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Between two worlds, my path to myself

Detchen Horeau: My search for identity.

Detchen: My childhood in Tursac, a village smaller than Oberreute, was influenced by both French and Tibetan traditions and views. I grew up surrounded by my father (who is french), my mother (who is tibetan) and my mother’s family, with my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, and Tibetan was our family language. However, my vocabulary was largely limited to everyday use. I often found it difficult to express complex thoughts or ideas in this language, so I would often mix Tibetan and French to communicate with my family.

My grandmother and my grandaunts were central figures of my childhood. Their stories about Padmasambava, about the warrior king Gesar, the sage Milarepa and the Golden corpse were not only entertaining, but also a window into Tibetan mythology and history. I remember that their concern for our well-being, to have eaten enough, was a constant expression of their love and care.

However, at that time, I did not really appreciate the importance of my Tibetan heritage. I wanted to fit in at school and among my peers. Just to give you an idea of how French society works, to prevent possible discrimination, my parents gave me a French first name (Bénédicte) and a Tibetan first name: (Detchen).

An old woman in traditional Tibetan dress stands in a field holding an empty beverage can, a symbol of environmental awareness in rural Tibet.
In the tranquil countryside of Tibet, an elderly woman campaigns for the purity of nature by collecting carelessly discarded beverage cans.

Detchen: In my primary school days, I was sometimes called pejorative names for Chinese people. I looked much more Asian then. However, as I grew up, although my dark hair might indicate my Tibetan roots, I could increasingly pass for white if I wanted to. But, I always used my Tibetan name. Except once, when applying for a job in the legal field, “just in case”.

It took me a long time to realize how strongly non-white people are discriminated against in France. There are so many examples, but I’ll just give you one. During my master’s degree in law in Paris, we were a class of 50 students, and there was only one girl of Algerian origin and me (knowing that some people couldn’t notice my Asian origins). Among the hundreds and hundreds of Master’s students at the university in my year, I saw maybe only a couple of black students.

Interestingly enough, my interest in the Tibetan language and culture grew when I started studying in Paris. Perhaps because of the diversity I witnessed in Paris. While my sister was self-learning Japanese, I enrolled in a Korean course at the INALCO university. While I sincerely enjoyed studying Korean, I then realized that I had my Asian language to be interested in and proud of. This course eventually led me back to Tibetan language.

It slowly led me to forming a project to go to Tibet. A gap in my working life on my CV could have a negative impact on my job opportunities in France. Therefore, I decided to travel before completing my final training (the Paris bar school). After passing the demanding Bar School entrance exam, I spent 18 months in Tibet — a decision that profoundly influenced my understanding and appreciation of my Tibetan heritage.

When I came back to France, I finished bar school after my return and was admitted to the Paris bar association.

Happy mood in Lhasa: Detchen with Tibetan roots and a random girl with French flag face paint smiling outside a café during the World Cup.
A smile across borders: Detchen and a girl in Lhasa share their enthusiasm for the French soccer team during the 2018 World Cup.

Elmar: Detchen Horeau, a young woman currently living in Paris, visited me in the Allgäu in December during the first heavy snowfall. Even when her car got stuck in the snow, she remained unimpressed.

Half French and half Tibetan, she talks about her experiences as a teenager and student and how she discovered Tibet — its land, language, and culture.

This journey to her cultural identity led her from a career as a lawyer to a different career path. Be inspired by her passion and discover her extraordinary story.

Gedankengang - walk & talk

I haven’t been this excited about something I’ve talked about so much in a long time!

💬 I need your opinion! I look forward to your feedback, thoughts and stories: When was the last time YOU were so excited about something that you could talk about it for hours?

Click on the “Learn more” button for a detailed description of the hike from Oberreute to Hochsträß and Sulzberg.

