Können wir davon ausgehen, dass St. Martin (350 n.Chr.) noch in die heutige Zeit passt?
Als Lehrer stehen wir immer vor der Frage ob „Traditionen verpflichten?“ und so erzählen wir den Schülern und Eltern die Geschichte von St. Martin und dem Bettler, als wir am 11. November in Old World Village, Kalifornien zu der St. Martin Laternenparade zusammen kamen:
„Kalt war es an jenem Tag. Mächtig kalt. Die Menschen blieben lieber in ihren Häusern, kaum einer traute sich auf die Straße. Der Wind war eisig, es schneite und es war, als würde es nie wieder warm werden. Doch einer war an jenem Tag auf der Straße, einer, der kein Dach über dem Kopf ich hatte, ein Bettler nämlich. Mit klappernden Zähnen und halb erfroren hockte er zusammengekauert am Stadttor. Nichts Gescheites zum Anziehen hatte er, beinahe nackt war er. Vor lauter Kälte wimmerte er. Doch noch einer war an jenem Tag auf der Straße unterwegs. Martin hieß der Mann, ein Soldat zu Pferde. Schnell wie der Wind ritt er mit wehendem Mantel durch die menschenleeren Straßen. Noch durch das Stadttor und er wäre zu Hause. Doch – was war das? Martin hielt das Pferd an, langsamer zu traben. Das war doch – tatsächlich! Da saß jemand. Ein Mann. Martin sah ihm entgegen. Kaum etwas an hatte der. Und wie er zitterte vor lauter Kälte. Neben ihm blieb das Pferd stehen. Martin überlegte nicht lange. Kurzerhand zog er seinen Mantel aus, zog sein Schwert hervor und teilte mit diesem den Mantel in der Mitte durch. Die eine Mantelhälfte gab er dem Bettler, und noch bevor dieser wusste, wie ihm geschah, galoppierte Martin auch schon davon. Dankbar hüllte sich der Bettler in die Mantelhälfte. Wie warm sie war und wie gut sie ihm tat. Noch lange blickte er Martin hinterher.“ Im Unterricht hatten wir während der Woche eine Vorentlastung zum Thema St. Martin um den Schüler die Geschichte zu veranschaulichen und wie sie in der heutigen Zeit damit umgehen können: „Jeder kann ein Bettler sein, Bettler sitzen nicht nur am Straßenrand. Bettler sind manchmal mitten unter uns – in der Schule, in der Familie, in der Freizeit, in der Nachbarschaft; denn jeder braucht manchmal etwas, was ihm vielleicht gerade fehlt.“
Es gab ein Beispiel: Es ist Tim, der sein Pausenbrot daheim vergessen hatte. Mit knurrendem Magen schaut er zu Max, der gerade in sein Schinkenbrot beißen will. Max merkt, dass Tim ihn beobachtet. Kurzerhand teilt er sein Brot und gibt Tim die Hälfte ab. „Was wird hier geteilt- wie wird einem Jungen geholfen?“ Martin hatte ein großes Herz für andere. „Wie kannst du anderen helfen oder was kannst du mit anderen teilen?“ „Manchmal, da brauche ich Hilfe, manchmal schaff ich es nicht allein, um einen Rat bettle ich dann, oder um eine Hand, die mit anpackt oder um Füße, die mich begleiten. Manchmal, da bin ich auch ein Bettler.“
Director: Sönke Wortmann, Germany, 2003, 118 min., digital. In German with English subtitles
Starring: Louis Klamroth, Peter Lohmeyer, Johanna Gastdorf, Peter Franke, Sascha Göpel. Suitable for general audiences.
Summer, 1954, Germany’s Ruhr Valley.
Shortly before West Germany is to compete in the World Cup, Richard Lubanski (Lohmeyer) returns home after eleven years in a Soviet prisoner of war camp to his wife Christa (Gastdorf) and his three children.
Richard’s son, Matthias (Klamroth), has never known his father and looks up to local soccer hero Helmut Rahn (Göpel) as a role model. Alienated from a country and a family he barley recognizes, Richard initially looks down on his son’s love of soccer. However, Matthias’ infectious passion for the sport soon draws Richard out of his depression; creating a connection between the two, and rejuvenating the family.
