Germany’s Day of Repentance and Prayer at Schule Schloss Salem
On “Buß- und Bettag” students of all year groups, staff members and many guests took part in a run of nearly seven kilometres.

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Seit vielen Jahren ist der Buß- und Bettaglauf eine Salemer Tradition. Die gesamte Schule versammelt sich am Oberen Tor, um rund 7,5 Kilometer durch umliegende Felder und Wälder zu laufen. Der Lauf basiert auf einer früheren Wette zwischen Schülerinnen und Schülern und Lehrenden: Erreichen alle Kinder und Jugendlichen nach spätestens einer Stunde das Ziel, so fällt der tägliche Morgenlauf für die folgenden Wintermonate aus. Auch in diesem Jahr bereiteten sich alle auf den Lauf vor – an einem kalten, nebligen Mittwochnachmittag. Trotz anfänglichem Motivationstief mancher Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer kam der Ansporn kurz nach dem Start. Wir genossen die frische Luft und vergaßen alle Sorgen. Für mich war es der dritte Buß- und Bettaglauf. Jedes Jahr finde ich mehr Freude daran, beim Sport Zeit mit meinen Freunden zu verbringen.

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Die Ergebnisse

In den Jahrgängen 5/6 wurde eine kleinere Strecke von fünf Kilometern gelaufen. Bei den Mädchen dieser Altersstufe kam Albertine S. nach 32:02 Minuten als Erste ins Ziel, bei den Jungen war es Danila A. In den Jahrgängen 7/8 kam Zoe S. mit 34:51 Minuten als Erste ins Ziel; sie war auch insgesamt das schnellste Mädchen. Schnellster Junge in dieser Altersgruppe war Jianxuan X. mit 34:17 Minuten. In den Jahrgängen 9/10 kam Ana S. mit 40:44 Minuten als erstes Mädchen ins Ziel, Gleb P. mit 33:31 Minuten als erster Junge. Er ist auch Gesamtschnellster der männlichen Schüler vom Standort Schloss Salem. Erster des Salem International College wurde Elias H. mit 27:58 Minuten. Joshua Dixon, Mentor in Salem und Lehrer für Mathematik, brach mit 24:55 Minuten den Streckenrekord.

Laura Kolontai, 8E1

The “Buß- und Bettag Run” has been a Salem tradition for many years. On this day in November the entire school gathers at the Upper Gate and runs about 7.5 kilometres through the nearby woods and fields. The run can be traced back to a wager made between students and their teachers. If all the students completed the running course in less than an hour, the daily morning run would be cancelled for the coming winter months. Once again this year everyone went into training for the run, which took place on a cold and foggy Wednesday afternoon. Despite the initial lack of motivation among some participants, they sparked up soon after beginning the run. We enjoyed the fresh air and forgot all our worries and cares. For me this was the third Buß- und Bettag Run. Every year I take more pleasure in doing the run with my friends.

The results

For the year groups 5 & 6 the running course was shortened to five kilometres. The first girl to cross the goal line was Albertine S. with a running time of 32:02 minutes; Danila A. was the first boy to complete that race. For the year groups 7 & 8 Zoe S. was first to cross the goal line at 34:51 minutes; she was the fastest girl runner of the whole school. The fastest boy of these year groups was Jianxuan X. at 34:17 minutes. In the year groups 9 & 10, Ana S. was the fastest girl at 40:44 minutes, while Gleb P., at 33:31 minutes, was the fastest boy runner of the entire school. In first place among the students of Salem International College was Elias H. with a time of 27:58 minutes. Joshua Dixon, a mentor in Salem and teacher for maths, broke the previous course record with a new record time of 24:55 minutes.

Laura Kolontai, 8E1


Some thoughts on Buß- und Bettag

As students we take part in the run on Buß- und Bettag, but what is the real meaning of the Day of Repentance and Prayer? It marks a time for individual reflection and soul-searching: what kind of person am I? Is this how I really want to be? What do I contribute to the community? It is a time when everyone can pause and reflect upon their failings and draw a critical balance.

The Day of Repentance and Prayer stems from times of need or adversity, when the entire population was called to prayer and repentance. The word “Buße” means to renounce one’s sins or change one’s course. We achieve reform through forgiveness, tolerance and the ability to think. Whoever finds error within himself should acquire an inner readiness to change and be encouraged to venture a fresh start. It is a time to think about things which have an effect on everyone. What is good about the world? Or where can we make improvements?

The National Socialists in Germany moved Buß- und Bettag from Wednesday to Sunday and thereby in effect did away with the holiday. Perhaps they didn’t want people to show remorse and repentance, since they acted in a quite contradictory manner to the values that Buß- und Bettag stands for. And thinking was reserved only for a certain group of people. This is precisely what we no longer want, for it signifies the real meaning of Buß- und Bettag: reflection upon events in our microcosm and the greater macrocosm, and the role that we ourselves play in them. Buß- und Bettag is intended to remind us that there are problems and crises both within and without the borders of our boarding school. Keep informed about the world and your neighbours, discuss your concerns and try to make changes, even if small ones. In the world and at Salem. Because we are Salem!

Ben Jagasia, 8D1