A City Celebrates German Heritage This Week – SwiftCurrentOnline.com

It’s officially “German Heritage Month Week” in the city of Swift Current.

The week coincides with the Canadian government’s proclamation of October as German Heritage Month.

According to the 2016 census, approximately 30% of the province’s population claims German ethnicity in whole or in part.

Mervin Weiss, chairman of the volunteer board of the Saskatchewan German Council, said the week recognized the importance of German heritage in the province and in Swift Current.

“That’s what you’re doing as a city agreeing to proclaim German Heritage Week this week,” he said. “There were Germans in Saskatchewan for a long time before Saskatchewan was even Saskatchewan.”

Weiss said the goal of the week was to promote German culture, language, customs, traditions and history.

“Recognizes the contributions German Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of German language and culture, and the importance of educating and reflecting German heritage for future generations.”

As part of promoting German culture, Weiss, alongside Jake Knelsen and Gabriele Waidelich-Harrison, also of the Saskatchewan German Council, organized a few events in Swift Current.

“We started our day with a freshman program at Irwin School, then we had an afternoon program at Riverview Estates for the seniors who live there.”

He added that many are from Germany that people might not recognize.

“I would like to highlight a few traditions that came from Germany, like the Christmas tree, the Advent reef, the Nutcracker, the Advent calendar,” he said. “Even the song silent night was originally written in German and was German Christmas carol before it was translated.”

Saskatchewan is the only province with a distinct group of people dedicated to promoting the German presence in Canada.