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Meat and Greet

DW staff (nda)December 10, 2008

At no other point in our lives do we feel more immortal than when we are in our late teenage years. The angst of adolescence is subsiding while life and all its opportunities open up before us.

A food inspector checking out some meat
"Hey there good-looking...Do you come here often?"Image: AP

We are still young yet no longer children; we have energy and ideas, and we believe entirely in our dreams of changing the world around us. At the age of 18, we are unstoppable.

Of course, as a result of this sudden enlightenment, everyone older than 18 suddenly appears to have absolutely no idea what real life is about and that the ageing process has robbed all those over the age of 30 of their musical tastes, their fashion sense and their ability to be cool. Once you pass the barrier of your 29th year, death effectively starts to haunt the steps of every 30-something on the planet.

Such is the belief among young Germans that the big three-oh represents the beginning of the end that special nights put on by discos and nightclubs for those in their third decade of life are now being referred to as "Gammelfleisch" parties.

Anyone who has followed German current affairs over the past two years will know from various food scandals that "Gammelfleisch" is a term meaning spoiled meat.

"Gammelfleischparty" is now such a prevalent term that it has just claimed top spot in a survey of the most popular youth words in Germany.

One dancer's nightmare is another's great night out

A disco in the German town of Moisburg
Over 30s parties: like watching drunken relatives at a weddingImage: PA/dpa

Anyone who has ever attended one of Germany's notorious Über-30 (Over 30) parties can see why such gatherings could fill youngsters with dread and cause endless ridicule. At best they resemble the worst wedding reception disco you have ever been to, with dozens of people dancing like your drunken uncle to tunes from the dark ages. But comparing these "oldies" who take their Zimmer frames out for a good time to kebab meat way past its prime may be going a bit too far.

Of course, while any self-respecting 18-year-old would steer clear of such gatherings, so most 30-somethings would give the kind of clubs that teenagers frequent a wide berth. After all, being young and fresh doesn't mean that you automatically stop dressing like a moron, dancing like a chimp on acid and appreciating tacky DJs.

"Each to their own," as the old fogies may say.