Tuesday, October 31, 2006
My First Experience with a German Tradition...it was a good one!
My entire building (10 apartments) is really nice and friendly and I've met almost everyone in the first week living here. That being said, my upstairs neighbor Boris turned 30 today and I learned about a German tradition. When an unmarried person, male or female, turns 30, they have a ceremony. I don't know the German name right now but it is called the equivelant of brooming. Friends of the birthday person organize and advertise the event and everyone gathers in the evening in front of the governor's house (more of a historic downtown building which is huge but I'm not sure if the governor actualy lives there) and throws "trash" on the steps. In this case, the trash consisted of cat litter (clean), bottle caps (lots) and rice (continuously added). See photo. The birthday person is responsible for sweeping up all of the trash. Boris' friends came up with a gradually increasing broom plan. He started with a tooth brush, moved to a nail brush, a bath tub cleaning brush and finaly a real broom. In order to upgrade his broom he had to complete three tasks from a list that one of his friends made. Said friend appeared to be the organization behind the event. In addition, Boris was to take shots at random intervals. Most of the tasks involved interaction with the passerby as we were in the center of town. The first task he completed involved unclasping a woman's bra. Lucky for Boris the first woman he asked agreed. Another task involved dancing with a woman, this one took him three tries to complete. At one point he had to do 5 push-ups, so on and so forth. Eventualy he got to the biggest broom and was given trash bags to seriously clean up the mess. Once he was done everyone got wine for a toast. It was an entertaining evening that was worth standing in the cold for half an hour for. I will not forget this!