Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May First: Labor Day // A Free Wednesday

Three weeks ago was May 1st, or Austria's version of Labor Day. Thus, it was a random Wednesday holiday for us at school and for the majority of the country. A good portion of the locals went to one of the many events sponsored by the different political parties. Others went to counter-parades against said political parties. Some sat at home and enjoyed the time off.

Vienna's students and twenty- and thirtysomethings, it seemed, all congregated on a small island on the Danube near the edge of Vienna for Tanz durch den Tag. To my knowledge, this was a word-of-mouth event, or perhaps word-of-Facebook. However, it seemed like everyone was there. Everyone. 

Tanz durch den Tag means more or less to dance through the day. Some DJs set up their tables and equipment, and suddenly there was a giant electronic festival on the field while girls in leotards did cirque du soleil moves on ribbons in the trees. Ribbons, disco balls, and rainbows were some of the decorations while people decorated themselves with glitter and donned outfits straight out of Woodstock to urban-youth hip-hop. There was a zen-meditation-esoteric center. One could also tie-dye T-shirts. Every inch of the field was littered with blankets and people having picnics with bottles of wine or beer. Fairies danced around in the crowd.

It was like the Woodstock of 2013 in Europe with an electronic edge (not that I am the one to judge what Woodstock was like, as I wasn't even around at that time). A strange, yet refreshing mix.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Die Up-takerin

Today at work, while supervising the after-school program, one of the girls began collecting a few items which she wanted to bring upstairs. She declared to the group:

"Ich bin die Up-takerin

Up-takerin is not a German word. It's also obviously not an English word. I don't even really know how one would correctly write such a word. 

What she wanted to tell the rest of the group, was that she was going to be the person in charge of taking the things upstairs; thus, Up-taker (the person who takes something up) was her choice of words. It's also important to point out that she correctly added the feminine "in" ending to the noun, indicating that a female was completing the action.

I've been told that, while English is a language of verbs, German is a language of nouns. So rather than the girl simply saying she would take up the items (i.e. ich bringe die Sachen nach oben), she assigned herself the role of being the person responsible for taking the things up (die Up-takerin).

The things the kids say at work make me smile.