Flying 125 Harford County students to Germany would be quite pricey, so instead McDaniel College opened its doors Oct. 15 for its annual German-American Day.
During the day-long event, about 1,000 middle and high school students from the Maryland and Pennsylvania area participated in a celebration of the German culture with music, food, dance and tons of workshops.
Students from C. Milton Wright High School, Fallston Middle and High schools and Patterson Mill High School enjoyed the day of cultural immersion.
Joshua Brown, a German teacher at C. Milton Wright, said he took about 43 students from his school to the German-American Day.
"In America we have this idea that we are a melting pot, and while we have all sorts of culture around us, we don't take the time to explore what that really means," Brown said.
Brown said by studying a foreign language and the people who speak it, his students obtain a better understanding of their own culture because they can identify similarities and differences in the two.
"It's kind of hard in the classroom because we're still in an American classroom," Brown said. "[German-American Day] is the next best thing to taking a trip there."
The German-American Day was created about 20 years ago by McDaniel College professor and chair of the foreign language department, Dr. Mohamed Brown.
During the day, students put their culinary skills to good use making marizipan, a sweet German dessert. Students also enjoyed a German-themed lunch of sauerbraten, bratwurst and potato latkes.
Students also learned traditional German dances, participated in workshops delving into German politics, psychological analysis between German fairy tales and Disney fairy tales and a visit from international performer Uwe Kind, who teachers students German through music.
Brown, who performed international opera in Germany, taught a workshop exploring German music and its influence on everything from horror films to world-renown artists, like The Beatles.
"Music is something familiar to all of us," Brown said. "A lot of younger people forget about classic music, which has a lot of German influences. If you can connect it to what they are listening to now and what they are learning in school, they get it."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun