We are starting our special with Sven Friedrich and Andre Feller from SOLAR FAKE.
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: What associations do you have with Christmas?
Andre: EAT! My family had three days of non-stop eating. It was good and all the family in the house, it’s crowded and we eat, eat, eat all day. But I like it.
RoD: What about now?
Andre: Now? Not so much food now. More healthy food, more vegan food, but still the whole family comes together and EAT.
RoD: So, the purpose - eating and family gathering. I see.
RoD: What about you, Sven?
Sven: Basically, I have childhood memories of Christmas. And I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I always visit my parents.
RoD: Do you like this holiday now?
Sven: I just see all the shops are trying to sell stuff. The good thing is that I’ve made a deal with my parents that we don’t give gifts to each other. So we don’t have the stress of Christmas time. And this is really cool as this is relaxing because you don’t have to worry about getting presents. So, for me it’s more like a vacation.
RoD: I try to imagine: parents, we need to talk! Let’s not buy presents.
Sven: Yes-yes! That was cool for my parents, they wanted it too.
Andre: I like it. It’s very peaceful: nobody has to go to work, everybody has time…
Sven: And start to fight…
Andre: Ha-ha... Everybody can stay inside and sit together - yeah, I like it.
RoD: Some people say it’s too commercial now.
Andre: Yes, but everybody can decide for himself. We don’t like commercial thing and we don’t give presents. I used to give presents, ought to, but not now.
RoD: Did you follow any traditions of this holiday?
Andre: We have a tradition because my sister has birthday on December 24. In the morning we celebrate birthday, in the evening we celebrate Christmas. And EAT.
RoD: What about New Year’s Resolutions? Promises?
Sven: Never, because it never works. You wanna change something, but you don’t.
RoD: Ok, we talked about Christmas, let’s continue. The Magic of Christmas night - is it true or fiction?
Sven: All of it is just fiction, isn’t it?
RoD: What about favourite Christmas movie or story?
Andre: In Germany there is a popular Danish movie.
Sven: It’s not very popular outside East Germany and Denmark.
Andre: It’s a tradition. At Christmas we watch this movie. "Die Olsenbande" is the name of the movies (there a couple of movies...it’s about a little gangster group and they planning big things all the time which always went wrong).
RoD: And what about ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’?
Sven: Yeah, but that’s a movie you can watch anytime.
RoD: Oh yes. What is your favourite Christmas character?
Sven: I, actually, don’t have any. I’m sorry. I am absolutely not interested in it.
RoD: Negative characters are usually more interesting.
Andre: I think so.
RoD: When you understood that Santa Clause doesn’t exist?
Sven: I think, at the age of four when I recognized my dad.
Andre: The same. I saw my dad’s watch. That was the first doubt.
Sven: Usually my parents asked a friend of my dad to be Santa, but that Christmas he didn’t have time. And my father had to fill in. Of course I recognized him. He tried to cover it up but it didn’t work.
RoD: You know, it’s a bit difficult to ask you about Christmas as you don’t celebrate it. How do you think, does Christmas have a religious significance nowadays or it’s more like a tradition to get together?
Andre: In Germany it’s not a religious thing. A lot of people go to the church, but only this single day. It becomes more commercial.
RoD: If Santa drinks Coca-Cola on Christmas, what drinks Father Frost in this case?
Sven and Andre: hmmm…
RoD: Do you have any idea who is Father Frost?
Andre: Yeah. He drinks Absolute vodka.
Sven: Maybe. Or some Ukrainian stuff.
Andre: Or Ice tea.
RoD: Are you going to celebrate Christmas this year? It’s very soon.
Sven: Usually we don’t really have snow.
RoD: Oh, come here then!
Andre: I hope we’ll have snow. I like it.
Sven: I like it too.
Andre: I’ll stay with my parents. And girlfriend.
Sven: I’ll visit my parents and that’s all.
RoD: What can you wish other people? Let’s pretend you are Santa Clauses. Gothic Santas.
Sven: I think, I shouldn’t say what I have in mind.
Andre: I could wish something good for the planet, but…
Andre and Sven: It’s not good for people.
RoD: I catch your idea… Do you remember the best present you’ve ever received? Best surprise?
Sven: It was so long time ago.
Andre: I remember matchbox cars. I was seven or eight and they came from GDR. My parents bought them for me. There was a little store where you could buy them. It was really something special for me.
