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German Leckerbissen

      Part 1                         German States information regard- Another Aberglaube is to not
         by Daniel Schwarz           ing  Covid-19  infections  and  vac-  wish someone a happy
             ne  of  the  closest  words  to cines on their web site ,  birthday in person before
             tidbit in German is Lecker- and their information in English is
      Obissen. Literally Leckerbis- at .       their actual birthday, to
      sen means tasty morsels or bits. The  Wedding  Band  –  In  Germany avoid getting bad luck. There
      following are some tidbits of Ger- and  Austria,  engagement  rings  are  is even a tradition called
      man culture, foods, traditions, histo- worn  on  the  left  hand  ring  finger,  reinfeiern where people have
      ry, language, and current events.  and then after the wedding, both the  a birthday party and
         Der  Struwwelpeter  -  A  young engagement ring and wedding band
      children’s  book  with  illustrations are worn on the right hand ring fin-  celebrate the night before,
      written  by  Heinrich  Hoffmann  in ger. Depending on the ring designs,  but don’t wish happy
      1845. It is still available and adver- the  engagement  ring  is  sometimes  birthday until midnight!
      tised in German as Der Struwwelpe- still worn on the left hand ring fin-
      ter  oder  lustige  Geschichten  und ger. Men put their wedding band on  unique word. Its use can just be an
      drolige Bilder für Kinder von 3 bis the right hand ring finger.  attention getter. If you have a con-
      6  Jahren  (translated  as:  The  In Switzerland, they reverse this  versation  with  German  speakers,
      wildly/sloppy  boy  with  lively  sto- tradition  of  engagement  and  wed-  very likely you will hear it spoken,
      ries, cute pictures for children ages ding rings. The U.S. has continued  such  “na  ja”,  meaning  “anyway
      3  to  6  years  old).  Wow!  The  10 to  follow  the  traditions  of  the  an-  yes”. Or just saying “Na” which is
      stories in the book tell about grue- cient Egyptians and Romans keep-  short  for  “nein”  (no).  Even  when
      some consequences in poetic words ing both rings on the left hand. They  Germans  meet,  you  might  hear
      and  illustrations  what  happens  to belied  that  on  the  left  hand  ring  “Na?” meaning “what’s up”. Gram-
      Struwwelpeter  and  young  children finger a vein led to the heart – the  matically it is called an interjection
      that  misbehave  doing  naughty “Vena Amoris.” It’s a nice romantic  such as oh, gee, eh, hay, and many
      things  such  as  cruelty  to  animals, belief.               more in English.
      playing with matches, thumb suck-  Superstition (Aberglaube) – A  Pumpernickel  –  We  all  have
      ing, etc. However, the consequences superstition about black cats is fa-  been  accustomed  to  hearing  this  Struwwelpeter
      are crazy and beyond demented!  miliar  to  Americans  and  others  strange word associated with a dark
         For  an  example,  the  story  of around  the  world.  However,  Ger-  German rye bread, but may not have 2021 could be the last year in Ger- neighboring  countries  possibly  be-
      “Little  Suck-a-Thumb”  (Die  Ge- mans have taken this omen of bad  heard  of  the  possible  story  of  its many to use Daylight Savings Time, ing on different local times! Germa-
      schichte  vom  Daumenlutscher)  is luck to a bifurcated direction. Yes,  etymology. The word in two parts, since the European Parliament vot- ny is now normally 6 hours ahead of
      about  a  tailor  with  a  huge  pair  of the direction in which the black cat  pumper and nickel when translated ed in 2019 to remove DST perma- us in the USA. So, don’t phone them
      scissors that comes to chop off little crosses  your  path  determines  if  it  into German is pumpern meaning to nently,  but  each  country  needs  to at 9 p.m., unless you want to wake
      children’s thumbs if they suck their brings you bad luck or good luck!  break wind or fart, and Nickel is a adopt this including Germany. This them  up,  and  hear  Was  ist  loss!
      thumbs! Wow!  Also just seeing an They  even  have  phrases  for  this:  nickname  for  Nicholas  which  has can  become  a  can  of  worms,  with (What’s the matter!)?
      illustration of Struwwelpeter on the “Schwarze  Katze  von  rechts  nach  been associated with a devilish char-
      book cover with wild hair and very links,  Glück  bringt’s”  (Black  cat  acter.  Therefore, the story goes that
      long scary fingernails is enough for from  right  to  left  brings  luck);  pumpernickel is named for a farting
      any young child or adult to not want “Schwarze Katze von links nach re-  devil.  Keep  eating,  it  tastes  good,
      to  even  open  the  book!  This  is  a chts,  was  Schlecht’s”  (Black  cat  and is also good for you.
      good example of judging a book by from left to right brings bad luck).  Birthday  celebrations  and
      its cover, and being right!       Common Word - Na! A small   song – Another Aberglaube is to not
         Covid-19  updates  –  The  Ger- word  in  German  that  is  used  in  wish someone a happy birthday in
      man public health institute equiva- many ways, and has so many differ-  person before their actual birthday,
      lent to the U.S. Center for Disease ent meanings, and even no meaning  to avoid getting bad luck. There is
      Control  and  Prevention  (CDC)  is at all. It is probably the first word in  even  a  tradition  called  reinfeiern
      the  Robert  Koch  Institute  (RKI), your German dictionary Wörterbu-  where people have a birthday party
      located  in  Berlin,  Germany.  The ch under the letter N, but the multi-  and celebrate the night before, but
      RKI  gives  regional  and  specific ple  meanings  only  touch  on  this  don’t  wish  happy  birthday  until
                                                                    midnight!  Then  wish  them  Alles
                                                                    Gute zum Geburtstag, or more for-
                                                                    mal Ich Gratuliere zum Geburstag,
                                                                    and  sing  happy  birthday  to  them.
                                                                    The  common  birthday  tune  that  is
                                                                    sung, is the same as in English. You
                                                                    only have to learn two lines to sing
                                                                    it  in  German.  They  are:  Zum  Ge-
                                                                    burtstag  viel  Glück  (Happy  Birth-
                                                                    day  to  You,),  and  Zum  Geburstag
                                                                    liebe  (add  name)  (Happy  Birthday
                                                                    dear  –  name).  However,  a  more
                                                                    popular song among family is Wie
                                                                    schön  dass  du  geboren  bist  (How
                                                                    wonderful that you were born).
                                                                      Time zones – No, not The Twi-
                                                                    light  Zone,  but  the  24  time  zones
                                                                    established on our earth to help us
                                                                    organize our days and nights based
      Which hand does the ring go on?                               on sunlight around the globe. Ger-
                                                                    many only has one time zone called
                                                                    Central European Time (CET) Mit-
                                                                    teleuropäische Zeit (MEZ), howev-
                                                                    er, Central European Summer Time
                                                                    (CEST) Mitteleuropäische Sommer-
                                                                    zeit (MESZ) is also observed when
                                                                    Daylight Saving Time (DST) is in
                                                                    use.  The  DST  occurs  in  Germany
                                                                    the last Sunday in March to the last
                                                                    Sunday in October.
                                                                      This  is  different  from  the
                                                                    switching  schedule  in  the  USA.

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