Happy mood in Lhasa: Detchen with Tibetan roots and a random girl with French flag face paint smiling outside a café during the World Cup.
A smile across borders: Detchen and a girl in Lhasa share their enthusiasm for the French soccer team during the 2018 World Cup.
Happy mood in Lhasa: Detchen with Tibetan roots and a random girl with French flag face paint smiling outside a café during the World Cup.
A smile across borders: Detchen and a girl in Lhasa share their enthusiasm for the French soccer team during the 2018 World Cup.

Elmar: Half French and half Tibetan, she talks about her experiences as a teenager and student and how she discovered Tibet — its land, language, and culture.

This journey to her cultural identity led her from a career as a lawyer to a different career path. Be inspired by her passion and discover her extraordinary story.

Detchen: My childhood in Tursac, a village smaller than Oberreute, was influenced by both French and Tibetan traditions and views. I grew up surrounded by my father (who is french), my mother (who is tibetan) and my mother’s family, with my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, and Tibetan was our family language. However, my vocabulary was largely limited to everyday use. I often found it difficult to express complex thoughts or ideas in this language, so I would often mix Tibetan and French to communicate with my family.

My grandmother and my grandaunts were central figures of my childhood. Their stories about Padmasambava, about the warrior king Gesar, the sage Milarepa and the Golden corpse were not only entertaining, but also a window into Tibetan mythology and history. I remember their concern for our welfare, especially whether we had enough to eat, was a constant expression of their love and care.

An old woman in traditional Tibetan dress stands in a field holding an empty beverage can, a symbol of environmental awareness in rural Tibet.
In the tranquil countryside of Tibet, an elderly woman campaigns for the purity of nature by collecting carelessly discarded beverage cans.
An old woman in traditional Tibetan dress stands in a field holding an empty beverage can, a symbol of environmental awareness in rural Tibet.
In the tranquil countryside of Tibet, an elderly woman campaigns for the purity of nature by collecting carelessly discarded beverage cans.

Detchen: However, at that time, I did not really appreciate the importance of my Tibetan heritage. I wanted to fit in at school and among my peers. Just to give you an idea of how French society works, to prevent possible discrimination, my parents gave me a French first name (Bénédicte) and a Tibetan first name: (Detchen).

In my primary school days, I was sometimes called pejorative names for Chinese people. I looked much more Asian then. However, as I grew up, although my dark hair might indicate my Tibetan roots, I could increasingly pass for white if I wanted to. But, I always used my Tibetan name. Except once, when applying for a job in the legal field, “just in case”.

It took me a long time to realize how strongly non-white people are discriminated against in France. There are so many examples, but I’ll just give you one. During my master’s degree in law in Paris, we were a class of 50 students, and there was only one girl of Algerian origin and me (knowing that some people couldn’t notice my Asian origins). Among the hundreds and hundreds of Master’s students at the university in my year, I saw maybe only a couple of black students.

Interestingly enough, my interest in the Tibetan language and culture grew when I started studying in Paris. Perhaps because of the diversity I witnessed in Paris. While my sister was self-learning Japanese, I enrolled in a Korean course at the INALCO university. While I sincerely enjoyed studying Korean, I then realized that I had my Asian language to be interested in and proud of. This course eventually led me back to Tibetan language.

It slowly led me to forming a project to go to Tibet. A gap in my working life on my CV could have a negative impact on my job opportunities in France. Therefore, I decided to travel before completing my final training (the Paris bar school). After passing the demanding Bar School entrance exam, I spent 18 months in Tibet — a decision that profoundly influenced my understanding and appreciation of my Tibetan heritage.

When I came back to France, I finished bar school after my return and was admitted to the Paris bar association.

In the heart of Tibet: Between nature and culture

Insights into the fascination of Tibet from Lhasa to Amdo.

Three people gaze in awe at the majestic Tibetan mountains that tower over Lhasa.
Visitors gaze at the mighty mountain peaks, the 'guardians of ancient wisdom'.

Detchen: Tibet was an experience that surpassed all my expectations. Actually, I didn’t even know what to expect before going there. I was greeted by a world that was so different from what I had ever imagined. Tibet revealed itself to me in different regions, although I mainly stayed in the area around Lhasa.

