There is a lot of prejudice about Eastern Frisian. Sometimes when I travel I am asked how I can endure.
They are stubborn and silent. Because of the unspeakable Eastern Frisian jokes, some bloodthirsty city dwellers consider them stupid or, to put it better, merely knitted. Of course, these people with their prejudices have never been to East Friesland. “Because there is a cultural diaspora.”
For me it has always been very different.
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The first Eastern Frisian I met was my uncle Warfsmann. A funny person. A narrator who alternated effortlessly between fiction and reality. Many coastal dwellers have mastered this language-on-page narrative.
This I like, it requires the listener to think for themselves. Not only words but also facial expressions and gestures play a role. Cleverly placed vacations.
Anyone who speaks like this does not need endless cascades of words. But the blows are there and the attentive listener suspects that everything is not meant to be taken seriously, but has an essence of truth.
When my novel “Ostfriesensturm” was announced by the publisher, violent storms were breaking out. A storm surge caused havoc in Wangerooge and Langeoog. The monstrous collisions of the dunes frightened the islanders and enthusiasts. Even duckweed in Langeoog was threatened.
While I was getting bread north on the mainland in the morning, the man in front of me in line spoke to me. “I saw it on TV yesterday. Was it real or just a spectacular advertising campaign by Fischer Verlag for your new book Ostfriesensturm? ”
This is exactly the humor I knew from Uncle Warfsmann. Two real events, in this case the publication of the book and the storm, are placed in a seemingly logical connection. Delicious.
I will never forget the way Uncle Warfsmann looked at his wife, whom he had been married to for decades, on the bench near the dam.
“What’s wrong?” She asked irritably. “You look so in love.”
“I am too,” he replied.
“And what are you thinking about?” she breathed smiling.
It took him a while, thinking and driving a seagull. Then he said: “From the fish rolls. Measurement is preferred. “
“Not from me?” she asked disappointed.
“Yes,” he said. “You have to get them for us.”
My Aunt Mia could laugh about that. She liked his joke and shoved him in the ribs.
Then he went smiling to get the fish rolls.
Aunt Mia took care of him and admitted to me, “What does a woman want more than a man to make her laugh? Remember this about Klaus-Peter later.”