Glühwein – mulled wine
Served by most German families around Christmas time, Glühwein is the German version of mulled wine famous worldwide. There are many different varieties: ingredients range from from cinnamon sticks and vanilla pods to cloves and oranges. German Glühwein is normally mixed in with rum or brandy. So children don’t get left out, there are many recipes for a non-alcoholic type – apple juice is used as the base for this. Here’s a recipe that everyone can enjoy as a winter warmer during the Christmas season:
4 cups of apple juice (best not from concentrate)
2 cups of black tea
2 tablespoons of sugar
The peel and juice of 1 lemon
The peel and juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
Heat the apple juice and black tea in a pan, then add the other ingredients slowly, stirring all the time.
Strain the Glühwein through a sieve, then pour into mugs for serving.
Lebkuchen – German gingerbread
Often in the shape of Lebkuchen Herzen – gingerbread hearts – you can find these German biscuits in many other countries around Christmas time. In London, they are sold at market stalls, hanging on colourful strings. The Lebkuchen usually feature Christmas messages written in icing writing, or winter-related pictures like Santa, reindeer or snowmen. You can also buy plain hearts to decorate yourself at home. Although in Germany Lebkucken are eaten all year round, the Christmas type is normally softer and sweeter, spiced with cinnamon.
Saying thank you is always nice. And it’s even nicer when you can say it to someone in their own language. Nelson Mandela once said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language – that goes to his heart”. And whilst you probably won’t be able to speak every single language on the planet (about 7,000 of them), it’s still nice/useful to be able to say a few words of Albanian, isn’t it?
There are an estimated 260 languages spoken in Europe, but here’s how to say thank you in 15 of them (that’s 5.7% of all the languages of Europe!!!):
1. French – merci
2. German – danke
3. Dutch – dank u
4. Spanish – gracias
5. Italian – grazie
6. Portuguese – obrigado
7. Croatian – hvala
8. Danish – tak, Nowegian – takk, Swedish – tack
9. Greek – ευχαριστώ (efcharistó)
10. Bulgarian – благодаря (blagodarya)
11. Polish – dziękuję
12. Russian – спасибо (spasibo)
13. Irish gaelic – go raibh maith agat
14. Turkish – teşekkür ederim
15. Albanian – falemnderit
Goodbye Lenin! (2003)
This movie is set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The main character, Alex, lives with his mother and sisters in East Germany. Alex takes part in an anti-government protest one day, and his mother watches as he gets arrested. In total shock, his mother has a heart attacked which induces her into a coma. Without giving too much away, after the fall of the Berlin Wall Alex’s mother wakes up, but knowing what has happened to her beloved East Germany would bring on a fatal heart attack. Alex then visits his mother regularly, pretending everything is the same…
The movie, which stars Daniel Bruehl as Alex, won various German film awards as well as being nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. It’s a really good movie because you learn a lot, especially if you don’t know much/ anything about Germany at the end of the 1980s.
Here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIjSaHUKD5I
Existenzangst is a German word meaning literally a fear of existence
“Viele menschen leiden unter Existenzangst” – many people are deeply worried about their future (for example GCSE results next week ha ha)
Guess I’ll be using this word a lot over the next 7 days…….