by Monteclaro, Roxanne || SA21-Q
Ok·to·ber·fest ( k-t b r-f st ). n. An autumn festival that usually emphasizes merrymaking and the consumption of beer.*
When I asked my German professor where the Oktoberfest was going to be held, she told me, “Doon lang sa baba, sa may stairs” of Goethe-Institut. I thought she was kidding.
There positioned on the stairs of the Adamson Center where Goethe-Institut was, were people of different cultural background holding the same beer, dancing to the same music on the stairs.
It was completely different from our knowledge of ‘party’. My initial idea of the place was: closed room with little or no light at all except for the strobe lights of different colors, incredibly loud music with heart thumping bass, people shouting at each other because of the music and, of course, drinks and dancing. My initial thought, prior to going to the place that since most of the people here are foreigners; maybe they would set up a good party.
Boy, was I wrong.
Well, they did set up a good party but, you get the point.
It wasn’t a closed room (it wasn’t even in a room), lights were streaming from all direction (and it’s not strobe lights, mind you, it’s just your friendly light bulb), although there was incredibly loud music, people didn’t need to shout over it to get heard and the music was actually quite nice, despite some of it are sung in German (but, of course, we’re in the German Institute).
My friends and I didn’t know what to do. We came in late, and the program was already finished. We were, of course, disappointed when Austin and Ria said that the free flowing beer was no longer free and flowing (who wouldn’t? Oktoberfest with no free flowing beer? How could they!) We were lucky though, when our German professor suddenly tapped us in the back and offered to give us some drinks when she saw us.
In the middle of the party, we were surprised when the music suddenly stopped and people were bringing out drums and started playing music. It wasn’t your typical beat, either. It was some sort of tribal song and I was surprised that a lot of people were actually having fun listening to it. Compared nowadays where people would just sit there and stare at the drum-tapping people, people there were actually enjoying and bobbing their heads to the music and I have to admit, I was bobbing my head too and maybe doing a little dancing with my friends. Perhaps compared to the generation nowadays where music like that would be unappreciated by most (“Where’re the Nicki Minaj songs?”, they would say), it was a breath of fresh air to see people genuinely enjoying themselves. We saw also, the differences between Filipinos, and the Germans
despite the obvious physical differences. Where our dancing consists of jumping up and down and swaying our hips a bit, theirs consists of footwork and actually looking like dance steps. We also saw the difference between our taste and theirs.
We also noticed how, whenever music consisting of heart-thumping bass plays, our kababayans are the first to go to the dance floor and dance, while the Germans would prefer to sit this one out and look out for the next song to be played. Meanwhile, whenever German music would be played, Germans would go to the dance floor and the earlier crowd of Filipinos would sit down. Nonetheless, whenever good music would be played there would always be people of different cultural background dancing on the same dance floor.
In the short period that we were there, I think it was enough for us to understand some of the things that were happening in the Oktoerfest. People didn’t care what they looked like. Although some people did dress up, most of them wore casual clothing as opposed to the overly accessorized (or perhaps extremely minimal) clothes that one might wear in a club, and all of them didn’t mind the completely unusual venue where it was being held. People were more concerned with having fun and mingling with other people than caring about what other people think of how they dress.
Although we don’t understand any of the lyrics of the German song that was being played, we could tell by the beat that it’s different from the familiar party music that we hear nowadays. Their party music consists of actual musical instruments being played as compared to the digitally made techno remix songs that’s usually being played in the clubs. Maybe it’s because we’re heavily influenced by the American culture that our tastes in music and partying were influenced too.
Maybe it’s because, as teenagers, we are exposed to the idea of partying as something that’s in an enclosed area with people dancing so close to each other and people needing to shout at the top of their lungs to talk to each other. Maybe it’s because we’re too immersed in the “popular American culture”, or perhaps we’re too globalized that we fail to understand the happenings in the other side of the world as well.
Despite our differences in language, culture, attitudes and personalities, if there’s one thing that would unite all of us it’s beer, beer, beer, dancing, and more beer*! And a whole lot of other stuff too! 🙂
*Title of the post roughly translated… I think.