Why we celebrate Women’s Day in SA

While many might think this is a kind of second Mother’s Day for women whether or not they have children, and use it as a good excuse to spend a day being pampered at a health spa or shopping for shoes, that’s not really what Women’s Day is all about.



How it all began

On 09 August 1956, 20 000 women participated in a national march in protest of pass laws (apartheid legislation that required people of colour to carry identity documentation to prove that they were allowed to enter a ‘white’s only’ area).

Four women led the march which had been organized by Fedsaw (Federation of South African Women.

They were  :  Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophy Williams and,Lilian Ngoyi
(pictured above right)

These were women of all races and ages who got together from all over South Africa and marched on the Pretoria Union Buildings, goaded into action by the fact that the law was about to be changed to restrict ‘African’ women’s freedom movement even further. They delivered their petitions, signed by frustrated and angry women across the land, to then Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office, then sang freedom songs including the well known, powerful one

“When you strike the women, you strike a rock”

So use the day off to pamper yourself, to have fun with your family, to come and go as you please – but remember if it wasn’t for these brave women many of us would not enjoy the freedom we have today to do these simple things.










Oma’s Goulash Soup ❤️

❤️ Traditional German Goulash Soup made just like Oma! 
#goulashsoup #germanrecipes #justlikeoma

This goulash soup is one of my most traditional of all German soups. It’s one I often make when I have company coming over and need something that’s easy to prepare ahead. I’ll add some fresh crusty homemade artisan bread and dinner’s ready.


  • 1 lb stewing beef, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, coarsely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 – 3 potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 peppers, preferably different colours, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt, pepper, hot Hungarian paprika (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large pot. Brown half the meat. Remove meat and brown remaining meat. Return all the meat to the pot, adding onions and garlic.
  • Continue to cook on high for several minutes, stirring often.
  • Add tomato juice, beef broth, salt, and paprika.
  • Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and peppers. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Season with additional salt, pepper, and hot Hungarian paprika, if desired.
  • Makes 4 – 6 servings




Receive Information and Tips about South Africa from German Expats

Obviously, embarking on expat life in South Africa is not only about packing boxes and getting some paperwork done. The regular exchange with your German compatriots is also an important aspect of the expat experience and can help you get accustomed to the South African culture and people. InterNations helps you meet and interact with other Germans in South Africa, living in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and many other places across the country. Just take a look at our group ofGermans in Johannesburg or Germans in Cape Town.

So, if you should ever feel like speaking your mother tongue, finding out where to shop for German food, or chatting about your favorite team’s latest match, join the German InterNations Community:

  • Browse our high-quality expat network to find like-minded expatriates from Germany in South Africa.
  • Receive and share advice in our South Africa Expat Forums – e.g. how to find a nanny speaking your kids’ native tongue or where to shop for roast pork with Knödel in Cape Town…
  • Browse the InterNations Places database for South Africa to find institutions like the nearest German embassy and many others.

From the Highveld’s Gauteng City Region to the Garden Route, a scenic stretch along the south-east coast, we’ll get you in touch with helpful and friendly German expats in South Africa.

Take Part in Various Expat Activities to Meet Fellow Germans in South Africa

Additionally, you are cordially invited to participate in our regular expat events and activities taking place in South Africa. Our events cover various interests and range from a small expat dinner to enjoy the traditional South African bobotie, to big expat get-togethers with hundreds of guests in Cape Town’s top locations. You may also join one of our expat excursions for a weekend trip together with a group of fellow Germans in Pretoria to visit the Cape of Good Hope, the wilderness trails of Kruger National park, and other impressive landmarks across South Africa.

This way, our events and activities are a very nice occasion to meet fellow expats from Germany and around the world in a casual atmosphere. Interested? Sign up for membership and you’ll soon be welcomed with a warm Grüß Gott from our Germans living in South Africa!


How will the change of seasons affect your sleep?

With cold air surging across the country and snow lingering in some provinces from several winter storms, the winter season is in full force and for a while yet!    One thing that South Africa doesn’t have to worry about when the seasons change is moving their clocks. But although there isn’t a drastic change in our daylight, our bodies are still rather sensitive to the changes of the seasons.

Kick out the winter chill and getting enough sunlight can have an effect on your sleep this winter.

