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by danny.widodo on 

Oktober 15, 2018
Jakarta Language Exchange Meetup - Mehr als nur Oktoberfest (More Than Just Oktoberfest/Lebih dari Sekadar Oktoberfest) (Culture & Language: German) - The Story
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Guten Tag, Alle Zusammen!
Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!

A Polyglot Indonesia meet-up on the month of October would not be the same if we didn’t talk about a famous German festival: Oktoberfest. Many Indonesians are aware of what happens in Germany and other German speaking countries when it comes to the month of October. People of different generations would gather together, family and friends, the men wearing Lederhosen and the ladies in their Dirndl, dancing day and night, raising their glasses high to cheer for probably the best drinking festival in the whole wide world. You cannot experience something more German than this.

However, German culture is more than just Oktoberfest, and the German speakers at Polyglot Indonesia were on a mission to let others know more about German culture and its language.

We started with letting the meet-up attendees know where German language is being spoken around the world, and how they differ in not just dialects, but also words and body gestures. Imam explained how to read German alphabets and numbers, followed with Wahyu who showcased the Umgangsprache (informal language) and how several new slangs can be used on daily basis. Many of these informal German words came from outside of Germany due to the influx of immigrants that came over to Germany to work and reside. On that note, Danny added that some of them, such as the Turkish immigrants, also brought over their famous food called Kebab. Kebab became so increasingly popular in Germany that the Germans created their own style sandwich Kebab. I’m sure you are quite familiar with Döner Kebab, right?  Of course, Germans themselves have their famous Schweinshaxe, Bratwurst, Currywurst, Leberkäse, Sauerkraut, and Schnitzel among many other delicacies.

While we are talking about Oktoberfest, another subject that must be brought up is the German beers. Jeremy explained that in order for a beer brewery to pass its beer as a true German beer, it has to pass the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients and stipulates that beers that do not exclusively use barley-malt such as wheat beer must be top-fermented. The beers that have been approved by the Reinheitsgebot are then able to be enjoyed at festivals such as Oktoberfest, Erntedankfest, Karneval, Weinachtsmarkt, and Silvester as Anggun presented.

We then continued with other things that Germans are also famous for: Ken shared with us some famous German classical music to listen to, and briefly explained the history behind the composers. Jey brought the football fans in the room together by talking about the 4 times World Cup winner, which is none other than the German national team, also known as die Mannschaft. But Germany also had several  world champions in other sports such as Michael Schumacher in the Formula 1, Dirk Nowizki in the NBA, and Boris Becker and Steffi Graff in tennis.

We then had Rory talked about Angela Merkel, who is the current Chancellor of Germany. Ria continued sharing about studying in Germany and how to get admitted to universities in Germany. Knowing that Germany had always been an innovative nation, Mira shared with us all the innovations that Germany is famous for, which included cars, motorcylces, printed books, TVs, helicopters, aspirins, and MP3 formats!

Germany had its golden age of cinemas, and still produces quality films as Dian shared with us. Lastly, Clara talked about the dos and don’ts in German speaking countries. Did you know you are not allowed to make any noises after 9PM? Your neighbours have the right to call the police should you make any noises that bother them!

The attendees had discussion based on the themes that we presented and shared with us the similarities (or the differences) between their respective language cultures. We ended the meet-up with couple of fun quizzes where participants had to pronounce the longest word in German language (at 63 letters!), read a number in German (try saying 75.490.566 in German), guess all the made-in-Germany automobiles, and correctly pronounce them in German (no, it’s not “Porsh”, give it another try!)

Now you know that German culture and language are more than just drinking beers in the month of October!

Special thanks to Hoshino Tea Time for the great venue! Hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter's meetup! (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album)

Wir sehen uns!

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