| The area known as the "Donau Schwaben Länder" encompasses parts of Germany, Hungary, Romania and the former Yugoslavia. However, the Schwaben culture is distinct from all four. Click here to see where it all started.
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DialectA Donauschwaben-Canadian boy born in Canada tells the story of heading off to Saturday morning German School as a young child, confident in his knowledge of the language, only to discover he didn't speak German — he spoke Schwäbisch! Here are some examples of how the Schwaben dialect compares to German.
Although most people think of dirndls as the typical German dress, the traditional Schwaben Costume is actually a tracht . Tracht is technically a generic term referring to any traditional costume (for example, the men's vest can also be called a tracht), but it is normally used to describe a particular type of dress. The tracht is similar to a dirndl, with a few differences. Trachts are almost always made of two pieces, with the skirt and blouse separate. The blouse is a full blouse, and is often covered by a tight vest or a large shawl crossed in front, with the ends tucked into the skirt's waistband. An apron is worn over the large, often pleated and starched skirt. Tracht skirts are so large that some people own special carrying cases to protect the skirt's shape in travel! Many trachts are worn with many layers of petticoats underneath to further enhance the fullness of the skirt. Most of the Adult or Senior dance groups wear trachts to perform in, and many of the older Schwaben women have special trachts brought over from their homelands.
At larger Schwaben gatherings such as our Landestrachtenfest or Tag der Donauschwaben, there is often a fashion show, displaying these heirloom costumes and their modern counterparts.
The trachts shown below are original Donauschwaben trachts, brought over from the old countries by the women of our club when they immigrated to Canada. They are being worn by members of the Schwaben Dancers as part of a "Tour through Schwabenland" evening.
From left to right, the trachts are originally from:
• Schondorf, Romania
• Schondorf, Romania
• Tsched, Yugoslavia
• Varsas'd, Hungary (this tract is actually a wedding dress!)
• Gyonk, Hungary
• Varsa'd, Hungary
If you're interested in more information of the Swabian culture, please visit:
Our Dialect & Costumes