Saturday, 25 September 2010

More on OKTOBERFEST

It is everywhere at the moment. There is live coverage of 'Wiesn' every day from about 2pm on Munich TV, and the number of visitors to the KZ Gedenkstaette has increased in the last week. I'm sitting in the office during Praesenzdienst and there are so many more people coming into the Church this week than last.

I said on Thursday that this year there is an historic 'Wiesn' as well as the normal one. Most people have only started wearing 'Tract' (traditional dress) to Wiesn in the last twenty years or so, encouraged by young people investing in what are apparently very comfortable walking trousers. They are very expensive- even a basic pair in C&A can easily set you back €100- so before people try it on; no, I am not going to buy Lederhosen.

One of the highlights for me was a chance to watch some traditional Volkstanzen, Bavarian dances. Accompanied by alpine yodels and plenty of brass instrumentation, the men slap their thighs and their shoes while the women twirl around. OK, that's a very basic description that insults the hard work put into these dances, but it looks amazing.

Before we left on Tuesday Irina and I very quickly popped in to the Paulaner tent, one of the biggest on site. It was fantastic and, although I had only had one beer, I had enough dutch courage to join in with a Schlager-tastic version of 'Sweet Caroline'. Neil Diamond would have been so proud...

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