Sven: I don’t recall. I always was so nervous because I always had to play the guitar for my family when I was young. I don’t wanna say anything bad about my parents, they tried hard. But I don’t really remember.
RoD: Thank you very much for sharing!
For our second interview, we spoke with Holly Loose (LETZTE INSTANZ).
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: What associations do you have with Christmas?
Holly: I don’t have any Christian associations, but my family definitely stays in the foreground. I travel all year round, and my family is waiting for me at home. I spend the days between Christmas and New Year entirely with my family.
RoD: Do you like this holiday and why?
Holly: Yes, I really like all this time. It begins with Advent. People change, they turn to their feelings. I get more relaxed, I work less, and instead, I choose my nearest and dearest to spend time with, and I think carefully what presents I would love to give them.
RoD: Did you follow any tradition on the eve of this holiday?
Holly: Of course, we’ve got a Christmas tree, and Santa Claus comes as well. He always has to wear my boots though, but luckily, I don’t need them when he’s there. Most of the time I’m busy in the kitchen or somewhere else when he arrives, so I don’t really have time to meet him. But he always leaves some gifts for me.
RoD: The Magic of Christmas night – it’s true or fiction?
RoD: Your favourite Christmas story/ movie.
Holly: There are quite a lot. From very sad to thought-provoking ones. Yet, my favourite story is probably “Christkindl Ahnung im Advent” by Ludwig Thoma.
RoD: What is your favourite Christmas character?
Holly: Certainly, it’s Santa Claus. It’s just that I never see him, because I’m always doing something in the kitchen, but if I ever see him, I would like to say thank you for bringing joy to so many children and adults, even if this day seems to be incredibly stressful for him.
RoD: Where and how better to celebrate Christmas?
Holly: Ideally, at home with your whole family, including your grannies and granddads, your own children, and your siblings’ children. A spare place should also be reserved for travellers, ghosts, or people in need. There is a plate for them and a glass of wine or whiskey as well.
RoD: Did you believe in Santa Claus in childhood?
Holly: What a silly question! :D I still believe in him!
RoD: Have any of your wishes, which you made on Christmas, come true?
Holly: I always wish for something general or important, which is a bit too boring, because these things are wished by so many and so often! Peace and health to EVERYONE! It hasn’t come true yet…
RoD: Has Christmas a religious significance for you or is it a tribute to tradition?
Holly: Rather the latter. I cannot fully relate to the birth of Christ. And I find it a bit suspicious, that a child was born, even though the mother hadn’t had sex with the father, and then she said, “Well… It must be a miracle!” I think if a woman said nowadays, “Oh well, this must be God’s child”, I would search for “God” and cut off his balls. But I also understand that a lot of people can see a spiritual background in here, and find support and consolation.
RoD: Why we celebrate Christmas?
Holly: I believe, we all long for quiet moments in life when we can get all the family members or friends together, at least for a while. The world is getting smaller and smaller, because travelling takes less and less time, yet we tend to move away from our nearest and dearest, because the places where we have to work, are always so far away. Time runs much faster and faster, because we’ve got more and more appointments and things to do. But at Christmas, all the problems fade away for a while.
RoD: If Santa Claus drinks on Christmas Coca-Cola, what drinks in this case Russian Father Frost?
Holly: As far as I know, Santa Claus doesn’t drink Coca Cola. But Daddy Frost might enjoy drinking “sto gram” (Translator’s note: literally, “a hundred grams” which means a 10 cl vodka shot).
RoD: How will you celebrate Christmas this year? You will make a snowman or go skiing?
Holly: It will definitely depend on the weather! At the moment it doesn’t seem so. It’s November in Berlin, too warm outside, and there are still quite a lot of leaves on trees. We won’t probably be able to build a snowman. Skiing isn’t that easy in Berlin either. There aren’t enough mountains over here. If there’s snow, we might go sledding with our children. Otherwise, we might make a bonfire in the garden, stand around it, and sing, and drink whiskey, while the kettle is heating up over the fire. And when I go into the kitchen to fetch some plates and stuff, then…
RoD: What wish did you make on Christmas night for yourself? And what did you wish for other people?
Holly: Peace and health. I know is sounds so boring, but it’s really important. Without these two wishes, any other wish isn’t worth anything.
Written by Iryna Kalenska, Ira Titova
Translation: Ira Titova, Victoria Sigeeva (Torrie)