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  #46  
Old 09-11-2007, 11:47 AM
RU OX Alum RU OX Alum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAPital PHINUst View Post
Hint: Substitute "monkey's uncle" for "dirty bird", and you will get the jist of what the phrase was supposed to convey. Again, it was a phrase that the late comedian George Gobel used to say as a signature trademark line.

I got the German version from a old (1975) episode of Jeopardy whereby the category was "Foreign Phrases" and the $60 clue was the phrase I mentioned. Hence my post.
INTEResting, thank you. I'm conversational, but am still learning phrases/expressions and what not.
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  #47  
Old 09-11-2007, 12:26 PM
cutie_cat_4ever cutie_cat_4ever is offline
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I like this topic a lot! Thanks VictoriaGermany I always knew there were Fraternities/Sororities exist outside the US, but I barely know the history of it. It's insteresting to learn how some are similar or different from each other Great topic!!
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  #48  
Old 09-11-2007, 12:28 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Originally Posted by VictoriaGermany View Post
Wow, that´s interesting! I just checked, but unfortunately, couldn´t find any information about Sinfonia Leipzig on the web. Possible, it doesn´t exist anymore.
Possibly it doesn't, and maybe it never did. As I said, the idea that the name came from a Leipzig Sinfonia is lore that has been passed down as long as anyone can remember, but our official history notes that it is not corroborated in any early official records, so no one really knows whether it's true or not.

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Thanks for writing about music-oriented corporations. I almost forgot to mention that we have them as well . There is one umbrella organisation with fraternities and unisex corporations in Germany. All Corporations have their colours, but they do not wear them. We are in contact with a sorority from Hamburg which was founded last year and entered the umbrella organisation this year in May. It´s the first sorority in this organisation.
Which umbrella organization is this?

Quote:
Beside this, there are the so-called "Sängerschaften". They are also involved in the academic fencing tradition and I guess in most cases their members sing in a choir. Unfortunately, fencing with sharp weapons and singing in a choir doesn´t fit together very well, therefore more and more Sängerschaften have to close down.
LOL. I did a little bit of fencing in college (although fencing as sport, not academic fencing).

But this is all very interesting, and I'd love to know more about the Sängerschaften. (I did find this link, which gives me an excuse to practice my rusty German.)
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  #49  
Old 09-11-2007, 02:20 PM
VictoriaGermany VictoriaGermany is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Possibly it doesn't, and maybe it never did. As I said, the idea that the name came from a Leipzig Sinfonia is lore that has been passed down as long as anyone can remember, but our official history notes that it is not corroborated in any early official records, so no one really knows whether it's true or not.
I am in a German students´corporation forum and although the people are quite rude there and love to make fun of others, I will open a thread and see if anybody knows anything.

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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Which umbrella organization is this?
Is the "Sondershäuser Verband akademisch-musikalischer Verbindungen". You will find it here.

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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
LOL. I did a little bit of fencing in college (although fencing as sport, not academic fencing).
Yeah, there is a huge difference between both. You stand still and hold your arm above your head when doing academic fencing. And you can get hurt. But I already informed a frat guy from my town about this forum and he is practising academic fencing and can tell you a lot more about it. Women are not allowed to watch a so-called "Mensur" (which is a kind of duell with sharp weapon).

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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
But this is all very interesting, and I'd love to know more about the Sängerschaften. (I did find this link, which gives me an excuse to practice my rusty German.)
Yeah, let me know if you need further information. One of our new member´s boy-friend is alumna in a Sängerschaft. Maybe he can tell you more ;-)
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  #50  
Old 09-12-2007, 05:33 AM
psprincess psprincess is offline
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oh the naked guy at uc berkeley...im sure you can find an article about him on wikipedia.
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  #51  
Old 09-13-2007, 04:48 PM
emb021 emb021 is offline
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[QUOTE=AKA_Monet;1515515]Most American fraternities and sororities are Greek lettered and associated with a college or university, with the exception of the Shriners, Masons, DAR's, etc--even there are fraternities in military service. [\QUOTE]

By and large, to avoid confusion, when people speaking of 'fraternities', they are speaking of college fraternities.

While groups like the Masons, Shriners, etc are also fraternities, one usually calls them "Fraternal Organizations", along with such groups as Elks, Lions, etc. (I don't know if the DAR is a fraternal group).

