let me know!
Kate Müser, who grew up in Pleasanton, California, was surprised to discover that she feels even closer to her home state now than she did when she first moved to Bonn, Germany, over 13 years ago.
For over a decade, Kate has been a TV, radio and online journalist at Deutsche Welle, where she currently hosts the video series Meet the Germans with Kate and the TV show PopXport.
As summer vacation draws to an end, we wanted to take a look at some of the German summer camps that were offered this year throughout California. The variety of camps is growing each year, and expat parents now have plenty of choices for their offspring to perfect their German language skills right here in California.
From sleepaway camps to science camps to unique camps like ‘Innerweaving’, we are sure you’ll find your favorite. Enjoy our compilation of a select group of German summer camps in Southern California & Northern California!
“Earth-Water-Air-Fire” was the motto for GermanSchool campus’ adventurous STEM Science Camp right on the Newport Bay in the beginning of July. The weeklong German immersion camp took young language learners out on the Newport Bay in sail boats and kayaks to learn about wind and solar energy first hand. When not aboard a vessel, the children explored the various environments, learned about sustainability, recycling, clean air solutions, wind power and much more. In cooperation with the Newport Sea Base, GermanSchool campus put together a camp around a field that is gaining on popularity throughout the world. To help retain the new vocabularies learned, the children received a folder with all pertinent information in German and took a variety of day trips to manifest the theoretical knowledge by experiencing the real thing. Trips to a Newport hatchery and the Back Bay Science Center rounded off a week full of science adventures.
The next STEM Science Camp is planned for the beginning of July 2018. Please contact the school by April 2018 to find out more about the details.
GermanSchool campus starts its regular academic school year Monday, August 28th. The open enrollment policy makes it possible to join anytime during the year. New this year is the Vorschul-Klasse, that introduces the German language to the 4-6 year olds with the help of music, rhythm, and role-play and incorporates Carl Orff’s music education. You can register for the 2017/18 academic year here. You can also contact the school at PH: (949) 285 0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com
GASA Summer Camp 2017 – A time travel through Germany awaited the children when they arrived at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. 67 children aged 7-14, 6 teachers, 4 volunteers and our leader, participated at this year’s summer camp and spent an exciting time together at this 5-day overnight camp. Throughout the week children had German lessons in the mornings. The general theme was “Time Travel through Germany” with several interesting topics, such as: “The Knighthood in the Middle Ages”, “The German Fairy Tale Route with the Bremen Town Musicians”, “German Inventions”, “The Twenties in Germany” among others. In the afternoons the children enjoyed activities like archery, swimming, zip-lining, fishing or baking, or worked on painting the stage for the theatre play that was set to perform the last day of camp. The last day was marked by a visit to the local zoo and was rounded off by the theatre play and a cozy evening around the camp fire with s’mores and camp songs.
GASA’s summer camp is planned to partake again in June/July 2018.
During the regular school year GASA offers German language classes with a curriculum that stresses language skills, culture, art and music on all levels. The youngest students learn German primarily through songs, rhymes, games while writing and reading is added at the beginning elementary school level with the addition of grammar as the students advance in their studies. The regular school year starts September 16, 2017. For further information contact the school. Phone: 562-693-0223 or email@example.com and our website: www.germanschool4kids.org
WanderKind Preschool offered its first language immersion day camp for children ages 3-8 this July. Children got together to read, sing, play and create amazing art projects, all while building new vocabulary and understanding in German. “We even got a chance to head out into nature at Brand Park, which is located across the street from the school. Families got together for a German movie screening, as well as a splash party and BBQ.”
The camp will be expanded and offered again in June 2018. Please call the school for more information.
During the school year WanderKind Preschool offers a German Immersion Nature Preschool Program for 2-5 year olds. Children spend half of their time outdoors, enjoy time set aside for free play and get creative in a curriculum rich with arts and crafts. The highly qualified staff nurtures the whole child, supporting social and emotional development in a small mixed-age group. Please sign up now for classes to start in September. Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kids at German Pacific School in San Diego (GPSSD) had the choice of 4 different camp weeks in July. 2017 marked the school’s fourth year of summer camps. The youngest campers traveled back in time to learn about dinosaurs, the medieval ages, princesses, knights, and dragons. They hand-built and hand-painted an almost life-size pirate ship while the 10-12 year-old campers learned quite a bit about movie-making this summer – from the first idea to the final cut. “During the four weeks of camp we went on to two field trips. We visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and went on a tour (in German) at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.” The highlight of this year’s summer camp was the production of the musical “Ritter Rost” (Rusty Knight). In addition to their regular language classes, the school offers different enrichment programs, and organizes events for the whole family with the goal to bring the German community together.
Regular classes will resume in September, at four different locations throughout the greater San Diego area (classes in La Jolla, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and Poway).
New this year is that Saturday classes will meet at La Jolla’s beautiful campus of SDFAS, the French-American School. Most of the GPSSD students come from bilingual families or have visited German schools in other countries. They have therefore a very good understanding of the German language already. GPSSD is an accredited school to prepare for the various German exams all the way to the ‘Deutsches Sprachdiplom’. Find more information on the upcoming school year at email@example.com, Ph: (858)-461-9118 or visit the website: www.gpaas.org
GASPA held its annual Summer Camp from June 19th through July 15th on the Campus of ALTO International School in Menlo Park. The 65 campers were ages 3-12 and from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.
