02 April 2013

German Birthday Surprise

Last Friday on my birthday, I had to go to my plasma physics class. It is taught by an old German professor with the name Möbius, who is really really nice. I told him it was my birthday, because I was telling everyone I saw it was my birthday. "Oh! Happy birthday!" and I thought that was the end of it. It was not.

At the end of class he comes around to my chair and starts wheeling it to the front of the class "In Germany when it is someone's birthday, we give them a special honour. I need two other men up here with me." At this point, I'm so confused as to what is going to happen to me.

Eberhard explaining what is going to happen

So two of my classmates come up and they gather around my chair.

Eberhard starts singing a song:
Hoch soll sie leben!
Hoch soll sie leben!
Dreimal hoch!

And on each "Hoch!" I was lifted up in the chair.

I look pretty frightened in that picture and I guess I was, but it was also a pretty fun way to celebrate my birthday. AND it was the talk of the grad students for the day.

I found a video on Youtube showing the tradition.

All pictures stolen shamelessly from Muj's Facebook page.


  1. Since they are of you, I think you can steal them. :)

    1. I like to at least cite my sources if I'm going to steal something!