Don't know about any fraternities in military service.
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  #52  
Old 09-13-2007, 05:33 PM
AKA_Monet AKA_Monet is offline
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Originally Posted by VictoriaGermany View Post
By the way: Our celebrations/rituals are nothing we keep in secrecy. There is only one event which externals cannot attend: the so-called "Convent". It is the meeting of the active/inactive members of the corporations where all kind of organisation stuff as well as punishment etc. is discussed.
So I can only speak for my own Sorority and in general because most Greek-Lettered Organizations hold their meetings in private with some ritual involved.

We have general body meetings for ONLY members. We have events for the public. These events are social parties, "step shows", and community service activities. Sometimes these events turn into all 3. There are others that we have.

However, meetings and initiations are extremely private. Everyone does their own "activity" in regards to that. Without getting into rituals, at the end of the initiation of new members, we might have a "high tea", with or without family members.
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  #53  
Old 05-15-2008, 07:07 PM
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Re-vitalizing this old thread (Mods, if this is inappropriate, please let me know).

Continuing the fabulous work of Victoria and having the pleasure of learning about Greek Life in the US, by reading this forum (unfortunately i spent a year at an US University without Greek Life), i will try to provide some insight about german fraternities and their origins to this forum.

There will be several posts dealing with:
- The general history of fraternities in germany
- From the perspective of my "National/Umbrella Organization":
-- How we are organized (national, chapter)
-- What are the processes and guidelines
-- Fraternity life

So lets start with the first chapter and enjoy the show.
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  #54  
Old 05-15-2008, 07:35 PM
inger inger is offline
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From the medieval times to the Wartburg Fest

The origins of all Studentenverbindungen (“Fraternities”) can be traced back to medieval times. At the universities that time, like Padua, Bologna, Paris and Prague, students were allowed to create private groups and they lived in so called Bursen (sort of Dorms). Out of these, the nationes were born (think of it as territorial associations). First mentioned 1477 in Padua and 1514 in Leipzig. In the second half of the 18th century it is handed down, that these nationes created a constitution, which for example regulates the general life of these nationes, the installment of a Senior (President), majority votes, joint appearance in public.
However only loose bonds between the members existed and the affiliation to those nationes or territorial associations ended with graduation from university.

In second half of the 18th century, so called “Students Orders” arose as a counterpart to these territorial associations. The Students Orders saw their origins in Masonic Lodges and they copied some ideas out of the Age of Enlightenment. Some basic principles of todays fraternities can be found here:
- Lifelong Membership
- complicated and sophisticated rituals
- defined selection process of their members
- Secrecy of their rituals and guidelines.
- “Zirkel” as external symbol

With the successful infiltration of the territorial associations by these Students Orders, they were made irrelevant. However this victory did not last long for the Students Orders.
Because they were influenced by the ideas of the French revolution and had political objectives, they were pursued by the government and several years later they nearly disappeared. This vacuum was filled in by Kränzchen or “new territorial associations”. They basically copied the principles of the former Student Orders, but without having a official or public political agenda.
The first confraternity is dated back to 1786 at the University of Frankfurt (Oder). From there the idea spread on to other universities and around 1800, the name “Corps” emerged. So it can be said that the Corps represents the oldest type of fraternity in Germany.
The oldest still active fraternity in Germany is currently Corps Onoldia, founded in 1798.

So what was the reason to join these types of fraternities at that time? As influenced by the french revolution, they wanted Change. They saw themselves as the intellectual elite of the people and therefore qualified to propose and push for change. The main objective was to get rid of Absolutism, towards a constitutional monarchy, german unity with a democratic constitution and to remove the restriction of the universities patronizing and dominating behavior.

However these efforts were thwarted by the Napoleonic invasion. The following Liberation War was the foundation of a new german nationalism, which of course found its way into the general student life. In this spirit and with the previously mentioned political ideas many students joined milita formations (Freikorps Lützow) in the fight against Napoleon and the king(s)/duke(s) etc. promised reforms in exchange.
But after the Congress of Vienna, which reintroduced the old order, many students and volunteers of the war found themselves betrayed. Despite this fact they wanted to pursue their ideas. This was manifested in the foundation of the so called “Ur-Burschenschaft”, which deduced the basic fraternal principles from the Kränzchen/Corps/Students Order.

