Marcel Winatschek

Cheers to the House Party

Cheers to the House Party

Last night I found myself at a house party in a part of town I haven’t been before, where half the girls in attendance seemed to be called Julia. I like house parties. They’re much more cozy than clubs. And you can have intense conversations there, often with people you’ve just met. The birthday girl had gone to great lengths to make her party pleasant. In addition to champagne, snacks, and suitable music, there was a bowl full of little challenges at the entrance that each guest could complete if they wanted to. My task was to transform myself into a so-called whoo girl and to cheer loudly even at the most inappropriate moments.

Between the colorful fog machine, soap bubbles everywhere, and a drying rack turned into a beer pong table, I met new people who sweetened my evening with their stories. A photographer struggling with herself, a psychologist from Vienna, and an artist whose individual skills made a packed balcony roar with laughter. I think it’s important to surround myself with new people and be inspired, guided, and encouraged by their dreams, hopes and perhaps even worries at times when I seem to be at a standstill, at a loss, or generally thinking too much about the purpose of it all. And house parties are the perfect opportunity to meet just such folks.

As I step outside and board the over-punctual night bus with two of the many Julias, I am glad to have been here today among all the cheerful faces, whose laughter from the bottom of their hearts makes me forget my own sorrows. The evening has shown me once again that this city is full of unique and interesting characters. And it is unfortunately far too easy to overlook them over and over again in my stressful everyday life as I rush through the big and small streets. But it’s worth stopping, listening, and both hearing their stories and enriching them with my thoughts. I’m already looking forward to the next house party - wherever it may be.

I am Europe

I am Europe

I voted in the European elections this morning. After I bought a coffee at the nearby coffee shop and went for a walk to the next elementary school, where the voting took place, I chose the Green Party because they most closely represent my political views on environmental protection, digitalization, and human rights. I don’t want to leave Europe to the radical left or the radical right. People who trample on our fundamental democratic values out of greed, ideology, or sheer stupidity must not be the ones who end up destroying our chances of a future worth living. Because tomorrow belongs to those who are committed not to fear, but to hope.

I don’t believe in heritage, tradition, and nationalism. Although I was born in Germany, I do not feel German at all, but as a citizen of the world who is dedicated to the wonders and possibilities of all the different cultures this planet provides. For me, the idea of a unified Europe is the logical step away from restrictive borders and towards an open society characterized by a wide variety of people, cultures, and views. Thanks to the benefits, safeguards, and support of the European Union, I have met countless amazing people from different corners of the Earth that I would never have been able to meet without the opportunities of a united continent.

We should be happy to be part of Europe because it strengthens us financially, socially, and culturally. The European Union must be led by people who have only one goal in mind: To improve our community and the lives of us all. By casting my vote, I have helped to ensure that we are hopefully spared a dystopian future in which radicals, fascists, and populists, under the guise of democracy, aim to undermine and destroy it and our very own existences following thereafter. Committing ourselves to the European idea is the best chance we have of a realistic utopia in this period of human history. We are united in diversity, we are the future, we are Europe.