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                                              AUSTRIA • GERMANY • LIECHTENSTEIN • SWITZERLAND
       Vol. 11 No. 3                                                                                                        May - June 2023 Issue

      Fruhlingfest celebrated as part of 90th year of Edelweiss Buffalo

         by Steve Dlugosz
            he  beginning  of  the  spring
            season was celebrated local-
      Tly  with  the  March  25
      Fruhlingfest, also known as the Ger-
      man originated "spring festival," as
      part  of  Schuhplatter-Gebirgstra-
      chtenverein (SG) Edelweiss Buffa-
      lo's annual fundraiser, held this time
      at  the  Variety  Club  of  Buffalo  on
      Broadway  in  Lancaster.  This  year
      also marks the 90th year of SG Edel-
      weiss  Buffalo's  existence,  a  mile-
      stone  described  by  members  as  a
      reason to celebrate.
         According  to  Heidi  VonReck-
      linghausen,  president  of  Bavarian-
      originated  SG  Edelweiss  Buffalo,
      the  event  at  the  Variety  Club  of
      Buffalo  was  expected  to  attract
      about 160 persons.
         Participants  danced  to  and  en-
      joyed  the  musical  sounds  of  long-
      time local favorite The Auslanders,
      as the event featured mouth-water-
      ing favorites such as German potato
      salad  and  other  traditional  delica-
      cies. Those of all ages were in atten-
      dance, including Mike Zavarella of
      Lancaster,  who  was  wearing  tradi-
      tional Bavarian lederhosen, and his
      young son.
         "Fruhlingfest  is  a  good  time,"
      said  Zavarella.  "The  Auslanders
      have been playing for so long, and
      they haven't lost any of their ability.
      People  of  all  ages  come  out  and
      enjoy good food, good music."  I was five. It's people of all ages. It's  Photos by Steve Dlugosz
         VonRecklinghausen  and  her a celebration of spring."
      husband,  Eric,  wore  matching  Ba-  A  number  of  ethnic-group  col-
      varian  outfits  as  well.  Heidi  Von- laborations have characterized Edel-
      Recklinghausen was happy to see a weiss Buffalo and events that it has  Germany: Immigrants made up
      lively crowd out celebrating indoors been part of.
      on  a  rainy  day  outside.  Edelweiss  Representatives of Schuhplattler  over 18% of 2022 population
      Buffalo typically holds its organiza- Verein of Rochester, including Vor-
      tion  meetings  at  the  Variety  Club, plattler  James  Smith  and  his  wife
                                                                  Some  15.3                                     tion, fit that definition, Destatis said
      although March 25 marked the first Gillian,  were  on  hand  at  Fruhling-  million people in Ger-                         on  Thursday,  a  slight  increase  on
      time  Fruhlingfest  was  held  at  the fest; as were members of the Spring
                                                                   Dmany, just under one in                                      their last tally.
      site.                          Garden Association, including Bri-  five  nationwide,  immigrated                              Germany has long been known
         "It's about the camaraderie, like an  Peek,  a  "Vereinmusikanten"  of
                                                                   there  at  some  point  in  their                             for a comparatively open migration
      a  family,"  she  said  of  Edelweiss Edelweiss and Spring Garden board  lives, according to new govern-                   policy, partly the result of decades
      Buffalo's  environment  and  feeling. member.
                                                                   ment  statistics  for  2022.  Al-                             of low birth rates and a large labor
      "Ninety years is a long time, and I've  Edelweiss  Buffalo  and  the  most 5 million more were born                        market. The government is current-
      been a part of it for 59 years – since Spring  Garden  Association  are  de-
                                                                   to migrant parents.                 Image by Ralph from Pixabay  ly  working  on  a  new  policy  de-
                                     scribed as co-sponsors of Waldfest
                                                                      Roughly 20.2 million people in                             signed to better attract skilled labor
                                     in July (July 16 at Spring Garden in
                                                                   Germany  in  2022  either  moved  to  Destatis  counted  another  4.9 from outside the EU.
                                     Marilla) and other related events. In
                                                                   the country themselves or were born  million, roughly 6%, whose parents  Where are the arrivals from and
                                     relation  to  upcoming,  regional
                                                                   to  two  people  who  moved  there,  both migrated to Germany.  why did they migrate?
                                                Continued on page 6  according  to  figures  published  by  And  it  noted  that  another  3.9  Destatis noted that people who
                                                                   the Federal Statistical Office, Desta-  million had one parent who was a had moved to Germany in the last
                                                                   tis, on April 20.              migrant  though  it  said  it  was  not ten years were on average younger
                                                                      That's a 6.3% rise on the 2021  counting them as having a full "im- than the average native citizen, with
                                                                   figure and represents 24.3% of the  migration story," rather a "one-sid- an average age of 29.9 versus 47.0
                                                                   total population of around 83.2 mil-  ed" one.                across the population.
                                                                   lion.                             You  might  have  seen  or  heard  Among  them,  27.9%  said  they
                                                                      Of those, 15.3 million, or 18.4%  slightly  higher  figures  for  migrant moved because they were fleeing or
                                                                   of the population, moved to Germa-  population size in Germany in the seeking  asylum,  24.2%  said  they
                                                                   ny from abroad themselves at some  past.  That's  because  Destatis  was were looking for work, and 23.8%
                                                                   point in their own lifetimes.  tracking what it describes as people said they were moving to join their
                                                                      The high average levels of mi-  with  an  Einwanderungsgeschichte, families.  Another  8.2%  said  they
                                                                   gration  in  recent  years  were  also  an "immigration history," but it also migrated to pursue academic oppor-
                                                                   apparent in the statistics.    regularly reports on people in Ger- tunities.
                                                                      Just  over  6  million  people  had  many with a Migrationshintergrund,  There  was  near  gender  parity
                                                                   migrated to Germany in the last de-  a "migration background."  among the 15.3 million in Germany
                                                                   cade on record, between 2013 and  Immigration: Germany unveils  who had migrated in the last decade;
                                                                   2022.                          plan to tackle labor shortages  47% were women and 53% men.
                                                                      Increased  migration  from  con-  The  statistics  are  separate  yet  The most common countries of
                                                                   flict zones like Ukraine, Syria and  the data also overlaps considerably. origin were civil war-stricken Syria
                                                                   Afghanistan in 2022 meant that the  The difference is that to classify as (16%), followed by Romania (7%)
                                                                   amount  of  people  who  migrated  having  a  "migration  background," and Poland (6%), with Ukraine next
                                                                   themselves  was  rising  faster,  up  one or more parents not having been at 5%. Destatis noted that the unex-
                                                                   7.3% on the past year, than the num-  born a German citizen suffices.  pected  increase  in  arrivals  from
                                                                   ber of children born to migrant par-  Some  23.8  million  people  in Ukraine in 2022 was probably not
                                                                   ents, up 4% on 2021, Destatis said.  Germany, or 28.7% of the popula- yet  adequately  represented  in  the
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