At least I didn’t know about these before I moved to Germany.
I’ve known Stuttgart for quite some time, even before moving. The reason was behind me being a journalist at The Korea Times covering culture and dance. And if there’s one Korean dancer who is famous in Korea it’s Stuttgart Ballet’s Kang Sue-jin. I realized when I got here was that she really is a huge celebrity. But then there were also other things I learned along the way.
처음 스튜트가르트, 아니, 독일에 왔을때 내가 아는 것이라곤 맥주와 스튜트가르트 발레단의 강수진뿐. 스튜트가르트라는 도시에 대한 간략한 소개를 위해 얼마전 코리아타임즈 여행 칼럼에 실렸던 기사를 편집했다.
1. Festivals for (almost) every season
I mentioned this a couple of times here, but each German city has its own beer fest and Stuttgart’s version is the Volksfest, The Oktoberfest is, in fact, not a single event. In Stuttgart, the beer events happen two times a year: every spring (the Fruelingsfest) and autumn (the Cannstatter Volksfest).
Then there’s the quite famous International Festival of Animated Film and the Jazzopen Stuttgart and during the summer, there’s the Sommerfest, which includes performances, music, games and drinks and food under white tents all throughout the evening. There’s also the smaller Hamburg Fish Festival, which is a shorter, yet entertaining event nonetheless. Then comes the Weindorf, where the people of Stuttgart have been enjoying the best of Swabian food and wine from 1976. There’s an awkward period afterwards, and right when you feel so bored you want to move comes the Christmas market or the “Weihnachtsmarkt.”
독일 자체가 축제가 좀 많은 편인데 그 중에서 가장 인기가 많은 축제가 역시나 옥토버페스트와 크리스마스 마켓. 왠만한 독일 도시에서는 다 하는 축제들이다. 그외에도 재즈오픈, 만화 축제 그리고 와인 축제도 있다. 술이 빠지면 안됨.
2. The power of ‘Autos’
The two auto powerhouses Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are both from and based in Stuttgart. Along with other German car companies such as BMW and Volkswagen, the two companies do bring their fair share of tourists thanks to its merchandises, museums and various events held annually.
And yes, there are a lot of cars from both brands rolling on the streets of the city, but it’s considered quite an investment. Unlike Seoul where you see them everywhere. I don’t know how I feel about this.
자동차의 도시. 포르쉐와 메르세데스 벤츠의 본고장. 길거리에서는 확실히 벤츠나 포르쉐를 쉽게 볼 수 있지만 돈이 있는 사람들의 몫인건 사실. 우리나라처럼 흔하게 볼 수 있는 정도는 분명히 아니다. 독일보다도 벤츠가 잘 보이는 대한민국.
3. The home of Stuttgart Ballet
Thanks to ballerina Kang Sue-jin, Stuttgart Ballet’s principal dancer and now the artistic director of the Korea National Ballet Company, the German ballet company is already quite well known in Korea. And all the expectations and wonders of the ballerina are true. Kang does interviews when Stuttgart Ballet holds events for families and children and there are also various photo books of the dancer inside and outside the company.
There’s actually another Korean principal dancer in the company named Kang Hyo-jung, who has been heading some performances in the past few years. I did an interview with her last year and she was such a sweetheart. Go see her when you have the time. Or any performance for that matter. But the two talented Kangs aside, the first major ballet company in Germany is in fact one of the best in Europe. It was founded by legendary choreographer John Cranko and has introduced various works spanning from classical, story to modern ballets. In Korea, many ballet companies strive to make it more accessible so it’s become a bit more casual. But in Germany, at least from my experience, it still seems to be a nice, rather formal event, and many people dress up, pearl necklaces and bow ties and everything.
스튜트가르트 발레의 강수진은 스튜트가르트에서도 인기만점이다. 강수진 전용 책을 팔 정도. 행사가 있으면 강수진이 대표로 나와서 인터뷰를 하기도 하고 서울에서 왔다고 하면 아, 강수진!하고 얘기해주기도 한다. 그만큼 대단한 발레리나이고 대단한 발레단이다. 지금은 강효정이 스튜트가르트 발레단에서 한국인의 파워를 내세워주고 있음.
One cultural and culinary aspect I learned about Stuttgart was the wine. I’ve never heard of German wine, to be honest. But wine was one of the main resources of income from the 17th century in Stuttgart. In fact, the average consumption of wine in Baden Wuerttemburg region, where Stuttgart is the capital, is almost half as much as in the entire country. Stuttgart’s number is higher and actually doubles that of Germany as a whole. So if you thought Germany and Germans were only interested in beer and making beer, you were wrong.
The Stuttgart Weindorf is the biggest wine festival in the area and has been going on for more than 35 years. It’s a great chance to try out German wine, since more than 500 different local wine labels from the region are present. The Stuttgart Weindorf runs through August and September annually. Try the whites first. I prefer the whites. Everyone prefers the whites. At least the people I know.
독일 와인에 대해 아는 것은 거의 없었다. 독일에서 와인이 나는지도 몰랐으니. 스튜트가르트가 주도인 바덴 버르템버크주에서는 전체 독일 와인 소비량의 절반 가량. 그 정도로 와인에 대한 사랑은 대단한데 문제는 맛. 화이트 와인은 먹을만한데 레드는 술맛나는 포도 쥬스. 독일은 무조건 화이트로 가는걸로. 이건 독일인들도 인정한 사실.
5. Swabian food
Swabia is the cultural, linguistic and historic region of southwestern Germany, which includes Stuttgart. The region has special dishes that go well with both beer and wine. Maultaschen is like a square dumpling, filled with meat, spinach, onion and soaked stale bread. It usually comes in a beef broth but it’s also deep fried or even steamed. Another popular Swabian dish is the Spaetzle, which is a type of noodle dish served with cheese, or with a special sauce, as a stew or with different spices and vegetables. Home food, if you will. Some of my personal favorites around the city is Alte Kelter and Ackenbürger in Bad Cannstatt.
스튜트가르트는 독일의 남부지역이라 북부 지역과 음식도 문화도 언어도 조금씩 다르다. 와인과 특히 맥주와 잘 어울리는 음식들은 대체로 그렇듯 굉장히 무겁고 주로 육식을 재료로 하는데 대표적인 음식이 우리나라의 만두와 비슷한 마울타센. 안에는 고기, 시금치, 양파 그리고 빵조각들이 기본적으로 들어가고 취향에 따라 구워먹거나 스프와 함께 끓여먹곤한다. 또다른 대표적인 음식은 스패츌러라는 파스타 같은 음식인데 주로 치즈나 미국의 그레이비같은 소스와 곁들어먹는다. 굉장히 무겁고 포만감 1등인 음식들이라 한번 먹으면 다음날 아침까지 배부를 정도.
All photos/edits by rachelsanghee. Recap from this article.