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German Christmas café comes to Durham

(1 December 2009)

Durham University is this Monday (7 December) celebrating the festive season with a Christmas-themed German café and a public lecture in German by a high profile speaker.

The café, hosted by the city’s Clayport Library, will celebrate with traditional German Christmas biscuits, mulled wine, German carols and the chance to see the 30-minute German Christmas comedy film ‘Familie Heinz Becker: Alle Jahre wieder’.

The free café, which runs from 7pm to 9pm, follows a public talk on events leading up to and following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The talk, “The Road to Freedom”, will be held in Elvet Riverside lecture theatre 142 and begins at 5.15pm. The talk will be given in German by Dr Maria Nooke, Deputy Director of the Berlin Wall Foundation Project Director in the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre.

The café is an opportunity for native German speakers and anyone who enjoys speaking in German to meet. The café not only provides opportunity for people to practice their German language skills, but also celebrates German culture.

Set up by the School of Modern Languages & Cultures, the café aims to encourage those that love German across the region to come together and celebrate their love of all things Deutsch.

Both the talk and the café are free to attend and are open to the public.

The cafe's festive refreshments are funded by Europe Direct North East, a European information relay hosted by Durham County Council's International Relations.

Christine Bohlander, one of the café’s organisers and a teaching fellow in Durham University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study, said: "The coinciding of the talk by a high-profile speaker from East Germany and the German Christmas-themed Café is a great opportunity to promote knowledge about German culture in our region.

“However, the café is not a one-off event. It is planned to become a regular feature in the future as many people have waited for an opportunity like this to happen in Durham to get German native-speakers and those who love to speak German together in an informal environment.”

The next café will take place on 1 February at the Gala Theatre and will be followed by the showing of the Austrian film ‘The White Ribbon’.

The talk is sponsored by the German Consulate General Edinburgh, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and the School of Modern Languages, Durham University.

For further information on both the talk and the café, please contact Christine Bohlander christine.bohlander@durham.ac.uk.

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