The new bond between father and son is cemented as the two travel to see Rahn and the West German national team compete for the World Cup in Bern, Switzerland. Wortmann’s multi-award winning film is a heart-warming and inspirational portrait of West Germany during the post-war Wirtschaftswunder, or “economic miracle”. A huge sensation in Germany, the film links the nation’s unexpected victory in the World Cup with Germany’s new-found sense of identity.
Winner of three German Film Awards: Best Picture, Audience Award for Best Actor, Audience Award for Best German Film.
Have you heard about the phrase:“Jemand hat sich wie ein Pfingstochse geschmückt.“ (Someone is dressed like an Ochs- it is too much and too colorful)?
Traditionally farmers in the Alp regions bring the cows to the higher areas of the Alps where they remain all summer, as the weather gets better. The cows are beautifully decorated like you see on the picture. Like a parade they will be guided through the villages.
Why do we celebrate Pentecost? It is a Christian fest. Germany has a “Pfingstsonntag” and “Pfingsmontag”, as official Holiday. Businesses and stores are most likely closed.
It is the 50th day after Easter.
It is always in Spring. Trees get green leaves, flowers are blooming. The so called “Pfingstrosen” bloom only in this time of the year.
October – A Month Rich in Historical Events in Germany that Shaped the Whole World
Today is October 3rd. A very important date in German history as we are about to learn this month at German class at our school. And there is a lot more history to cover this October.
German-American Heritage Month is also in October with the German American Heritage Day being observed on October 6. We take this as an opportunity here at German School Campus to make our students familiar with some of the important events in German history.
German National Day – Tag der Dt. Einheit
October 3rd commemorates the reunification of Germany. Since World War II had ended the idea of reunification has been on the minds of German politicians and the German people alike.
When the construction of the wall started in August 1961 many Germans saw their hope for a united Germany vanish for good. The wall should divide the city of Berlin permanently, replacing the less effective wire fence that had been used until then.
It caught Berliners, Germans and the world all the more by surprise when on November 9th of 1989 the East German government declared that it would allow its citizen to freely cross the border to visit West Berlin and West Germany. It was a historical moment and dramatic pictures of that time when East and West Germans met again after so many years of separation, keep captivating people from all around the globe.
The man, who left a lasting impact on religion, education and the German language
October 3rd is just one date this month that carries a lot of importance in German history. Another date deems just as important in terms of the changes it brought along that affected not only the Germans but many countries around the world.
October 31. This was the day when Martin Luther, a German priest and theologian from Eisleben (a city in Saxony-Anhalt), nailed his famous 95 theses onto the doors of the castle church in Wittenberg.
Meant initially to simply draw attention to certain practices and teachings of the Catholic Church that he didn't agree with, this bold action soon started a whole movement that initiated the Protestant Reformation. Today Lutheranism is among the largest branches of Protestantism. Other branches include Calvinism, Baptist churches, Methodism, Anglicanism among many others.
2017, often called the ‘Luther Year’ in Germany, celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation that had been started by this significant event at the castle church in Wittenberg.
But Luther is not only known for his breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church and creating a new religious structure within Christendom, the Lutheran Protestantism.
One common language for all Germans
Martin Luther is also the man, who made religion accessible to everyone in his country by translating the Bible from Latin into ‘colloquial’ German. Now even laymen were able to understand the Bible's teachings. This event however had a much bigger impact, not only on the religious understanding of a whole society but also on German culture as a whole. By translating the Bible into one ‘common German language’, Luther united Germans through their language. In a sense Luther can be seen as the father of ‘standardized’ German, since until then no single German language existed but a variety of dialects.
Education for ALL
Luther was a born reformer. He changed religious believes, created one German language and also revolutionized the educational system. At his time, education was a privilege, accessible only to the elite and future priests. As the visionary he was, he realized the importance in having the next generation be educated in order to preserve knowledge and cultural heritage. He wanted education be available to everyone including girls! “By the late 16th century, rural German schools were gender balanced” according to an article by Jay Mathews in the Washington Post.
That education needs to be free for everyone, is still a motto that’s driving Germany’s education model even today!