Kick out the winter chill and getting enough sunlight can have an effect on your sleep this winter.

In many ways, when we start going into winter, our bodies are changing and becoming more sensitive to weather, with the cold weather having an effect on the kind of sleep that you will be having. Winter is starting to draw nearer and as the days draw colder and shorter, your sleep can be affected. It might seem like there are only very slight changes to the weather but the slightest of changes can have a bigger impact on your sleep than you would expect. While the general amount of sleep that you should have every night is around 8 hours, this is a number that varies from person to person, especially in the winter months.

Change of seasons has the following effects:

Light Changes

Even in South Africa, the daylight reduces once we get deeper into the winter months. The changes are nowhere as drastic as in the Northern European countries, they are certainly noticeable. Light is very important for your sleep. In order for you to have good quality sleep, you need to get enough sunlight during the day. The daylight has a direct effect on the amount of melatonin that your body produces.

Melatonin is the hormone that is responsible for regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. When your body is not getting enough light during the day, you are more than likely going to start feeling more sluggish and tired earlier on in the day. So when the days are shorter, and you are not spending as much time outdoors, the season can feel like a very long and tiresome one.

There is another way that the winter months can have an effect on your health and on your sleep. There are those who suffer from what is known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, a rather apt acronym considering how this condition can make you feel. This condition is the result of not getting enough sunlight and it can cause a person to feel bouts of depression during winter. South Africans are not free from this disorder, and although our daylight in winter is only reduced by around 3 hours, when the body has become used to the long summer days, not getting enough sunlight on your skin can still have an effect on your sleep.

The air gets colder

While we enjoy mild winters, the days can get very cold in parts of the country. Unlike other countries where homes and businesses are set up in such a way that they are temperature self-regulating, we don’t have these kinds of set ups so in the colder areas we rely more on fireplaces, heaters and heavy blankets to keep warm in the winter months.

Most South Africans living in cold areas rely on fireplacesMost South Africans living in cold areas rely on fireplaces

Temperature can have a very direct effect on your sleep and it needs to be well regulated. If your home is too hot, you might find that you are not going to be sleeping very well. In general, you are more likely to sleep well when your room is a little bit cooler. Regulating temperature using fireplaces and heaters can be very tricky. Too much heat or cold can drastically affect the quality of your sleep. If the air is too warm, your body can become very much susceptible to the winter illnesses. But when the room you are sleeping in is too cold, you might find that you are unable to sleep.

So in winter, it is best to delicately balance out the temperature in your home, finding that happy medium that helps you to get that good quality sleep you need.

Changes in your diet

In winter you are more likely to eat heavier foods, carbohydrate-rich foods that are hearty and warm. While this comfort food might be very much what you are craving, it is not always the kind of food that is going to be right for your sleep needs.

When you eat rich foods, filled with fats, you might not slip off into a comfortable sleep. This very rich food can also have an effect on your hormones with the hormone leptin being changed. Once this hormone has been affected, changes in your sleep are sure to follow. Leptin helps with the regulation of hunger, basically, it is the hunger hormone. When your body is producing too much of this hormone there is also the risk of gaining weight.

How can you keep your sleep in check during winter?

Just because the seasons are changing doesn’t mean that your sleep has to suffer. There are a few things that you can do that you might find very helpful.

  1. Eat light

Sure your body is craving all kinds of delicious treats to keep warm during the winter, but if you want to limit the possibility of sleep disruption then you need to limit the size of your meals. Eat lighter meals, earlier in the evening and you are unlikely to suffer from the consequences of bad winter sleep.

Getting enough sunlight is very important for your sleep, and in winter when the days are shorter, getting enough light can be even more crucial for your sleepGetting enough sunlight is very important for your sleep, and in winter when the days are shorter, getting enough light can be even more crucial for your sleep
  1. Don’t oversleep

Catching a few extra hours when the mornings are dark can be very tempting, but you should really try to rather not oversleep. When you sleep in on the weekends, you can end up damaging your sleep cycle, reducing the quality of your sleep. The result of sleeping in is usually drowsiness and feeling way more tired than you did before you went to bed.

