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Photo by CGHS Publication

Weihnachten: German Christmas Market

Natasha Smith —

On Saturday July 17th, Otautahi in conjunction with the Riverside Market and Deutsch in Christchurch, put on its first ever Midwinter German Christmas Market!

It was a wonderful celebration for the Winter season where a little bit of Germany was brought to our front door. From the markets selling authentic German food and stalls full of German crafts, there was something for everyone to enjoy and take part in. For Christchurch Girls' High School/Te Kura o Hine Waiora it started with weeks of preparation prior to the Market working on a nativity play in German with Marie Schwarzinger from Deutsch in Christchurch. Some of the comments from the students included:

"The play has been the highlight of my year so far!", "It was great to use the language in a real-life situation", "The play helped me in my German language and it was great to be able to use it outside of the classroom".

Christchurch Girls' High School/Te Kura o Hine Waiora German department and German students also ran a stall all day. At the stall, the public were able to come and try their hand at making German Christmas stars, decorate a tote bag with a German saying, make a bracelet with your favourite German word and purchase beautifully baked Christmas stars made by one of the students. The stall remained extremely busy from 9.30 am - 7.30 pm and it was a great way for the students to connect with the public and talk about their experiences learning the German language and culture. Once again many students commented on how much fun the stall was and how it provided another opportunity to use the language.

"I meet so many German people, they all spoke to me in German and told me how well I spoke the language, I was pretty chuffed at that". "I love art and I love German and combining them both at the stall was so much fun!" "So many people were speaking German at and around our stall, I loved hearing the language, it was almost like I was in Germany!!" "So many people chatted to me at the stall while I was helping them with their tote bags. They asked lots of questions about Germany and the culture and I liked the fact that I could tell them a lot!" "It was the next best thing to travelling to Germany. This year, we would have been going on a German Tour but due to Covid we couldn't, so it was great being able to experience the German Christmas Market in Christchurch."

Some other highlights that the students commented on was:

"I loved the atmosphere!" "It felt really authentic hearing people walking around you speaking German". "I picked up some new vocab". "The decorations were amazing!" "I really hope that Riverside do this again next year and that we can perform again in a nativity play."

All in all, it was an absolute success for the German students at Christchurch Girls' High School/Te Kura o Hine Waiora. We really hope that it will continue next year!