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Deutsche Tage


GAI's Deutsche Tage Weekend logoMy daughter Nicole works at the Germanic-American Institute (GAI) in Saint Paul. I’m not sure exactly what it is they do at the GAI, but I’m pretty sure that whatever it is is just a cover for their real mission: world domination.

So, I’m a “friend” of the GAI and receive their newsletters and email alerts. Just in case.

This week I received an email reminder of the upcoming Deutsche Tage (German Days) Weekend. I opened it right away, of course. It’s never a good idea to ignore a message from an organization bent on world domination. Particularly a message with the one-word subject line “Achtung!”

The message read:

Germanic-American Institute Upcoming Events

June 11 & 12: Saturday & Sunday Deutsche Tage (German Days) Weekend Celebration – FREE

http://www.gai-mn.org/events/index.html#Deutsche_Tage

Now I’m hesitant to be critical of such a fine organization, but I think it might be a good idea to add a little more detail to this invite. Just what can one expect from a Deutche Tage celebration? Before I commit to a two-day weekend with my Teutonic friends, I’d really like to know more.1 I’ve never attended the annual Scottish “Highland Festival” in Saint Paul for similar reasons: unspecific adverts leave me to suppose it consists of a lot of sheep shearing, drinking, fighting, and unsightly confirmations of just what it is that Scotsmen wear under their kilts.

So to be helpful, I suggested to Nicole an example of the sort of schedule she might want to include with these email invitations:

Saturday Schedule

  • 9:00 AM – Beer chugging competition in the garden.
  • 9:30 – Hermann und Helmut on stage in Liederhosen take turns kicking each other and swearing in Deutsch.
  • 10:00 – Helga runs 50-meter dash while carrying a tray of fifteen full beer steins in one hand and her husband Fritz in the other.
  • 10:05 – Traditional polka dance.
  • 11:00 – Roundtable discussion number #1 – The music of Richard Wagner: Is it really better than it sounds?
  • 11:05 – Arts und crafts: Construction of an authentic Bavarian “beer bong” hat.
  • Noon – Chef Heimlich attempts to create and serve world’s largest Bregenwurst using more than two tons of pork bellies and brains. Beer will be served.
  • 1:00 PM – Polka-Latin fusion dance.
  • 2:00 – Beer pong competition in the garden.
  • 3:00 – Helga und Fritz wrestle in a large vat of Sauerbraten marinade and garlic mustard.Beatles single cover
  • 3:30 – Beatles cover band Die Kafer play “Sie liebt dich” und “Komm gib mir deine Hand” over and over and over again on the main stage.
  • 5:30 – Roundtable discussion number #2 – Reading Thomas Mann’s lesser-known “comic” novels.
  • 5:35 – Toasts to 100 German heroes in the beer garden, from Wotan to Ludwig II to Dirk Nowitzki.
  • 7:00 – Polka-Hip Hop dance and Deutsch poetry slam.
  • 8:00 – Helga models a collection of Dirndls in the beer garden.
  • 8:30 – Roundtable discussion number #3 and slide show – The St. Pauli girl: A pictorial history of an offensive anti-German stereotype.St Pauli Girl
  • 8:45 – More of Helga and her Dirndls in the beer garden.
  • 9:30 – Beer and brats in the garden.
  • Sunday Schedule

  • 9:00 AM – Lutheran Mass featuring J. S. Bach’s cantata BWV 70 “Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!”
  • 10:00 – Beer and brats in the garden
  • 9:00 PM – Clean up, and more beer in the garden. Leftover Bregenwurst will be available.

Notes:

  1. I can’t be bothered to just check the website.

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