Arriving in Tibet was like entering another dimension, where mighty mountain peaks, towering like sentinels of ancient wisdom, greeted me with silent awe. Nature spoke a silent, overwhelming language, and time seemed to lose meaning as I absorbed the majesty of the surroundings. Lhasa, embraced by protective high mountains, lay breathtakingly at 3,656 metres above sea level.

Detchen: The Potala Palace, the famous red-and-white building in Lhasa, which holds a deep signification for Tibetans, was a majestic sight. Each region revealed various dialects, traditional costumes, music, and customs.

There are many dialects in Tibet, which are mainly found in three regions: Ü-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. There are many dialects in Tibet, which are mainly found in three regions: Ü-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. In Lhasa, I could understand about most of the language. In Amdo, on the other hand, I found a melodic dialect that fascinated but that I couldn’t understand at all. The Kham dialect spoken in Eastern Tibet was also mostly unknown to me, except for a few words.

View of the Potala Palace on a hill in Lhasa, surrounded by modern buildings and with a mountain backdrop under a partly cloudy sky.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, a symbol of Buddhism and Tibetan identity, rises above the modern city and the natural beauty of Tibet.
A tranquil Tibetan lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains with a pile of stones in the foreground, symbolizing the spiritual significance of the place.
This Tibetan lake, one of many that have fascinated Detchen, reflects the beauty and spiritual significance revered as sacred in Tibetan mythology.

Detchen: I was particularly captivated by the many Tibetan lakes; they were not only of impressive beauty, but also places of profound spiritual significance. In Tibetan mythology, they are holy places worth worshipping. You turn around them as a sign of respect and devotion. Some Tibetans even consider them as goddesses.

In Amdo, where I went during the holidays, I found a world full of colours and shapes. There are so many places I have yet visited and would like to — from canyons to red earth.

The beauty of Tibet lies in its landscapes and in the hearts of the people who inhabit them, that’s a well-known fact and I also believe in it. However, most importantly, for me, my amazement went to the richness and diversity of its culture.

Three people gaze in awe at the majestic Tibetan mountains that tower over Lhasa.
Visitors gaze at the mighty mountain peaks, the 'guardians of ancient wisdom'.

Detchen: Tibet was an experience that surpassed all my expectations. Actually, I didn’t even know what to expect before going there. I was greeted by a world that was so different from what I had ever imagined. Tibet revealed itself to me in different regions, although I mainly stayed in the area around Lhasa.

Arriving in Tibet was like entering another dimension, where mighty mountain peaks, towering like sentinels of ancient wisdom, greeted me with silent awe. Nature spoke a silent, overwhelming language, and time seemed to lose meaning as I absorbed the majesty of the surroundings. Lhasa, embraced by protective high mountains, lay breathtakingly at 3,656 metres above sea level.

View of the Potala Palace on a hill in Lhasa, surrounded by modern buildings and with a mountain backdrop under a partly cloudy sky.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, a symbol of Buddhism and Tibetan identity, rises above the modern city and the natural beauty of Tibet.
View of the Potala Palace on a hill in Lhasa, surrounded by modern buildings and with a mountain backdrop under a partly cloudy sky.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, a symbol of Buddhism and Tibetan identity, rises above the modern city and the natural beauty of Tibet.

Detchen: The Potala Palace, the famous red-and-white building in Lhasa, which holds a deep signification for Tibetans, was a majestic sight. Each region revealed various dialects, traditional costumes, music, and customs.

There are many dialects in Tibet, which are mainly found in three regions: Ü-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. There are many dialects in Tibet, which are mainly found in three regions: Ü-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. In Lhasa, I could understand about most of the language. In Amdo, on the other hand, I found a melodic dialect that fascinated but that I couldn’t understand at all. The Kham dialect spoken in Eastern Tibet was also mostly unknown to me, except for a few words.

