German-Chinese Meeting#2 Festivals and Traditions

The idea to educate each other about festivals and traditions came from the fact that the Chinese New Year’s Festival and the German Karneval had just passed. Therefore, we created small presentations about both national and religious festivals we grew up with in our home country. My Chinese group members taught me about of course the Chinese New Year’s festival, the dragon boat festival, the Chinese traditional version of Valentine’s day and the mid-autumn/moon festival and each one’s story. We could even find some similarities between the “western” New Year’s eve and the Chinese New Year’s festival. There, both use fireworks and colorful objects to scare away monsters, ghosts, etc. I also feel like I’ve been a little better regarding the pronunciation of the festivals’ names. In exchange, I taught my Chinese group members about the German Oktoberfest, Karneval, the way we celebrate christmas and the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” (Day of German Unity) to ensure a good and interesting mix of religious festivals and festivals you mostly engage in for the sake of celebrating itself. We unexpectatly found out that people in China / Germany celebrate the 1 May as the labor day as well. We three of us thought that it would be a national holiday rather than something that other nations celebrate too. While teaching the names of cities where particular festivals are celebrated (München or Köln) I taught them the pronunciation of the letters ä, ö, ü and ß. I think we achieved the overall goal of teaching each other the culture rather than the plane language itself. However, for the next time we decided to teach each other common phrases like “hello, how are you?”, “thank you” or “Can you help me?” to actually get to know the language a little better. Moreover, we decided to talk about different beauty standards in Germany and China since one of my Chinese group members thought that western beauty standards that are portrayed on e.g. Instagram differ heavily from the ones she is exposed to in China. I am really looking forward to our next meeting about common phrases and beauty standards.


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