  1. Get enough exercise

With the days being shorter and colder, being outdoors and getting enough exercise can be the last thing that is on your mind. Getting outdoors and exercising will also help you to get enough sunlight which will greatly aid your sleep later on.

  1. Don’t worry about losing sleep

If you worry constantly about losing an hour of sleep, you will feel very tired in the morning. The more you worry about not sleeping, the less likely you are to actually be relaxed enough to sleep.

As the season’s change and the days begin to get a little cooler all throughout the country, your sleep will continue to be a priority for you. Makes sure that you get the most out of your winter by making the right decisions for your sleep.

Image result for older person sleeping in winter

by Leigh-Anne Harber

















Festivals in Germany in July

Best Events in July in Germany

Summer is one of the best times to visit Germany. The weather is glorious (most of the time) and festivals are on.

As this is a popular time to travel, be aware that hotel and attractions will be at their most expensive and cities will be close to bursting.

So what all is on in Germany in July? Find out what festivals take place in Germany in July from music and fashion to art and culture.Munich Opera Festival

  1.  Munich Opera Festival
Munich's National Theatre and monument Max I. Joseph


Celebrated every summer since 1876, the Munich Opera Festival at the Nationaltheater (among other venues) offers an excellent program of opera and ballet performances throughout June and July.

The month-long event opens with a choral concert at Michaelskirche. Another highlight is Opera for All where a performance is transmitted live to an outdoor audience at Max-Joseph-Platz.

Where: Various locations in central Munich
When: June 24th – July 28th, 2018

2.      Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Berlin Fashion Week


Attention Fashionistas: International designers present their latest collections in Berlin during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (known in German as Berliner Modewoche). Find out what’s “in” at runway shows, trade fairs, exhibitions, and parties.

Where: Mitte, Berlin
When: July 3rd – July 7th, 2018

3.   Classic Open Air at Gendarmenmarkt

Open-air Concert at Gendarmenmarkt

  • •••

    Enjoy classic music al fresco at Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most beautiful historic squares in all of Berlin.

    In this festival series, the concerts feature operetta, German and Italian opera, and classical and contemporary music. Check the program for special features and extras like concerts that end with a light show or fireworks.

    All concerts begin at 19:30. Tickets are required.

    Where:Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin
    When: July 5 – 9th, 2018


Christopher Street Day in Köln


Cologne is home to one of the oldest and most vibrant gay communities in Germany. Its annual celebration, Cologne Pride, is one of the largest gay and lesbian events in the country.

Highlights of the festivities include a colorful gay pride parade with more than 120 floats parading through the historic center of Cologne. Parties, panel discussions, and a street festival complete the weekend.

Where: Center of Cologne
When: July 8th, 2018

Dinkelsbuhl, Germany

Dinkelsbühl is one of the most underrated towns on the Romantic Roadand its Kinderzeche is one of the oldest festivals in the country. Begun in 1897, the festival honors the town’s history.

During the 30 Years War as many small towns were ravaged, Dinkelsbühl was saved by its children. They pleaded before a Swedish colonel and effectively saved the historic town from destruction.

The festival retells the town’s story and traditionally dressed children are given bright bags of sweets during a joyful procession. Adults also put on traditional dress and carry flowers to celebrate their beautiful town.

When: July 13th – 22nd, 2018


Gay Pride Parade Berlin


Every summer, Berliners raise their rainbow flags to celebrate Christopher Street Day (CSD) with a spectacular Gay Pride Parade.

The festivities take place in the heart of Berlin and ends by looping around the Siegessäule (Victory Column or “Golden Else”) in the Tiergarten – a city landmark that has become a symbol for gay Berlin. Home to sunbathing nudesthroughout the year, the nudes are on floats, in genital revealing costumes, and dancing down the street during the CSD Parade.

And it wouldn’t be Berlin without countless debates and demonstrations that precede Sunday’s parade. There is also a more alternative parade, X*CSD, in Kruezberg since the main parade is deemed too commercial by some.

Where: Berlin
When: July 28th, 2018

Richard Wagner Festival Rehearsal In Bayreuth

Also known as the Richard Wagner Festival, this annual event in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth pays tribute to the 19th-century German composer.

