We are waiting for Christmas – What about you?

The “Adventskalender”. Each one has a different picture.

It’s Christmas time! Here at Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium we only have two days of school left until our Christmas holiday starts and we are all looking forward to meeting many relatives and all family members and to having some not too busy days off.

Christmas is one of the most important days in Christianity and that’s why all our houses are already decorated with candles, window stickers or special Christmas table cloths. We also have many traditions which are all related to Christmas:

Children are counting the days to Christmas eve by opening doors at their “Adventskalender”. This is a kind of framed picture where you can find the numbers from 1 to 24 printed on it. Starting with December 1st each day you are allowed to open one small door placed right under the fitting number. And mostly you will find some piece of chocolate that will sweeten the waiting till Christmas.

The “Adventskranz”. Three candles are already burning.

The 4 Sundays before Christmas we light a candle at our “Adventskranz”. The “Adventskranz” is a wreath made from branches of fir trees and which is decorated with dried orange-slices, wooden ornaments or some other accessories. The most important parts are the four candles. Four weeks before Christmas we are allowed to light the first candle; the second can be lit in the second week and right before Christmas all four candles are burning happily. In addition we sing special Christmas songs while lighting the candles.

And at Christmas eve? Most of the families have their own tradition how to celebrate this special day. Going to service at night, a locked room where the “Christkindl” will place the Christmas tree and will bring presents and of course a lot of Christmas songs like “Silent night” which will be sung in front of the tree.

If you are interested we can put some pictures online and tell you more about our Christmas. But first you have to tell us, if you celebrate Christmas in India as well and what kind of traditions you have. We are looking forward to read your stories in the comment section.

Transcript and video of Jakob’s moving speech at the MUN

Manuscript MUN speech
The original manuscript of the MUN speech.

It was time to close the three day lasting MUN event. For this reason hundreds of delegates gathered in the new auditorium of our partner school waiting for the final MUN ceremony. Kathak dancers, Yoga students and real diplomats  were announced to be part of the well balanced program. 

And in the midst of all one German students was anxious to be called on stage to share his thoughts about the whole event.

Jakob MUN Speech
Jakob during his MUN speech

Jakob Schweiger, a participant of our exchange project volunteered for holding a speech and you can imagine how frightening an international audience full of diplomatic experts can be for a 15 year old student.

But his voice didn’t shake when he startet his speech and when he won the hearts of all by calling India “a second home”. Continue reading “Transcript and video of Jakob’s moving speech at the MUN”

German Newspaper publishes an article about LVISMUN

The LVIS MUN was an astonish event and our German participants are still glad that they took the chance to be a part of this fabulous simulation.

German MUN participants
Newspaper article featuring the German MUN participants (5/11/2017)

The Straubinger Tagblatt, a local newspaper of our hometown Straubing, recently published an article describing the MUN and featuring the German participants. The picture shows the eleven German MUN students after they received their MUN certificates from the principal of the school.


Ways of greeting in India – “Culture shock reloaded”

Some readers and especially some colleagues told me that they want to read more about my “culture shock” experiences. They want to know more about “Dos and don’ts in India” because my first three experiences weren’t enough.

So let me tell you more about another part of Indian culture which seems to vary significantly from my German habits. It is the way how you greet somebody in India you don’t know yet.

The German approach
German handshake
A firm handshake

In Germany it is easy. You offer your hand for a firm handshake, look your “new friend” straight into the eyes and greet him or her with a nice “Grüß Gott” (a formal greeting in the southern part of Germany). In India things can be different and a little bit tricky.

Being on an exchange nobody would be offended if you greet your host parents the same way. They know that a foreigner is coming and they are familiar with this western kind of greeting ritual. But for greeting your exchange partner’s grandma or the school’s principal another strategy is recommended.

The Indian way

The Indian word to greet somebody respectfully is “Namaste“. This words derives from Sanskrit and can be translated to “I bow to you”.  The right pronouncation of this word can be learned by watching this video. “Namaste” combined with a humble smile is never the wrong choice. If you want to be more formal while being introduced to an important guest or family member Continue reading “Ways of greeting in India – “Culture shock reloaded””

Day 7 – Astonishing Interview of Mr Madan Lal

Madan Lal Interview
Mr. Madan Lal during his interview in LVIS

Everybody knows how to play cricket. Even we German students from Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium tried to play a match with our Indian friends. But such matches are only for fun. We wanted to know what it is like to play on a professional level. What do you need to get better and how can you stay focused so long.

During our exchange we got the chance to interview the former national cricket player Mr Madan Lal. He visited our school and explained us what it is like to be a professional athlete. He also emphasized strongly the importance of school sports and reminded our students to stay focused if they want to be successful in live.

A short part of the interview with Mr Madan Lal can be seen in the following video:

Der Profispieler Mr Madan Lal beim Interview

Can we fix it? Yes, we can!

We can fix it

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