What is it like to grow up in the Bavarian Forest?
what’s up? I am seventeen years old a and student at Gymnasium Zwiesel. Every day I start with a good bottle of beer to get ready for school. After that, I put my „Dirndl“ on sway cheerfully to school. I can already hear the Bavarian folk music emerging from my classroom and only a few minutes later you can find me dancing between all my classmates and teachers. In the first lesson, I get to show off my Schafkopf skills and shortly afterwards I have my second beer […]. Okay, all joking aside, my school day is not quite like this, of course, it’s nothing exciting.
But how is it really like to live an grow up in the Bavarian forest?
One special thing of growing up there is that I’ve picked up Bavarian in my childhood: In kindergarten, primary school, at home and also now at the “Gymnasium”. In the Bavarian Forest, the Bavarian dialect is quite strong, which is very nice and special on the one hand because it creates a sense of community. On the other hand, it is often unpleasant when everyone who comes from other parts of Germany immediately knows where you’re and there is no way to hide it.
Another special feature is the rather conservative and traditional orientation of the „native inhabitants“ of the Bavarian Forest, which is also passed on to the young people in a certain way.
While this mindset plays an important role in maintaining these traditions (e.g. traditional Bavarian folk music is offered as an elective at my school…) and upholding a certain local identity, it also has some negative attributes to it. For example, it is very difficult for people from outside to integrate here and people often seem to be rather reserved towards new things. This notion is expressed well in the Bavarian saying “Wos da Bauer ned kennd, frissda ned“ (roughly “the prudent farmer won’t eat anything he doesn’t know”).
For me as a young person, this extremely traditional way of thinking is often very incomprehensible, as I am quite open to new things.
A very positive aspect here is the pristine nature, which is characterised by softly rolling mountains, hills and forests. This also makes living much quieter and more relaxed than in big cities, which in my point of view greatly increases the quality of life.
However, there are also some things that bother me here, such as the few shopping facilities, the poor transport connections, the limited choice of leisure activities and the lack of really qualified job opportunities in some areas.
For my studies, I definitely want to go to a bigger city and find out which region suits me and my ideas best.