Look out for the ‘Oktoberfest Table” at the Phoenix Club on October 15th, 2017. More information to follow.
Monday, October 2 – Schwarz-Rot-Gold Day : Kick off the week by showing your pride in Germany and the German language—wear Schwarz-Rot-Gold! Whether you're at school, at work, out in the community or anywhere else, everyone around will know you’re a fan of German. ( Please wear these colors on Thursday, too)
Friday, October 6 – Famous German-Americans Day: Hats off to German immigrants to the US and German-Americans! The cultures of the German-speaking world have had an enormous influence on American culture. You’ll find the contributions of German-Americans in every walk of life—actors, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, musicians, politicians, scientists, teachers, filmmakers, and writers.
Why is May 1st celebrated in parts of Europe? The reason for our holiday is the history of America.
In the era of industrialization in the 19th century, May 1 was in the United States of America the day of the demonstration of the rights of the working class. This day was chosen because of the tradition of moving on the 1st of May and is still known as “the day of moving”. The ambiguity of private change and political fights is still present today. Above all, in Germany the power of the citizens’ movement and the right to work, especially work for everyone under human conditions, are celebrated.
In the suburbs and cities, special trees called “Maibäume” are placed, which are not only a symbol of change, but also a part of the festivities. So it is tradition to steal the May trees of the neighboring cities and celebrate the victory with music, good food and traditional drinks. In some parts of Germany couple dances are also popular around the May trees. Especially in Bavaria, traditional clothes are used for these dances. In Europe the day of work is celebrated not only in Germany – also in Liechtenstein, Austria, Belgium, and in parts of Switzerland, May 1st is something special!
Warum wird in Teilen Europas der 1. Mai gefeiert? Der Grund für unseren Feiertag ist die Geschichte Amerikas.
Im Zeitalter der Industrialisierung im 19. Jahrhundert wurde der 1. Mai zuerst in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika der Tag der Demonstration für die Rechte der Arbeiterklasse. Dieser Tag wurde wegen der Tradition des privaten Umzugs am 1. Mai ausgewählt und ist auch heute noch bekannt als „the day of moving“. Die Doppeldeutigkeit von privater und politischer Veränderung besteht auch heute noch. Vor allem wird in Deutschland die Kraft der bürgerlichen Bewegung und das Recht auf Arbeit, besonders Arbeit für jedermann zu menschlichen und fairen Bedingungen, gefeiert.
In Vororten und Städten werden für die Feier Maibäume aufgestellt, die nicht nur als Symbol für etwas Neues stehen, sondern auch zur Unterhaltung dienen. So ist es Tradition die Maibäume der Nachbarstädte zu entfernen und den Sieg mit viel Musik, Essen und Trinken zu feiern. In manchen Teilen Deutschlands sind auch Paartänze um den Maibaum herum beliebt. Besonders in Bayern werden zu diesen Tänzen auch traditionelle Kleider getragen. In Europa wird der Tag der Arbeit nicht nur in Deutschland gefeiert – auch in Liechtenstein, Österreich, Belgien, und in Teilen der Schweiz ist der 1. Mai etwas Besonderes!
In Deutschland werden neben Deutsch viele andere Sprachen gesprochen. Es gibt die Sprachen der Migranten und Religionsgruppen (Italienern, Spanier, Griechen, Jugoslawen, Türken u.a.). die z.T. bereits seit zwei oder drei Generationen bei uns leben. Außerdem finden sich die Sprachen der autochtonen (= eingesessenen) Volksgruppen wie Sorbisch und Friesisch. Diese Sprachen wurden seit alters her dort gesprochen. Sie wandelten sich erst im Laufe der geschichtlichen Entwicklung zu Minderheitensprachen.
