Posts Tagged ‘culture’


Halloween behaviour

Last year when we just moved into our new house in Columbus we had a really nice Halloween experience. All the kids from the neighborhood where on the streets to do their trick or treat. Our (back then) two year old son was very happy to do so as well. He never again learned so quickly to say the right phrase in the right place: Trick or treat! and Thank you! It was really fun and we felt pretty enriched by participating in a (for us: new) tradition that stands so much for american culture.

Well, this year was different.

Halloween took place on a saturday.

A Buckeyes football game day.

When we got home last thursday we where wondering about all the people on the streets and why some kids where already doing trick or treat. We blamed it to the matter of the really nice and warm weather and at the same time we where kind of suspicious it would have something to do with the fact that this years Halloween is on a saturday. Additionally there was – due the matter of fact that we arrived pretty late at home – only one poor boy ringing at our door and I was so confused that I was asking him if he didn’t know that Halloween takes place not until saturday. He just nodded and ran away (to my apology: he even didn’t say trick or treat or anything just stared at me and held his bucket right into my face with big hoggish eyes).

We were so damn right but in a completely wrong way.

I asked a colleage of my wife on friday why we have seen so much folks around already on thursday and she explained to me that most of the parents won’t expose their children to all the drunken folks so if Halloween takes place on a saturday most parents decide to do the trick or treat walk already on thursday. Unfortunatly for us, yet: it was already friday.

Well, anyway on saturday we gave it a shot with our poor child, but all we’ve seen was some homeless cats, some tumble weed and a lot of glances through windows displaying a bunch of people staring at a 42″ screen watching a football game.

You can call it cultural ignorance or better: inexperience. But it left a pale taste on my tongue of what importance a football game is related to old fashioned traditions. Maybe football is (nowadays) in a same way a tradition like Halloween.

Though I’m afraid my 3-year-old son has a different opinion about it.

UPDATE 11-04-09: The parents doesn’t decide when its going to be happen, there is an official beggars night time frame in most neighboorhoods, published in the local newspapers.


Pictorial lexicon

Dr. Michael Shaughnessy is a German professor at Washington & Jefferson College. He is specialized in computer assisted language learning and visual representations of culture and is the initiator and director of the CAPL project, a kind of lexicon wich is working with pictures for translating terms and the best thing is: it is all free licensed CC. So that means for all you German teachers: it’s open and it’s for free (as long as you mention the source). Since my wife is a German teacher at a High School I know about the value of resources like this and I highly recommend this kind of approach (btw. other languages are in progress as well…). Heck, I might want to offer my collaboration on such a nice project!

found at boingboing


CompareYourCountry-O-mat

This is the ultimate tool you need for your next emigration intentions or for fun facts you could use to start a descent pub brawl. You choose where you live now and which country you want it to compare to and then *click* – you get the results: size, income, live expectancy, energy consumption, health care costs etc. You get the idea. I linked – for obvious culture clash reasons! – US vs. Germany. Have fun with it. Don’t take it too serious. And stay optimistic. At least the average income is much higher in the US than in Germany. Who would have thought of that?

If it were my home ((via Gizmodo and Reddit))


Here goes European Fusion for you. Nice.


I Figured It Out. Everything.

I’m not misanthrope. I’m just experienced.


Wissenswertes Über Erlangen

A classic of the Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave – music). It summarizes pretty nicely the ordinariness of the German Bourgois. The verse lyrics are taken from official promotional material of the town of Erlangen in South Western Germany. I love it.