Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cultural Lesson on the German "Rund Geburtstag" Part two

When we arrived at the party we laughed when we saw that Gabi had told no one.  We were the mystery guests. Most of our friends in choir didn't even know we had arrived back in Germany 3 months ago.
This is our friend Erhard who turned 60 on March 9th and his wife Gabi.
Gabi was the president of the choir we sang in years ago. Her father ran it when she was a little girl. In Germany for most people over 45 years of age, life revolves around a club. 
Erhard and Gabi live across the street from the choir hall and Gabi's family have done much to keep it going over the 120 years since it was established. We often ate with our landlords Margit and Helmut but, Erhard and Gabi issued us our first official invitation to a German dinner party in March 1997 for Erhard's birthday.  We have been friends ever since.
Here is the most important information that  you need to know to attend a "Birthday party" with a German.
NEVER wish them a Happy Birthday BEFORE the actual Birthday!  It is considered bad form and bad luck.  You will never find a German celebrating or receiving good wishes before the actual day. If their birthday falls midweek they will celebrate the next Friday or Saturday.
A RUND GEBURTSTAG means that you are 40, 50 60, 70 etc.  That's called a "round birthday". Germans do the inviting to their birthday parties, the entertaining and the PAYING. At work if it is your birthday are are expected to treat your colleages to a piece of cake and a glass of champagne. A German may be surprised at what his family plans for him at his birthday party but a German never has a surprise party!

This is Anita and Deitmar. Deitmar is Gabi's younger brother. Their daughter Christina was in school with our Kaitlyn. When we first came to choir Deitmar was the youngest member until we joined. They live in a house beside Gabi and Erhard across the street.

These are two of our dearest friends in Clausen. Gerd and Rita. When we first came to Clausen Gerd had retired from working as a German military liason with the US forces in Europe. Rita had always tried to get him to come along to choir but he refused until he found out that some young Americans had joined the choir.
Gerd was invaluable to us as we learned German. He was always right there when we didn't understand a word to explain it to us. We were often at their house and they were equally often at our house. These are very special people. His birthday is April 30th. My Mom and Dad's birthday so I never forget his.

This party took place in the choir "practice room". In this particular table configuration the family sits across at the head table.  It's shaped like the letter E.  Guests sit at the three tables that make the E.
This is Erhard welcoming his guests and telling them the "Buffet is open".
This is fresh trout with shrimp (prawns for you Brits) in the middle. It was YUM!
Olives and stuffed tomatos.  I am not sure what the tomatos were stuffed with but it tasted amazing. It was of a mousse consistency but tasted as if a mild cheese of some sort had been added.
This is the ever yummy melon wrapped in parma ham. You often find this as an appetizer at parties.  Behind it is the equally popular tomato, mozzarella and basil salad.
This was a wonder salad decorated with ham and cheese swirls.
Roasted eggplant (aubergine for you Brits) is the center of the first salad by the stuffed tomatos.
Behind was a very interesting salad. Ham and cheese and lettace over the top and hidden underneath was a fantastic coleslaw.
These were only the appetizers.
We then sat down and enjoyed our fabulous meal.
The party is going very well and Mac gives it a thumbs up so far. Tomorrow I will tell you about the entertainment at the party!

No comments:

Post a Comment