German classes celebrate holiday with traditional activities

Fortune telling was one activity the German classes took part in on Feb. 1.

Photo credit: Josie Bennett

Fortune telling was one activity the German classes took part in on Feb. 1.

By Syeda Rizvi, Staff Reporter

One aspect of taking a foreign language class is getting immersed in the traditions surrounding the culture being studied. On Feb. 1, all of the German classes spent their class time learning about German activities that are held during Sylvester—the German New Years. To do this, classes participated in fortune telling, which is a tradition in Germany that is popular during this time. Fortune telling in Germany is done in honor of the upcoming year and is celebrated on Dec. 31.

Freshman Uvejs Gerguri, inspired by his aunt who resides in Germany, took German as his foreign language at the start of this year. He enjoyed the fortune-telling activities and was surprised with the outcome.

“It was accurate, strangely accurate,” Gerguri said. “It was just disturbing, like what she (the card reader) was saying was true. They gave personal readings. It’s a pretty nice class. It was a fun day.”

Sophomore Alexander Nichols, who is currently in his second year of German, had mixed feelings about the class. Though enjoying parts of it, sometimes the predictions were a little disappointing.

“One of my predictions was (my) dream is too dreamy, and that I shouldn’t follow my dreams, but the second best thing,” he said. “I felt a little disheartened by that, because it was saying that you should avoid your dreams and do what other people tell you to. It’s like wanting an A but purposely working for only a B.”

The class was divided into five different sections, each one designated to a specific activity. The activities were card-readings, oracles, gummy bears (the fortune would be determined by the colour given to each bear), cootie-catchers, and lead activities (the shape of burned lead in water would be interpreted to a fortune).

For German teacher Frau Sipos, it was all about the physical participation.

“I think it was something interesting for them to experience,” she said. “I’m trying to prepare them for the AP exams, and on the AP exam you never know what they are going to ask about so the more authentic cultural things they can do. It will really help them to remember and have something to write about.”

Though this was the first time German classes tried out fortune telling, it was successful enough to be considered being held next year as well.

The fact that students got to go through experiences that German people go through on a regular basis was Sipos’s favorite part.

“I loved seeing the kids getting to do something that was authentic German and to really experience it,” she said. “I really think this will help them to remember traditions in the future.”