Folk dance and songs, folk music and cultural programmes for events, festivities and festivals in Germany and abroad, as well as civic and political education: that’s what we do. We, that’s Klingende Windrose, a folk group comprising about 60 members from all over North Rhine-Westphalia. We are continually developing and expanding our repertoire of traditional dance, choir arrangements and music. For performances and special occasions, we wear traditional costumes from many different German regions. Since its founding in 1966, the group has been a member of both the North Rhine-Westphalian association of DJO, Deutsche Jugend in Europa (German Youth in Europe) and of the European Folk Culture Organisation (EFCO). Organising international get-togethers and establishing new contacts and friendships is of particular importance to Klingende Windrose. To this end, we have travelled to many countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. We are grateful for being able to look back on 50 years of our group’s history. At our meetings, we passionately work on our performances and on socio-political themes. With our committed team, with the ideas of our youth, with the juniors from our children’s group and with the experience of our older group members, we are looking towards the future with optimism and confidence.
About 60 youths and adults from North Rhine-Westphalia perform German and European folk dance, folk songs and choir arrangements, as well as observing seasonal customs and traditions. These performances are supported by our own musicians. Many of the songs, dances and musical pieces originate from different German regions and from Eastern-European regions that were formerly German. The same is true for the traditional costumes that members of Klingende Windrose have cut, sewn and embroidered themselves, based on original examples from the 18th and 19th centuries. Songs and dances from many different European countries round off our repertoire.
We perform folk songs and choral works, featuring lyrics and themes that appeal to us and that tell stories about everyday life in the past and today, including love songs, seasonal songs, as well as joyful or reflective songs. We sing at both big and small events, at festivities and festivals and we like singing just as much at informal get-togethers or during our travels. Here are some of our favourite songs: Mit Lieb bin ich umfangen / I’m Wrapped in Love (an old love song), Heute hier, morgen dort / Here Today, There Tomorrow (a more recent song by Hannes Wader), Jenseits des Tales / Beyond the Valley (a thoughtful song), Something to Sing About (a traveller's song), Möge die Straße, uns zusammenführen / May the Road Bring us Together (a hopeful song) …
Original folk costumes from the 18th and 19th centuries! Each of the regional costumes featured their own characteristic attributes. We have re-created these costumes based on original examples and historical references, and one of our members is even a master costume-maker. We differentiate between costumes for women, men, girls and boys and between work and festive costumes. Our master costume-maker helps us with all questions related to costumes and she pays particular attention to authenticity and quality: there will be no missing buttons, borders, scarves or buckles.
The aim of Klingende Windrose is to research and develop the traditional heritage of all German regions and to bring these traditions to the attention of the public at large. We want to keep alive traditional song, dance, music and seasonal traditions and festivities. A particular focus in this context is on preserving and integrating cultural traditions from the regions in the former East Germany, as well as on maintaining the traditions of German minority groups in Eastern Europe. We organise International Weeks of Exchange that attract about 200 participants from 8 to 10 different European countries and, since 1971, we have staged 21 of these exchanges. At these events, we also organise markets to showcase both culinary and other characteristic cultural traditions from the participating countries. Furthermore, there are markets at harvest or thanksgiving festivals and on the anniversary of German reunification.