‘Weeks of the German Language’ kick off October 21 with more activities this year

For the second consecutive year and with a cultural program even richer than last year, the `Weeks of the German Language` kick off on the 21st of October.

The activities include festivals, German cinema (with subtitles in English), concerts, book readings, exhibitions, poetry, and the popular traditional Christmas market.

A press conference was held on Wednesday in Nicosia by the Embassies that organise the events (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and the Goethe Institute Cyprus.

Ambassador of Germany, Franz Josef Kremp said that this year`s program is richer and has more duration than last year.

He said that they deem that it is necessary to show the German culture because, as he said, `unfortunately we see a dramatic drop of students learning the German language at schools`, mostly due to the last education reform that was implemented in Cyprus.

The German Ambassador added that they held discussions with the Ministry of Education and that there are some ideas to introduce a third obligatory language at school, which would lead to an increase of the Cypriot students learning German.

He also said that the German Embassy is supporting the bicommunal, bizonal solution of the Cyprus problem and therefore they  are supporting a number of bicommunal activities, like the informal business lunches and the project Imagine which brings together Greek Cypriot and  Turkish Cypriot pupils.

Ambassador of Austria, Eva Maria Ziegler said that German is the most widely spoken language in the EU. She noted that learning this language is a door opener in terms of career prospects and cultural benefits.

German speaking countries contribute to culture and science in the most profound way and influence our everyday lives in many ways, she pointed out and referred to her country`s contribution to the events.

On behalf of the Ambassador of Switzerland, Androulla Michael said that German is an important language in the small country of Switzerland and it is spoken by 63% of the population. She referred to the Swiss contribution to the Weeks of the German Language, noting that during the kick off event on the 21st of October there will be a demonstration of the oldest Swiss national sport.

Director of the Goethe – Institut Cyprus, Karin Varga gave emphasis on the German language films that will include history and documentary films, potraying all main issues of the German society.

The events will  take place between 21/10/2018 and 2/12/2018 in Cyprus, while between the 13.12.2018 – 11.02.2019 there will be an exhibition entitled `Stories of Gold`.

The full program is found under https://nikosia.diplo.de/cy-en/01-Botschaft  in four languages, German, English, Greek and Turkish. There will also be events in Turkish occupied Nicosia.

source: CNA