“A crisp salty type of bread in the shape of a knot or stick”

I’m part of a great and proud German people that has exported many fantastic inventions and foodstuffs over the years, the Oxford dictionary’s dispassionate definition above referring to one of them. Let me give you a couple more clues: you can find us all over the world since we have a spirit of adventure and a tendency to spread out (this is true and meeting people from one town over in the most absurd places has been a constant source of amazement during almost every journey I’ve ever been on). Some might say that we raise our children on entrepreneurship and a healthy disrespect for Standard German alone (this is not entirely true, not all of us are entrepreneurs). Can you already guess who we are? If not, maybe this will help: the name of the river running through our capital, pronounced in our beautiful language, rhymes with the German word for alarm clock. Ring any bells?










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Put your sunglasses on – it’s spring!!

Let’s change from winter mode to spring mode. The last few days have been too beautiful to stay inside our winter caves.

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How about a chat with Angie?

Our author Franziska spent three weeks as intern in the Bundestag. In her letter from Berlin she talks about her experiences so far.

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A rose is a rose – a history lesson for dummies

Last Wednesday was the great day: HBO finally aired a new episode of its most popular show, Game of Thrones. Eight million viewers followed the fascinating lives of their second- favourite characters (their favourites were all killed off in the previous seasons). It’s commonly known that George R. R. Martin, author of the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ book series, on which Game of Thrones is based, didn’t invent the story about political intrigue all on his own, but was inspired by a very real historical period, the Wars of the Roses. What many people, or at least many Germans, don’t know, however, is what those wars were all about, how they started and what exactly happened. Maybe this crash course in British history might help you to see parallels between the Wars of the Roses and the battle for the Iron Throne.

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Lost in Translation – Eight beautifully untranslatable words from across the world

Did you ever come across a word in your mother tongue that can’t be translated literally into any other language? Maybe one that can’t even be explained properly?

“Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon the absolute truth.” (Nietzsche)

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British film – it’s all the same

I went to watch The Imitation game the other night; and although it was as brilliant as everybody had told me, I couldn’t help noticing a certain narrative pattern that almost all recent British productions seem to have in common. The recipe for a successful, sophisticated, entertaining film reads as follows: base your plot on a true story, concentrating on a key figure in an historical event. Invent some funny/heart-warming/heart-breaking personal story for your main characters. Let the film have a somewhat open ending and decorate it with some fun facts that pop up shortly before the end credits. And that’s your movie ready-made. Oddly enough, I don’t find this monotony in the least annoying. In fact, some of my favourite films follow this recipe. Here are some of them:

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UniA – celebrate good times, come on!

So here I am, with a blank page waiting to be filled soon. Terrifying? Exciting? Thrilling? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel or how I’m actually feeling. There are many students out there struggling, longing for or welcoming their well-deserved freedom after graduating. And when the day comes, we all have to ask ourselves; what will happen next? Continue reading

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The baobab tree – one of nature’s biggest monuments

The other morning, a friend of mine who had been in Senegal for a couple of weeks came to see me. When she arrived, she said she had brought something for me, from a Senegalese market. Then, she took a piece of cloth out of her bag, unwrapped it and plaster-shaped, white lumps appeared. “This is the inside of a baobab tree’s fruit,“ she added. The word baobab somehow sounded familiar, but at that moment I couldn’t figure out where I’d heard that name before. Nevertheless, I was curious to find out more…

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