Erzählcafé is an event organized by our International office, with the purpose of gathering people from all around the world across all ages. Everyone, from students to university staff and citizens from Deggendorf, can join. In cooperation with the Kulturviertel, international students present topics such as personal stories, morals, customs, holidays and traditions from their homeland.
How does Erzählcafé work? There are always three speakers who present their country and talk about their culture. Participants come to listen to the presentations which are followed by discussion rounds afterwards. And noooo! Not that kind of formal boring presentations. It is a fully relaxed atmosphere, more like a coffee-talk session. That is why it goes by the name “Erzählcafé”. Participants would form small groups and the speakers would have to move from table to table so at the end everyone gets to know each presented country. During the break-sessions, everyone is invited to taste food specialties from each presenter’s countries which they have cooked by themselves.
I, myself have joined Erzählcafé as a speaker and I must say, I enjoyed it tremendously. There were at least around 10 different nationalities and I was very surprised how diverse Deggendorf is and was very excited that my own university and Deggendorf city has made it possible for everybody to have this opportunity to get to know people with their various backgrounds from all around the globe.
I got to explain a lot about my country (Cambodia) and culture and oh boy! How we had so many interesting discussions after each presentation round. You know what was really crazy? One of the dishes I made is called “Koh Kong Shrimps” and they are basically raw shrimps with a certain seasoning. And guess what? Everybody loved that dish and wanted to know the secret recipe. It was a big moment of shock for me as I didn’t expect that people could eat as raw as I could as this specific dish is only common in southeast Asia. I was in awe and happy to see that everyone is incredibly open to try new food. Not to mention getting compliments about the food from the audience alone, I also made a few good friends, with whom I still have contact till now, even though we are at different sides of the world.
As a speaker, one doesn’t get to hear the other presentations unfortunately but hey! Our international office arranges Erzählcafé two times per semester so why not join it for the second time or even more.
For foodies (like me) who love to discover new tastes from all around the world and for those who are always curious about different cultures/traditions, Erzählcafé would just be the right thing for you! Also, a tip for presenters is to keep yourself hydrated as you will have to talk the whole time. *wink
Demati Chay is an International Management and Tourismusmanagement student who understands Bavarian dialect more than most Germans do. The only Khmer student at the THD is a festival junkie, a language freak, a fusion-foodie, a snow lover, an urban gardener, and a beer sommelier-wannabe.