Die Deutschen kommen

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BUSAN – As festival season in Korea is now in full swing, one of Busan’s more unique festivals is upon us once again – The Maifest.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maifest, it is a traditional festival which takes place throughout Germany which celebrates nature’s reawakening from winter’s darkness. Maifest began in Busan in 2004, and has grown to become one of the biggest cultural festivals which attracts people from all over the country.

The aim of the festival is to raise awareness of German culture and language. In Busan, around 600 students study German in local universities, and another 100 in local schools. German courses are also offered at the German House, located in Jungang-dong (Subway
Line 1, Exit 17), which also doubles as the honorary German consul here in Busan.

This year’s program includes two performances by students in the German department of Dong-a, Kyungsung, PNU, PUFS and Maritime University. There will also be a raffle after the performances, with prizes including 10 CDs from Poko Lambro, a language course at the German House in Busan, a language course at the Goethe Instiut in Seoul, a flight by Lufthansa to Germany, and the main prize, a German language course at IIK at the University of Düsseldorf for one month, which includes a free dormitory stay.

“Last year’s event was a big success. We hope this year's to be even better and bigger,” said co-organizer Nils Reschke of Pusan National University.

 
Authentic German sausages will be on the menu this year… yum!
 
Along with the performances, there are two more great reasons to go – the Krombacher beer and the sausages. This year, they have secured the services of a German Bratwurst butcher from Namhae to deliver the real goods, and the prices of W3,000 for beer and W4,000 for sausages are a great deal.

The fantastic musical duo Poko Lambro will also be making a guest appearance at the festival, but with a twist – Anthony Garcia will be singing two songs in German. Afterwards, they will also close out the festival playing songs off their latest CD.

The festival will take place rain or shine – it will be moved indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate, so find your best lederhosen and join the fun!

 
To get there, take Subway Line 1 to the PNU exit, and walk to the main gate of the campus.
 
Festival at a Glance
 
Where: Pusan National University
When: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Time: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Free

Jeff Liebsch has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Eurobasket, Tribal Football and Yonhap News. He can be followed on Twitter at @chevybusan.

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