To underline their political claims, on the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig, 300 actives marched towards the castle of Wartburg in 1817, to show resistance towards the re-introduction of the Restauration. Inspiring speeches for reforms and a removal of the old order were delivered and in the end books, which defended the old order, were burned.

However this was also noticed by the governments and they saw in the meeting a direct attack towards the governmental order. Burschenschaften (as fraternities) were prosecuted and prohibited. In 1819 the freedom of press was retrenched and each university got a governmental supervisor, who actively looked after subversive elements on campus.

This ends Part 1.
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  #55  
Old 03-20-2010, 09:34 AM
Gers! Gers! is offline
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Hi, I'm from Latvian fraternity Gersicania. I can inform You that fraternity Ventonia where Your grandfather was - is till there. Ventonia is placed in city Jelgava.
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  #56  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:56 AM
Max Kr!x Max Kr!x is offline
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Names of Fraternitys / Sororitys

Hey,
Do the Greek letters in the names of Fraternitys / Sororitys have any historical meaning or do they just sound good? Why do you have Greek names, I don't know any historical relationship between the US and Greece?

As already wrote in this threat most fraternitys in Germany are named after geographical areas and sororitys after godesses.

My fraternity is a small exception. We are named "Kristall" (crystal) to honor Professor Hermann Borchert who taught mineralogy when we were founded in 1949. Our full name is "Akademische Vereinigung Kristall zu Clausthal im Schwarzburgbund"

Thank you for your answers,

Max Kr!x
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  #57  
Old 11-22-2011, 10:11 AM
AOII Angel's Avatar
AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by Max Kr!x View Post
Hey,
Do the Greek letters in the names of Fraternitys / Sororitys have any historical meaning or do they just sound good? Why do you have Greek names, I don't know any historical relationship between the US and Greece?

As already wrote in this threat most fraternitys in Germany are named after geographical areas and sororitys after godesses.

My fraternity is a small exception. We are named "Kristall" (crystal) to honor Professor Hermann Borchert who taught mineralogy when we were founded in 1949. Our full name is "Akademische Vereinigung Kristall zu Clausthal im Schwarzburgbund"

Thank you for your answers,

Max Kr!x
The Greek letters of our organizations have secret meanings. They are part of our rituals. In some cases they were chosen because they looked good together, but they still have very important meanings to the members that wear the letters.
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  #58  
Old 11-22-2011, 01:10 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Why do you have Greek names, I don't know any historical relationship between the US and Greece?
Because historically, a college education in the United States meant a classical education. All college students would have studied Greek and Latin and would have read classical works in those languages.

The original Greek Letter Society was Phi Beta Kappa, which is now an academic honorary society. Founded in 1776, it was originally a secret collegiate society. It chose as its name Societas Philosophiae, or the Philosophical Society. It chose as a secret motto Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης ("philosophia biou kybernētēs"), variously translated as "Philosophy, the helmsman of life," "Love of learning, the helmsman of life," or (the official translation now) "Philosophy is the Guide of Life."

The insignia of the Society was (and is) a watch key, and the initials of the name (in overlapping script) and the motto are shown on the key:



It wasn't long before people began to refer to the Society by the initials of its motto: ΦΒΚ. That set a pattern that fraternities and sororities have followed ever since. Today, it is safe to say that the Greek letters that form the names of most GLOs represent either a secret motto, secret name or the like.
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  #59  
Old 11-22-2011, 01:42 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Some have both open and secret meanings, or they have historical significance. For example, ADPi and Phi Mu were founded as the Adelphian and Philomathean societies, respectively. Obviously, the Greek letters echo the original names.
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  #60  
Old 11-22-2011, 02:58 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Some have both open and secret meanings, or they have historical significance. For example, ADPi and Phi Mu were founded as the Adelphian and Philomathean societies, respectively. Obviously, the Greek letters echo the original names.
Right, which like with anything GLO-related, makes it a challenge to give a descriptor that is all encompassing. As a general though not universal rule, the letters tend to stand for something secret, though there may also be historical or non-secret meanings attached to the letters as well.

And there are totally non-secret groups. Delta Upsilon, for example, has an open ritual and makes no secret that its motto is Δικαια Υποθηκη (Dikaia Upotheke), which means "Justice, Our Foundation."
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