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June 2003 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Casual Convergance
Elizabeth Kuehn
KW and Beyond
Over The Fence
Triebwerk Theater Performance
50 Years Alpine Club
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Book Review
Was ist Deutschland?
New Bells Consecrated
Deutscher Filmpreis
Rostock Olympics
3rd in Immigration
Good bye, Lenin!
Photographs US
Polish EU Vote

Casual convergence

  Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

A toast to new beginningsA toast is due to a beginning, a small beginning, but nevertheless a beginning.

When I designed the Echo Germanica logo so may years ago (1990) with an ancient and decrepit Letra set I only wanted to make it look a bit more interesting than the rather plain fonts afforded and I had available at the time. Thus I dropped the two Cs and promptly ran into all sorts of flack. Totally astounding what people will comment on!

Anyway, my rebuttal was: It stands for Culture Club or Celebrity Club, whatever might develop in the future.

These were the beginnings of a vague vision. In the meantime I thought of other possible descriptions: Cultural Cohesion, or Cultural Crossings, or Cultural Conversion, all referring to the activities Echo Germanica is applying its talents and resources to. And I still have this dream of forming alternatives, just like the paper is a true alternative to the norm.

It is clear that the absence of young people in our clubs and organisations signals that times have changed and the second and third generations have no strong interest in their parent’s activities.

We spotted this all those years ago before we started out with Echo Germanica and when the paper was finally "born" asked the community to make use of this bilingual tool to bridge the gap. But instead of being helpful most old-timers simply bitched about the fact that there was not enough German in the publication.

Now it is one minute to midnight, we finally are starting to get some support, but not from the quarters one might think. Yes, a couple of "older" parental figures are in support of these newfangled ideas, but it is the younger generation itself that has begun to see that an alternative is needed.

But were to go, what to do other than disappearing into the woodworks of Canadian mainstream culture?

Thus the idea of a Cultural Club was reborn with the help of Elizabeth Kuehn, a young and with it individual that has the responsibility level of a full-fledged teacher and, as a musical artist/conductor can think outside the box, or, as the even newer concept suggests: Think outside the matrix.

The idea of Elizabeth and myself to keep it for the 18-35 year old ones is a stretchable grouping. What is desired for people that want to join is an attitude away from the past, away from "only the good old ways", in with the future, a flexible, open and active style of thinking that is not stooped and rusted in with old ideas and customs. There is nothing wrong with these "old" activities; it is just not were we want to go anymore. Been there, done that, liked it or did not. No matter, something newer is in demand right now. One young lady participating put it this way: "Young people want to have fun!"

Sure! Doesn’t everybody? So what constitutes fun?

And thus the debate at our first meeting started, exploring what is needed and wanted, what constitutes fun, and where shall we have it?

This meeting took place at the Underground Woodhouse Pub, created and run by an artist and his wife. The food was superb and the ambiance just fine, and in the end it was the participants that provided heated debates on all sorts of interesting topics.

Isn’t that what it is about too? Having a look-see and thinking outside the box? Telling each other our concerns, our ambitions and dreams?

I would like nothing better than making our young people shine. They are talented, capable, interesting individuals who have a lot to contribute. The various activities then can become regular meeting opportunities and we will no doubt discover what we have in common, what sets us apart and everyone participating and supporting this endeavour will gain something from it.

If I am correctly informed one of the things to come together is a Volley Ball group, playing regularly at the Beaches just south of High Park, by the big public pool. If someone does not want to play, that is fine, watching is ok too.

The club idea is so far just a loose concept of finding ways for togetherness and common interests. The lack of current structure will eventually give way to more regular and better organized activities reflecting different interest. I for one would love to see a lot of artists of all descriptions join; or of course those that appreciate the arts, any art form, and want to help.

So, a toast to early beginnings, to the convergence of interests is in order! We will have a Starlight Summer Bar-B-Q in July. Watch for the date and location in the next issue. In the meantime go listen to Elizabeth’s spring concert. (See the ad and email us: ekuehn@echoworld.com or sfr@echoworld.com)


( Echo Germanica, German-Canadian, news, youth )

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