By Sherrizah Flores
“This is it?!” was the first thought that came into my mind upon arriving at the Goethe-Institut. At the top of the stairs of the Adamson Center building were Germans and Filipinos alike laughing and dancing to some unfamiliar music, holding cups filled with beer. I thought my blockmate Roxanne was just joking when she said that our German FLC professor told her that the event would be held “sa may baba, sa may stairs”. And to everyone’s surprise, apparently it was not a joke.
A couple of days prior, the barkada and I (who are all in the same SA21 class) were having a hard time deciding where to go for this project, until we stumbled upon a certain Facebook page. We decided to attend this event in order for us to be able to kill two birds with one stone—to fully experience what we learn in our German class, and to be able to accomplish this project for SA.
The German Cultural Festival, also known as Oktoberfest, was one great experience, despite the not-so-good start that we had. First, we had difficulties in getting to the venue. The traffic was terrible, the taxi driver was very rude, and on top of that, we got lost. And because we were late, we missed the main program and they have already run out of beer. Second, our high expectations for the Oktoberfest were quite not met. We all though it was going to be “wild”, with people dressed up prettily, jumping up and down to the beat of some bass-filled music with strobe lights lighting up the room. Turns out none of these were true. Some of the party-goers were indeed wearing tight skin-showing dresses and sky-high heels, but most of the crowd were wearing whatever they find comfortable—simple shirts, polos, jeans, sweaters.
There were some “normal” party songs being played, but the crowd appeared to be enjoying dancing to the German songs more. While the place was filled with light, it was only that of plain light bulbs. Third, it felt weird for us to be there at first. We felt out of place since it seemed like everyone knew each other already, and I guess we were the only ones who are 17- and 18-year-olds. We could not relate to the people and the music.
However, all our negative feelings faded away as soon as we saw the familiar face of Frau Jackie, our professor. She immediately sidled up to us and we took pictures. Luckily, more drinks arrived, and she gave us some for us to loosen up. It was then that we got to really immerse ourselves with the people and enjoy.
Our eyes were then opened up to a different perspective. We saw how these people, despite the gaps in age, interests, appearance and whatsoever, act as one when it comes to events like this. It does not matter whether you are a German or a Filipino—everyone is a friend of another. The venue was not an issue for them, either. I didn’t hear a single complaint; as long as there was free-flowing booze and good music (both party music and some kind of ethnic drum performance), they were happy. They were not as intimidating as what we initially thought them to be. In fact, they were very friendly and accommodating, even allowing us to take pictures of them. There was no line between nationalities, physical looks or interest in music (especially when PSY Gangnam Style blasted through the speakers!).
As we left the premises, I could not wipe the grin on my face. My only regret was that we did not arrive early, for we really enjoyed this whole new experience. It was like a breath of fresh air from the normal partying we were used to. This time, it was pure fun, not minding how you look all the time, just dancing, making new friends, drinking beer. It was simply awesome.