There is not to argue that the publicity around Christmas in Europe in Diekirch had been well organised. Besides posters put up all through the town and its vicinities, a radio broadcast of 15 minutes on the waves of RTL - Radio Television Luxembourg and two teams of other television stations there were also articles in the print media which all contributed to the success of the event.
"Bâmkuch" is a dessert speciality in Luxembourg and an absolute must-have at many family gatherings. Therefore, for the two days of the exhibition, it was handed out by the students at the stall of the LTH and the visitors didn’t have to be asked twice if they wanted any. With Véronique, who is in charge of the boarding school of the LTH, leading the operation!
The stall of Podebrady (Czech Republic) welcomed an illustrious visitor in the person of Mrs Iva Mrazkova, honorary consul of the Czech Republic accompanied by her husband Michel Wittmann himself being the honorary consul of Moldavia. For the occasion, Nadine Schintgen felt honoured to accompany the visitors and to lead them through the exhibition in the name of the AEHT.
When we work in the kitchen we sometimes cut ourselves. This happened to a pupil of the LTH sitting in the entrance hall of the LTH while waiting for the ambulance. Nothing major, but what we do not know, it is that the police must be informed whenever there is an incident with a bladed weapon. In this case, it was only a commonplace accident in the kitchen and not some public brawl.
Airs of accordion
During the exhibition we were able to hear and to listen to the airs of an accordion, which came from and around the stall of Maribor (Slovenia). It was a student of the delegation, Bojan Seruga, a robust lad, who has the physical appearance of a musician of the type " Oberkrainer "!
In any case, the air of the accordion changed the atmosphere.
During the first European buffet, the atmosphere couldn’t have been any more festive. Present were two former vice-presidents Jürgen Clausen and Roy van Sassen together with their wives and Christiane Keller, and all were toasting to Christmas in Europe!
The mascot of Diekirch
There are statues of donkeys in several places of the city which remind visitors that this member of the horse family was an invaluable aid for the works on the fields of the Herrenberg in ancient times. That is why the inhabitants of Diekirch had it raised to the rank of mascot. And during any festivities in Diekirch, the donkey is the star. As, for example, during the parade where two donkeys scampered at the head of the parade!
Ahead of schedule
On Thursday, December 3rd, at the end of the inauguration of Christmas in Europe, it was planned that the parade should leave the Cultural centre at 5.30 pm. Which actually took place and participants were only a few minutes off. The parade, fronted by the police preceded through the city centre and the pedestrian zone and arrived in front of the church at 6 pm where the service for Christmas was to take place. Except that the schedule had planned the mass to start at 7 pm. One had to wait outside, which made it possible to take the traditional family photo.
No effort to big
Being herself a Luxembourger, the general secretary of the AEHT, Nadine Schintgen did not limit her efforts. As a matter of fact, she did not hesitate to make her own traditional costume based on the model of those worn in past by Luxembourgers at peasant fairs and put it on during the inauguration of the exhibition and during the television broadcast on RTL Lëtzebuerg! Bravo.
The excess of the European buffets
Same story every year. Too many specialities are offered for tasting of the participants. Because every year, there is an insufficient amount of guests. In Diekirch this seemed to have been the case again. According to Jean-Marc Dijou, the invitations were ready on time, but did not reach the addressees early enough. It is a great pity considering the efforts put forward by the participating high schools when considering the hassle to bring along and prepare the various dishes.
The sports evening brought together about forty participants. There was mainly volleyball on program, with teams being as mixed as was only possible. Jean-Marc Dijou, player on the national team of Luxembourg, put his table tennis skills on show with a Czech and a Spanish opponent. As for the results, everybody was winning and seemed rather delighted with the initiative.
The hidden face of the five-euro note
During her intervention at the gala evening, the general secretary Nadine Schintgen regrets the bad image of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, too often associated with a rich country and tax haven. She hopes that thanks to ' Christmas in Europe - made in Luxembourg ', the participants were able to discover another reality. She invites the participants to look closely at her country. As for the 5 EUR note, on first sight, we may only see its monetary value, but by observing it closely, we can observe its truth wealth. On this note we discover windows, symbols of the open-mindedness and the cooperation, on the backhand of the note there are bridges, symbols of the communication between the people of Europe as well as between Europe and the rest of the world. The twelve stars of the European Union emblem of the dynamism and the harmony which reign in Europe of today can also been seen on this 5 EUR note.
In the same way, Luxembourg, just like the AEHT, have always tried to be open and to cooperate with others, to build bridges between nations and schools and to contribute to the dynamism and to the harmony in Europe. Both are of strong supporters of the European values and want to promote a " unity in the diversity ", aspects which could again be found in this edition of Christmas in Europe - made in Luxembourg "!