What’s important to us says a lot about who we are. Explore Germany’s diversity one person at a time, based on this one question:
What was the most meaningful thing you’ve done in the past 24 hours?
“We’re called ‘Wandergesellen.’ There are 500 of us traveling across Germany and learning a trade. If you know one, you know them all. The Wandergeselle doesn’t have any natural enemies. I’ve worked for a baron, and shared a beer with a homeless guy. You can encounter people in a different way. If I were to walk around normally, people might put me in a box. In this outfit, I am neutral and could go to a wedding or to a funeral and meet the mayor tomorrow.
I’m a carpenter. Most of those in my group are carpenters. Three years and one day is the minimum travel time for apprentices. I’ve been traveling for three years and one and a half months and could tramp home today. But we’re celebrating the end by meeting together in town today and walking home. I’ll be at my parents’ house for two weeks and then I’ll be writing applications because I’d like to go to university. I’d like to study social work and combine that with carpentry to avoid just focusing on academics. In a few years, there will be a lack of skilled workers and people will say, oh we need a table.
I cuddled with a wonderful woman. That was the most meaningful thing for me in the past 24 hours.”
“I bought a small, old, red Italian car (a Fiat 500) to surprise my girlfriend, who told me a long time ago that she would love to drive around one day in exactly this kind of car. But I didn’t do it just to fulfill that little wish. When I show her the car, we’re going to get into it. Then I’ll tell her that it’s hers, and when she asks me where we’re going, I’ll put a travel guide to Amsterdam in her hand. When she opens it, four black-and-white passport photos of me, taken in an old photo booth in Berlin, will fall out. In the photos, I’m holding up signs that read: Do we – want to – get married. On the fourth photo, I’m grinning into the camera. If she says yes, we’re going to drive that very evening to a tiny, cozy hotel on one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals.
So, in the last 24 hours, I did something that will impact the rest of my life.”
“I worked all day cleaning in the perfume department. Working makes me calm because I get my paycheck at the end of the month.”
“We’re throwing a surprise bachelorette party for a friend. We all divided things up and so I got the balloons. She’s coming from work right now and doesn’t know a thing. Actually, she thinks she has a date with her boyfriend. He was in on it. And then we’re going to surprise her with a photoshoot outside in front of the Poppelsdorf Palace. The wedding is at the beginning of August in Croatia. She’d planned to go out with the younger guests in Croatia, but we decided that wasn’t enough and she needed to have a real bachelorette party.”
“We’re a group of international university students and we celebrate each other’s holidays. There’s a person from India in our group, so today we celebrated the Holi Festival. That’s why we look like this.”
“I’m from Egypt. We already celebrated our holiday together last July. That was Eid al-Adha, the Sacrifice Feast.”
“I’m from Uzbekistan and we have a holiday on March 21. It’s called Navruz and celebrates the beginning of spring, but also the beginning of the new year.”
“I went to my great-aunt’s birthday party and laughed and took photos with my cousins. They aren’t really my cousins, but they’re somehow related to me.”
“I donated my old shoes. I put them on the street and someone took them after two hours.”
“We’re doing this Europe trip. We’re traveling around Europe and we’re playing in every city we cross. Yesterday we came from Eindhoven in Holland. We are going to Frankfurt next.”
Find the band on Facebook here.
“Two really meaningful things happened to me today. I was having a conversation for Doctors Without Borders and explaining how we use the packets of food containing peanuts and milk powder and that we give them to undernourished children. And then a little boy from Romania came up and asked, ‘What’s that for?’ and went to his parents and I explained it all to them. And they didn’t have any money, so the boy pulled 70 cents out of his pocket and wanted to leave it here. We weren’t allowed to accept cash, so I gave it back.
Another thing was really nice. A little girl from Sri Lanka came by with her mother and was really interested in learning about what we do, and in the end the mother signed up to support.”
“I set up the app Slack to organize one of my projects for refugees – Welcome to München – and coordinate my fellow volunteers. We collect clothes and bring them to the refugees arriving at the Central Bus Station in Munich. There we support the ZOB Angels.”
“I cooked Riz au Gras for myself – an African dish with rice, vegetables and meat.”
“He’s rescuing me. He’s keeping me grounded at the moment. He’s my godchild and I met up with him today to play, like we do every week.”
“I celebrated by 15th birthday with family and friends.”
“I married the most wonderful man I could possible marry.”
“I had a family reunion and met with relatives I hadn’t seen in years.”
“I got to make coffee for so many people who really needed a coffee. The lines were so long, but the people waited anyways.”
“I did a really cool jump on the trampoline yesterday.”
“I taught my 5-year-old daughter to brake on her scooter.”
“I drank the best coffee I’ve drunk all year in a small cafe in Freiburg that was worth supporting.”