30.05.2017 - 30.05.2017 22 °C
After our Virtual Tourist Euromeet 2017, I was happy to pay a short visit to Balingen. I had not been there for 15 years. Time flies! I had visited the folk lore center of Frommern Folk Dance Group as an interpreter two times with the past 25 years within the framework of German-Ukrainian cultural exchange.
During my visit in May 2017, I was privileged to meet my good old friends at their cultural centre. The Folk Arts Centre is the result of the tremendous work and activities of my friend Manfred and the members of Frommern Folk Dance Group. The group was created in 1965 by Manfred, whom I met for the first time in Luhansk in 1989. His folk dance group visited Luhansk within the framework of the German-Ukrainian cultural exchange administered by Sputnik Travel Bureau on the Soviet side.
The group belongs to the Swabian Folklore Association. Frommern Folk Dance Group raised a pretty penny to purchase the neighbouring old well-preserved house from the relatives of a diseased painter who had died in 2001. Then the enthusiastic folk dance group participants made a complete rehabilitation of the house. Now the group has two huge old houses at its disposal, and thus became one of Europe’s most capable and famous folklore groups, a genuine cultural hub of Balingen, a venue for many international festivals, local workshops and hobby groups, a museum of local folklore, a hiking hub. All the museum were created and are run by the volunteers from the Folk Arts Centre, who mostly belong to Frommern Folk Dance Group.
During my May 2017 visit of Balingen, I also took a stroll on the outskirts. I saw many familiar places and visited new ones. My old friend Hans Georg took me to the 963 m high Felskopf, from where we had great views of the city. In addition, he showed me the new house of Frommern Folk Dance Group that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.
They have their own hotel rooms for the participants of different workshops and festivals. This is where I stayed. It was great to stay in a hotel room of a 170-year-old country house. Their address is: 52-56 Ebinger Street, Haus der Volkskunst, Balingen.
The pub hall in the old building of Frommern Folk Dance Group contains a lot of souvenirs from all over the world and large paintings from old pubs with funny inscriptions:
“Er trinkt im allertiefsten Zuge, ein Landsknecht sauft sich nie genuge”. – “He drinks in the most difficult crusades, a hired soldier can never drink enough”.
«Der Eine lacht’s, der Andere verlacht’s, der Dritte betracht’s. Was macht’s?» - «The one laughs, the other forsakes it, the third considers it. How much is it?»
„Gerste mit Hopfen gibt gute Tropfen“ – „Barley with hops gives good drops”.
„Wo Götter thronen, ist gut wohnen“ – „Where gods dwell, is good to live”.
„Herr Gott fan’s wir Fidel und haben’s gar nicht nötig“ – „Lord, we have a guitar, but have no need in it”.
„Schöpft aus dem Pokale neue Ideale“. – „Create new ideals from the cup”.
In October 2018, I was privileged to attend the 8th European Bagpipe Festival on Manfred's invitation. One or two visits are never enough when you have great friends. Fingers crossed!