JOHNSON is a fan of the Freakonomics books and columns. But this week’s podcast makes me wonder if the team of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt aren’t overstretching themselves a bit. “Is learning a foreign language really worth it?”, asks the headline. A reader writes:
My oldest daughter is a college freshman, and not only have I paid for her to study Spanish for the last four or more years — they even do it in grade school now! — but her college is requiring her to study EVEN MORE! What on earth is going on? How did it ever get this far? … Or to put it in economics terms, where is the ROI? To sum up the podcast’s answers, there are pros and cons to language-learning. The pros are that working in a foreign language can make people make better decisions (research Johnson covered here) and that bilingualism helps with executive function in children and dementia in older people (covered here). The cons: one study finds that the earnings bonus for an American who learns a foreign language is just 2%. If you make $30,000 a year, sniffs Mr Dubner, that’s just $600.
But for the sake of provocation, Mr Dubner seems to have low-balled this. He should know the power of lifetime earnings and compound interest. First, instead of $30,000, assume a university graduate, who in America is likelier to use a foreign language than someone without university. The average starting salary is almost $45,000. Imagine that our graduate saves her “language bonus”. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe (a statement dubiously attributed to Einstein, but nonetheless worth committing to memory). Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?”
Second, Albert Saiz, the MIT economist who calculated the 2% premium, found quite different premiums for different languages: just 1.5% for Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German. This translates into big differences in the language account: your Spanish is worth $51,000, but French, $77,000, and German, $128,000. Humans are famously bad at weighting the future against the present, but if you dangled even a post-dated $128,000 cheque in front of the average 14-year-old, Goethe and Schiller would be hotter than Facebook.
Why do the languages offer such different returns? It has nothing to do with the inherent qualities of Spanish, of course. The obvious answer is the interplay of supply and demand. This chart reckons that Spanish-speakers account for a bit more of world GDP than German-speakers do. But an important factor is economic openness. Germany is a trade powerhouse, so its language will be more economically valuable for an outsider than the language of a relatively more closed economy.
But in American context (the one Mr Saiz studied), the more important factor is probably supply, not demand, of speakers of a given language. Non-Latino Americans might study Spanish because they hear and see so much of it spoken in their country. But that might be the best reason not to study the language, from a purely economic point of view. A non-native learner of Spanish will have a hard time competing with a fluent native bilingual for a job requiring both languages. Indeed, Mr Saiz found worse returns for Spanish study in states with a larger share of Hispanics. Better to learn a language in high demand, but short supply—one reason, no doubt, ambitious American parents are steering their children towards Mandarin. The drop-off in recent years in the American study of German might be another reason for young people to hit the Bücher.
And studies like Mr Saiz’s can only work with the economy the researchers have at hand to study. But of course changes in educational structures can have dynamic effects on entire economies. A list of the richest countries in the world is dominated by open, trade-driven economies. Oil economies aside, the top 10 includes countries where trilingualism is typical, like Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore, and small countries like the Scandinavian ones, where English knowledge is excellent.
There are of course many reasons that such countries are rich. But a willingness to learn about export markets, and their languages, is a plausible candidate. One study, led by James Foreman-Peck of Cardiff Business School, has estimated that lack of foreign-language proficiency in Britain costs the economy £48 billion ($80 billion), or 3.5% of GDP, each year. Even if that number is high, the cost of assuming that foreign customers will learn your language, and never bothering to learn theirs, is certainly a lot greater than zero. So if Mr Saiz had run his language-premium study against a parallel-universe America, in which the last half-century had been a golden age of language-learning, he might have found a bigger foreign-language bonus (and a bigger GDP pie to divide) in that more open and export-oriented fantasy America. And of course greater investment in foreign-language teaching would have other dynamic effects: more and better teachers and materials, plus a cultural premium on multilingualism, means more people will actually master a language, rather than wasting several years never getting past la plume de ma tante, as happens in Britain and America.
To be sure, everything has an opportunity cost. An hour spent learning French is an hour spent not learning something else. But it isn’t hard to think of school subjects that provide less return—economically, anyway—than a foreign language. What is the return on investment for history, literature or art? Of course schools are intended to do more than create little GDP-producing machines. (And there are also great non-economic benefits to learning a foreign language.) But if it is GDP you’re after, the world isn’t learning English as fast as some people think. One optimistic estimate is that half the world’s people might speak English by 2050. That leaves billions who will not, and billions of others who remain happier (and more willing to spend money) in their own language.
Source: The Economist – Mar 11th 2014, 17:11 BY R.L.G. | BERLIN
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