People Planet: Courting Rituals of Oktoberfest

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Its a fact. Guys, animals or people, do odd things to attract the opposite sex. I've seen it on National Geographic, I have seen it at Oktoberfest and I know it from personal experience.
This is not the real Oktoberfest, but a far more reasonable and less-intimidating facsimile thereof in the woods of Northern California.

 

Oktoberfest Dance

 

And this is Schuhplattler, an old Austrian courtship ritual, a

Schuhplattler

way for
young men to strut their stuff. Originally it was free form: Tirolian
breakdancing so to speak. But now it is highly formalized.

 

Stick some
feathers on these folks and it could be a nature film. I grapple with
the symbolism.

You'd think a little folk event would be about families
and kids. But not anymore. It is about young people wanting to hook up,
a MySpace with beer.

I had fun at the real Oktoberfest long ago. But
the last time I was there it was so crowded that I couldn't even get
into a beer tent. These little local events are much more laid back.
And you can't beat the scenery.

Not all of this dancing is steeped in sexual anticipation, however. The
Bird Dance, more commonly known as the duck dance or the chicken dance,
was invented in the 50s, and h

as absolutely no significance, except
that it makes you look stupid. And in this age of relationship angst
and psychobabble, flapping you elbows like a duck is actually quite
liberating.

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