A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When international students come to a country away from home to spend three years of their life, Christmas time or at least the time before Christmas is usually included.
This was also the case for some German students who study abroad at Leiden University.
As you probably already know, the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition is very different from the German advent time. After I was introduced to Sinterklaas while seeing a group of Zwarte Piets (sinterklaas’ helper) as a brass band playing weird christmas music and celebrating sinterklaas gift and poem exchanges with the dutch population of our floor, I was pretty much done with all of this sinterklaas… where was the German Christmas market feeling? The Christmas cookies? Or… the Glühwein?
Therefore, a bunch of German-speaking at LUC (yes, we actually included the Austrians…), where gathering together to have a typical German-style afternoon coffee party. However, we decided to change coffee into Glühwein and were listening – stereotypically– to German Christmas music. Well. I guess, the Dutchies around on the floor were already declaring us to be crazy…
Thankfully, since we are all coming from different parts of Germany, we got to criticize each other’s customs and dialects and, what we all agreed on, the Dutchies. Additionally, we started to sing Christmas songs while playing the piano, flute and guitar.
All in all, it was an amazing advent party where we finally ended up experiencing some Christmas/Advent feelings during one of the busiest study-times of the year. Of course, we did spend the next Sunday afternoon/evening together again! It was a great christmas time: a mix of dutch traditions, german feelings with those other students and a great christmas eve with my family at home! thanks everyone