The ever popular camp is a full immersion camp and not only is it about learning German, but about doing everything in German! This summer did not disappoint! Among other things tree-house caves were built, songs were sung, buffets cooked, costumes sewn, screenplays were written, movies were made, artwork was drawn and painted, experiments conducted, cucumbers pickled, metal was forged, juices squeezed and pressed, boats were sailed in, pinball machines were built, Stockbrot was grilled, Zumba was danced and of course, Fussball was played.
This fall, our Saturday School Program gets underway on September 9th. Next to our tried and true program for children ages 3 to 18, we are pleased to expand our program this year to include a “Parent& Me” toddler group for children ages 0-3 and a class for adults. Registration is currently open and ongoing. All program details can be found at www.gaspa-ca.org
The GISSV (German International School of Silicon Valley) Saturday School in Mountain View had a 4-week-long full-day German Immersion Camp in June/July for students age 6-16. Students had academic German language classes in the morning, and participated in different fun afternoon activities each week. Extended Care was also available. Afternoon activities included yoga, soccer, cartooning, science experiments, music, international cooking, and much more! Everything was taught in German. The GISSV summer camp is open to both full-time GISSV students and students from the community ranging from total language beginners to native speakers. This year we had over 80 students joining us!
New this year was the KinderCamp for younger students. Based on the GISSV Kindergarten program, the KinderCamp gave a loving introduction to the German language through songs, crafts, and nature experiences–also all taught in German.
Based on demand, GISSV considers offering an additional two weeks of camp in June/July 2018 (for a total of 6 weeks). The weeks will be again packed with challenging/rewarding language classes as well as new and favorite afternoon activities for school children, and engaging immersion activities for preschoolers. 2018 Camp Dates are not yet set. Registration will open in early February. Dates will be announced on our website when available: www.gissv.org/saturdayschool
The first Innerweaving German Summer Camp “Deutsch lernen mit Spass, Kreativität & Naturerfahrung” for 4-11 year old children was held from July 5th-6th this year. The camp at Fairfax/Marin County offered a playful, effective German experience based on fun nature explorations, sparkling creations of weaving art, wood craft and mixed media collage. “Throughout the Camp we talked German and introduced language based on nature and craft activities.” At the end of the final day, family members got the unique opportunity to attend the children‘s craft presentation.
Innerweaving projects: – Nagel-Fadenbild/String Art – Wünschelstab/Talking Stick – Gewebte Naturkunst/Woven nature creations – ‚Schatzsuche‘/ Treasure hunt – Fluss-Zoo-Landschaft/Land-art . The camp was facilitated by Silvia Schroeder, Founder of INNERWEAVING Coach and Counselor for Experiential Learnings http://www.innerweaving.com .
The next German Innerweaving Summer Camp will take place in August 2018. Please contact Silvia Schroeder for details at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Today is ‘Pfingstsonntag’ (Pentecost Sunday) and unless you attend a church service you most likely won’t know about it. Unlike Germany, the US doesn’t observe this day as a holiday. In Germany on the other hand even ‘Pfingstmontag’ (the Monday following Pentecost Sunday) is part of the holiday and offices, markets etc. are closed.
For us as children growing up in Germany, ‘Pfingsten’ meant starting a two-week vacation and once ‘Pfingstferien’, Pentecost vacation, was over, we knew the end of the school year was near as well. ‘Pfingsten’ with its warmer and sunnier weather rang in the summer for us, even if the date didn’t coincide with the official date of the summer solstice.
Commonly used expressions that incorporate ‘Pfingsten’ are the ‘Pfingstochse’ and the ‘Pfingstrose’. A ‘Pfingstochse’ we call someone, who is far overdressed and seems to be adorned like the ox, that was leading its herd to the green pastures in the mountains for the first time in the year and, as part of this tradition, was festively adorned with bows, bells and such.
‘Pfingstrose’ is the flower ‘peony’ in English. Even though not actually a rose the ‘Pfingstrose’ is reminiscent of a rose in its beauty and color, and most of the time starts flowering just about the time when Pentecost is happening.
“Liebe Deutsche in Kalifornien, ich bin ZDF-Journalistin in der Bay Area und habe schon mehrere TV-Portraits über deutsche Auswanderer in und um San Francisco gedreht. Weil das beim Zuschauer so gut ankommt, suchen wir nun weitere interessante Deutsche anderswo in Kalifornien, vor allem in L.A.! Wer hat eine gute Geschichte zu erzählen? Dann gerne PM an mich.” (siehe auch FB post in CaliforniaGermans-The Group)
Hier ein paar Beispiele der letzten Beiträge, damit Ihr eine bessere Vorstellung habt, wie sowas aussehen kann:
Deutsche Lehrerin in SF:
https://www.zdf.de/…/hallo-deutschland-vom-23-mai-2017-100.… (ab Minute 19:01)
Deutsche Biergartenbesitzerin in San Jose:
https://www.zdf.de/…/hallo-deutschland-vom-15-mai-2017-100.… (ab Minute 30:07)
Image: © ZDF.de
Beim kalifornischen DMV windet sich die Kundenreihe um das Gebäude herum, wie eine dahinkriechende Schlange. Die Beamtin Mary müht sich lustlos hinter dem Tresen ab. Bei jedem Klienten überprüft sie, ob das richtige Formular vorliegt, ob es vollständig ausgefüllt ist, ob der Antrag auf Führerschein rechtens ist. Sie heftet Akten ab, lichtet Passbilder ab, nimmt Fingerdrucke ab.
