A week in Germany

German Club helps celebrate the countries culture at Millard West


Photo by Annabelle Harshbarger

The Oktoberfest display in the hallway set up by German club members shows off a unique holiday celebrated in Germany. The display not only gave a visual representation of the holiday but also stated facts to give more information. “We want to spark interest in our German programs and expand students’ knowledge of the world outside our country,” German teacher Andrea Turner said. “And we want to share some fun and create community with the rest of the school. Many students at West have family connections to Germany.”

Annabelle Harshbarger, Online Editor

During the week of Oct. 4-9, Millard West celebrated National German Week. The week highlighted many different aspects of German culture including different holidays and the nation’s history.

The club began preparations for the week last year. They met once a week to brainstorm ideas for displays and activities. Since last year the club has grown significantly, giving them a wide range of perspectives and ideas. The German club put together a week’s worth of activities to celebrate and to educate students about the country’s culture. 

Several different displays were hung up around the school, each representing a different day of the week. One holiday featured was German Unity Day, celebrated on Oct. 3, the day commemorates the unification of the country. From Oktoberfest to German car brands, the displays highlighted the unique culture Germany has to offer. 

“We tried to get a variety of different important cultural aspects of Germany, like the food for example, and the Black Forest,” senior Madison Harris said. “We wanted to highlight different areas that show off Germany in different lights. Germany is known for certain things like the food and cars, but we also wanted to expose students to things like German Unity Day which is a very important part of their culture that many people don’t really know about.”

The German Club planned different activities to get students involved and excited to learn about the culture. On Wednesday, club members set up a station where students were able to sample authentic German dishes prepared by members of the club. Students were also invited to decorate bricks that were a part of the Brandenburger Tor display. The Brandenburger Tor is the only remaining gate left in Berlin and symbolizes both the division and reunification in Germany. The German Club hoped that students would learn the meaning behind the bricks and apply that to their own lives.

“The broken bricks symbolize unity,” German teacher Andrea Turner said. “After the Berlin Wall fell, Germany was reunited peacefully. We think there are lots of important lessons and examples from German reunification that we can use in our lives and country today.  We want to create awareness and provide an opportunity for students to express themselves about those topics through word and art.”

Members of the club were excited to share what they have learned about Germany with the whole school. The displays, activities and announcements gave German students the opportunity to show parts of the culture they believed were important and gave other students the opportunity to learn. 

“Learning about other cultures is very critical because I think it gives us more perspective on life and how others live individually,” senior Brenna Evans said. “I feel as though German does not get as much attention as, for example, Spanish or French. It brings light and history to the culture and language. it definitely gets people more interested in taking the foreign language as well.”

The displays and activities showcased the effort and hard work put in by club members and sponsors. The week also gave students outside of the German department the opportunity to learn something they may have never known.