Brentwoodian 2022

In July 2022 I travelled to the Northern German city of Hamburg for two weeks to take part in the finals of the “IDO” or Internationale Deutscholympiade, a German language competition run by the Goethe Institut. The idea of the IDO competition is to bring together young learners of German from all over the world to immerse themselves in German culture whilst also finding out about each other’s cultures, taking part in German language activities, and exploring the sights of Hamburg. On arriving in Hamburg for the final in July, I didn’t quite know what to expect. We stayed in a large DJH (youth hostel) and were put into rooms of six. I shared my room with Nominzul from Mongolia, Matilde from Portugal, Mehrona from Tajikistan, and Laura and Isabela from Brazil. Our common language was German, but obviously none of us were native speakers so it was difficult at first but it didn’t take long before chatting in German felt quite natural. In the first week we had a variety of workshops as well as some “getting to know you” activities, including the Länderabend (literally “Evening of Countries”), where the two representatives from each country went on stage to tell the rest of the competitors about where they were from. Learning about all of the other countries was fascinating, with presentations involving singing, dancing, poetry, props and costumes. Dabei sein! Internationale Deutscholympiade Finals 44