Apathisch quält sie sich durch die Minuten des Tages, dabei macht sie einen Patzer nach dem anderen. Aufgrund der Sparmassnahmen im Staatshaushalt sind die Planstellen halbiert worden, leere Stellen verbleiben leer. Die Gescheiten finden anderswo leicht einen Job, nur Mary bleibt beim DMV.
As a recent retiree, Merrill Lyew Emanuel now has time for his old and new hobbies. Within his hobbies are writing fan fiction in German, solving chess puzzles, repairing things at home that are not broken, doing a little bit of social media, reading every and anything that looks like a book, traveling a little, and taking snapshots with his mirrorless camera.
Having lived in Germany, Costa Rica and the USA, he is fluent in the languages of these countries. As a professional geographer he traveled profusely throughout Latin America. He is living in Southern California for over thirty years. Find more of his work at http://www.merrillius.net
German restaurants and German food trucks seem to be in high season these days. I feel there are so many new ones. But do they offer anything new?
I just heard of a new German restaurant in Orange County in SoCal, “Stadtgarten LA“. It sounded promising, I thought. Curious about what kind of German cuisine they would offer I went to check out their website.
I am met with the the restaurant’s name Stadtgarten written in an interesting font, that reminds me of a neighborhood German beer pub from the 60ties. Then I read the “story”: Stadtgarten is a “gourmet hub” in a historic landmark in Fullerton. The experience apparently “highlights bold tradition with every speciality item offered” .
Wow, I am eager to find out more! Did I finally discover some authentic German restaurant that will surprise me with some tasty Schweinebraten (roast pork) with a crunchy crust or a Berliner Eisbein? Perhaps the authentic northern specialty, Matjes, or a juicy Jägerschnitzel, or even just tasty Käsespätzle or Maultaschen?
My excitement to see the menu is put to a worried stop after my eyes are met by the headline “Artisanal Wurst & Bier”.
Seriously!! Yes…, all I see is sausages galore!
Come on! Pleaseeee!!
I scroll back to the “story” that claims that I will experience the “storied taste of Germany, spanning decades of specialty quality and selection”, “with recipes spanning decades brought directly from Germany.”
Am I not being promised a “gourmet authentic cuisine” here? I start feeling a bit offended about what I am actually being offered on the menu posted online.
– The Sausage and its Rise to Power –
Is the Stadtgarten LA seriously claiming that only sausages are making up the storied taste of Germany ? I honestly believe the German Wurst has never been that popular ever (!) than since it’s been pushed to its limits here in the USA. – Sozusagen ‘ausgezuzelt’ (ausgesaugt) bis auf’s Letzte. –
And, I m not even sure if the Wurst frenzy is in fact even happening in Germany itself. The last thing I recently read was that it was now really hip over there to get Eggs Benedict instead of a simple, fried egg… But Wurst!!?
Besides, anyone ever heard of the Vegan Mexican Chipotle sausage or Chicken Habanero & Tequila sausage being part of the German Wurst staple?
I guess I must have missed something growing up in Germany or I’m just getting old….
For me, ‘Wurst’ used to be a fast food served at stands at Christkindlmarkets and other little town fairs. It certainly was present at ALL kids birthday parties, so much so that I couldn’t face a ‘Wienerwurst’ or any ‘Wurst’ for years without slight shudders… until I fell in love with the ‘Käsekrainer’ in Vienna! Since then my sausage taste has been very selective to say the least.
But to call ‘Wurst’, no matter what kind, gourmet food!? That is for sure a social rise for Wurst & Co.
To all the Würstel Dudes (sausages dudes) out there. German cuisine has so much more to offer than only pretzels, beer, and sausages!
It’s not enough to just give a restaurant a German name and slap some German sounding words onto the menu like “share das good times“. Please check your German, otherwise it gives you away as not being very authentic at all!
Having said all that… Stadtgarten LA appears to have a hip, modern and inviting interior (unlike its restaurant name lettering would suggest). It apparently has also created a nice outside beer garden atmosphere, which indeed is hard to find in OC.
Stadtgarten LA may in fact position itself more as a specialty beer pub than a restaurant, if you consider the immense selection of beer that “… can be intimidating to a beer layman” as Edwin Goei puts it in his 2016 article in OC Weekly.
…Nix für ungut!
Apparently every fourth German loves to look for Easter eggs according to a survey (Süddeutsche Zeitung) . Be part of it! 🙂
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