German Poesieabend

On Friday, October 23rd I had the pleasure of attending the German Poesieabend in the Union. There were several students and teachers who performed German poetry, songs, and fairy tales.

I was truly blown away by some of the poetry and songs that were performed. The immense amount of emotion and care that people took in reciting famous German poetry and songs and even writing their own original works was fantastic and inspirational.

The first full performer I saw prefaced his performance with the fact that he could not find instrumental accompaniment for the song he was going to sing and apologized, but he surprised the entire room as soon as he began. His operatic voice needed absolutely no supplement, it was such a booming and emotional sound. I was blown away, as was the rest of the room.

I had never encountered such a concentration of German poetry before, but at this event I realized how beautiful a tool the language is for artistic expression, as it somehow captured my emotions and feelings even though I couldn’t always understand precisely what was being said.  I am to the point in my knowledge of the German language where I cannot quite recognize every spoken word, but I know enough that I understand most words and the main ideas of each piece, and I understood the beginner pieces very well. My friend Nicholas from my German class played his guitar and sang, and he was really good. There was also a class of German 1115 taught by an Austrian teacher who performed a few fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, and they were fun (and really funny) to watch.

I think it’s awesome how there is so much German heritage that has been absorbed into American culture, yet many Americans don’t even realize it.  I’m so excited to continue learning German, because as amazing as I thought the more  performances were, I’m sure they would have been even better if I could have retained every word.

Fall 2015 International Bazaar

On Friday, October 16th I went to the International Bazaar, which is an event held by the International Advisory Committee where different clubs and international groups celebrate their origin by selling trinkets and displaying other aspects of their home culture.

While I was there, I bought a cup of Turkish tea and watched an Iranian student perform a traditional dance. It was a windy day in OK (per usual), so her hair was blowing in the wind, and the way she moved her legs and hands so delicately with a graceful little smile on her face was beautiful.  After her dance ended, I went to the United World College booth and visited with my friend Lamis from my German class about the program, as well as a little bit about her culture.

The UWC is an amazing collaboration of 15 colleges across the world that strives to make education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. Their vastly diverse students come from every corner of the world, and their main mission is to encourage positive social action for a more equitable world. Lamis went to the UWC college in Norway, and talks about it all the time; she absolutely loved the program, and she has made me seriously consider it. Lamis is Egyptian, and loves learning about Ancient Egypt, which is something we have in common. One summer as a kid I attended a summer school class that was all about ancient Egypt, and I have loved it ever since. Lamis gave me a beautiful papyrus bookmark with the Goddess Maat painted on it. Maat is one of her favorites as the Ancient Egyptian goddess of truth, justice, balance and morality. I’m so glad that I went to the Bazaar and learned more about several cultures, especially that of my Egyptian friend.