A THOUSAND Chinese and expatriates revelled with various beers, food and a German band at the ninth Oktoberfest in the white beer tent in front of the Holiday Inn Zhuhai, Jida, from Thursday to Saturday.
The Munich Swing & Show Band brought olden Bavarian, modern and western music along with Chinese folk songs to Zhuhai, according to head bandmaster Max Zankl, who came to the city for his first show three years ago.
The six-member band kicked off the festivity Thursday evening by playing the Chinese National Anthem and “Yi Qi Ju Bei -- yi, er, san, oh! yi, er, san, oh! yi, er, san, oh! gan bei!” (Let’s Raise Glasses -- one, two, three, cheers! …)
Along with the traditional cowbell, the band presented the centuries-old Bavarian musical instruments such as alphorn, a 6m wooden horn that had been used to communicate from mountain to mountain; and duo-wooden spoons that are played on the thigh.
The Oktoberfest featured hearty music and audience participation in games, beer-drinking bouts, swaying arm-in-arm, parading with hands on each other’s shoulders, moving of hands, head and body to the music, dancing and lucky draws. At the end of each section, Max led the hail in a strong voice of “Yi Qi Ju Bei -- yi, er, san, gan bei!” before a short musical piece for making toasts.
After he showed how to clack the wooden spoons on his thigh, Max invited a woman to follow suit. He rewarded her with a mug of beer and the latter bottomed it up in front of the audience.
Two men carried the alphorn to an end of the tent where one began to blow it. Max stood yodelling on a long table in response. The performance garnered immense applause. Men, women and children tried to blow the alphorn and a woman who had blown the longest sound won a mug of beer.
Christine Zengerle sang famous Chinese songs “Sweet Honey” and “The Moon Represents My Heart” in Chinese, and some Chinese women were invited to sing with her on stage.
An Australian singer who imitated the appearance and style of Elvis Presley -- King of Rock’n Roll in America, presented a stunning show that reminded people of the long-departed superstar.
Max has formed a new band after he returned home from China in 2008. He had performed in Qingdao, Hefei, Wuhan, Changchun, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and other cities over the past 17 years, he noted.
Each time, his band initiated its performance by playing the Chinese National Anthem to show respect to China, because Chinese people are all friendly with them and they had no problems in the country, he explained.
The audience varies in different cities. For example, in Zhengzhou, he and his band had to try hard and use all kinds of games to motivate the participants, who were shy. On the contrary, the audience in Zhuhai was passionately active. Moreover, he said he loves the beautiful city.
In Zhuhai since 2002, Oktoberfest has been widely accepted by locals and expatriates for its exhilarating mix of food, beer, music and German culture. The tickets for Friday and Saturday had been sold out days before and people are still demanding more, according to Betty Wang, PR director at the Holiday Inn.
-By Betty Lin, Zhuhai Daily