Goethe Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata organised Students’ Oktoberfest, a miniature Kolkata version of the world’s largest beer-festival, on its premises on 27th September. The Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, the capital city of Bavaria in southern Germany, during late September and early October. Around six million visitors gather in Bierzelts (large beer-tents) to enjoy the specially brewed beer for the occasion. There had been a number of thematic workshops for everyone at MMB such as film shows titled “Glimpses of Munich”, Oktoberfest quiz, crash courses on the Bavarian dialect and music to tune up a perfect prelude to the main festivities. The party kicked off with Dr. Reimar Volker, the Director of MMB and Mr. Jürgen Fischer, the German Vice Consul in Kolkata tapping a keg of Bitburger beer and declaring “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!” in Bavarian).
The kegs were tapped. The beer was poured in huge mugs and soon revelers to be seen swooning to the peppy notes of Bayerische Blaskapelle (the Bavarian Chapel music played on the trumpet, accordion, tuba and clarinet), performed by Brandkobl-Blosn, a Bavarian Brass Band exclusively flown in from Munich for the occasion. The members of the band, wearing the traditional Lederhosen (leather pants worn by Bavarian men), charmed everyone with their exuberance and energy and as a result, all gathered to lip-sync the beer-song “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!” meaning “A Toast to Happiness” and it lit up the atmosphere. With delicacies like Würstchen (sausages),
Käsespätzle (cheese noodles) and Kartoffelsalat (potato salad) to gorge on and a Mass (beer-mug) in every hand, the countdown to Bengal’s own “Oktoberfest” (the Durga Puja) would surely have been merrier to some of the citizens!