It is the world’s largest Wagner Festival and sells out every year since it opened in 1876. Wagner fans get their ticketsyears in advance to enjoy some of the composer’s best operas from The Ring Cycle to Parsifal. (complete program found here). They are performed in a specially designed opera house, the Festspielhaus, which was built under Wagner’s supervision.

For Wagner fans, the performances are worth the wait of five to ten years for tickets.

Where: Festspielhaus, Bayreuth
When: July 25th – August 29th, 2018

Winterdom Hamburg

Since the 14th century, Hamburg has celebrated the DOM, one of the largest open-air fun fairs in the North of Germany. Held three times a year, the July festival (usually) features the best weather.

Bring the whole family for classic Ferris Wheels and carousels, thrilling roller coasters and live concerts. Schedule a visit for every Friday night when fireworks light up the night around 10:30. Best of all, visiting the DOM is free.

Where: Heiligengeistfeld, in the city center of Hamburg
When: July 27th ─ August 28th, 2018



BY Updated 04/24/18

7 Steps to Healthy Aging, Happy Aging

Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a slew of medical conditions or poor quality of life.


Getting older involves change, both negative and positive, but you can enjoy aging if you understand what’s going on with your body and take steps to maintain your health.

Many different things happen to your body as you age. Your skin, bones, and even brain may start to behave differently. Don’t let the changes that come with old age catch you by surprise.

Here are some of the common ones:

  • Your bones. Bones can become thinner and more brittle in old age, especially in women, sometimes resulting in the fragile bone condition called osteoporosis. Thinning bones and decreasing bone mass can put you at risk for falls that can easily result in broken bones. Be sure to talk with your physician about what you can do to prevent osteoporosis and falls.
  • Your heart. While a healthy diet and regular exercise can keep your heart healthy, it may become slightly enlarged, your heart rate may lower, and the walls of the heart may thicken.
  • Your brain and nervous system. Getting older can cause changes in your reflexes and even your senses. While dementia is not a normal consequence of old age, it is common for people to experience some slight forgetfulness as they get older.
  • Cells in the brain and nerves can be damaged by the formation of plaques and tangles, abnormalities that could eventually lead to dementia.
  • Your digestive system. As you age, your digestive tract becomes more firm and rigid, and doesn’t contract as often. This change can lead to problems such as constipation, stomach pain, and feelings of nausea; a better diet can help.
  • Your senses. You may notice that your vision and hearing aren’t quite as sharp as they once were. You may start to lose your sense of taste — flavors may not seem as distinct to you. Your senses of smell and touch may also weaken. Your body is taking longer to react and needs more to stimulate it.
  • Your teeth. The tough enamel that protects your teeth from decay can start to wear away over the years, leaving you susceptible to cavities. Gum disease is also a concern for older adults. Good dental hygiene can protect your teeth and gums. Dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications that seniors take, may also be a problem.
  • Your skin. With old age, your skin loses its elasticity and may start to sag and wrinkle. However, the more you protected your skin from sun damage and smoking when you were younger, the better your skin will look as you get older. Start protecting your skin now to prevent further damage, as well as skin cancer.
  • Your sex life. After menopause, when menstruation stops, many women experience physical changes like a loss of vaginal lubrication. Men may experience erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, both problems can be easily treated.
  • Many bodily changes are a natural part of aging, but they don’t have to slow you down. What’s more, there’s a lot you can do to protect your body and keep it as healthy as possible.

    Keys to Aging Well

    While maintaining your physical health is important to healthy aging, it’s also key to value the experience and maturity you gain with advancing years. Practicing healthy habits throughout your life is ideal, but it’s never too late reap the benefits of taking good care of yourself, even as you get older.

    Here are some healthy aging tips that are good advice at any stage of life:

    • Stay physically active with regular exercise.
    • Stay socially active with friends and family and within your community.
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet — dump the junk food in favor of fiber-rich, low-fat, and low-cholesterol eating.
    • Don’t neglect yourself: Regular check-ups with your doctor, dentist, and optometrist are even more important now.
    • Take all medications as directed by your doctor.
    • Limit alcohol consumption and cut out smoking.
    • Get the sleep that your body needs. 

      Finally, taking care of your physical self is vital, but it’s important that you tend to your emotional health as well. Reap the rewards of your long life, and enjoy each and every day. Now is the time to savor good health and happiness.


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