A tranquil Tibetan lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains with a pile of stones in the foreground, symbolizing the spiritual significance of the place.
This Tibetan lake, one of many that have fascinated Detchen, reflects the beauty and spiritual significance revered as sacred in Tibetan mythology.
A tranquil Tibetan lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains with a pile of stones in the foreground, symbolizing the spiritual significance of the place.
This Tibetan lake, one of many that have fascinated Detchen, reflects the beauty and spiritual significance revered as sacred in Tibetan mythology.

Detchen: I was particularly captivated by the many Tibetan lakes; they were not only of impressive beauty, but also places of profound spiritual significance. In Tibetan mythology, they are holy places worth worshipping. You turn around them as a sign of respect and devotion. Some Tibetans even consider them as goddesses.

In Amdo, where I went during the holidays, I found a world full of colours and shapes. There are so many places I have yet visited and would like to — from canyons to red earth.

The beauty of Tibet lies in its landscapes and in the hearts of the people who inhabit them, that’s a well-known fact and I also believe in it. However, most importantly, for me, my amazement went to the richness and diversity of its culture.

Diving in Tibetan customs

(Re)discovering a daily Tibetan life as a half-Tibetan.

Detchen: Standing in the middle of the Tibetan crowds was a big and pleasant shock for me. Though I had already been exposed to Tibetan clothing in my childhood, I hadn’t expected these extraordinary colourful outfits from all over Tibet. I encountered clothing styles that were entirely new to me — an aspect that I particularly love about Tibet.

I took this photo in the Lhasa streets during a religious festival. I was astonished by this young lady’s style, the colours she had chosen and her big jewellery. Furthermore, I asked her if I could take a picture of her, and she kindly accepted. She told me that she often posted videos and photos of her on her social media to show her favourite traditional outfit.

Great respect is shown to the elderly and children in public spaces. People help them and make room for them, a wonderful gesture of care and respect.

Tibetan elders, dressed in colorful traditional robes, in front of a sacred site, reflecting the cultural appreciation of old age.
The deep-rooted respect for the elderly that is publicly visible in Tibet is symbolized by this group of pilgrims in front of a temple.
A stylish young Tibetan woman in colorful traditional dress and jewelry at a festival in Lhasa.
The image shows a young woman in Lhasa proudly displaying her traditional Tibetan costume, which she likes to share on her social networks.

Detchen: As I stared discreetly at people in the streets, I slowly realized that, interestingly, in Tibet it is not considered rude to stare at each other. This custom, which might be considered disrespectful in other cultures, is a normal part of social interaction here. I frequently got stared at, my mixed features sometimes drawing attention.

Customs cover so many aspects of people’s life, from clothing to behaviour in public spaces to table manners. I had the great pleasure of sharing meals with fellow Tibetans on several occasions, as I stayed in Lhasa for over a year and a half. Just as I experienced in my childhood, loving persistence is a charming part of Lhasa hospitality: you are given food and drink constantly. When you are invited to a Lhasa person’s home, the host keeps on asking you if you would like some more. Politeness demands that you refuse, even if you still have an appetite or thirst. Knowing that, the hosts always insist on offering you more.

Moreover, I discovered that traditionally, burping is not considered rude in Tibet. Actually, it is not considered particularly polite either — it is regarded as neutral. But I noticed that this attitude is slowly changing.

I cannot finish talking about my experience of Tibetan customs, as they are very numerous and interesting. My experiences will only give a small insight into the multifaceted Tibetan culture as I experienced it in the families in Lhasa; naturally, a generalization for the whole of Tibet is not permissible in this context.

Tibetan child in a colourful hat and brown jacket eats bread, an image that reflects the cultural appreciation of children.
A Tibetan child eating noodle soup.
A stylish young Tibetan woman in colorful traditional dress and jewelry at a festival in Lhasa.
The image shows a young woman in Lhasa proudly displaying her traditional Tibetan costume, which she likes to share on her social networks.

Detchen: Standing in the middle of the Tibetan crowds was a big and pleasant shock for me. Though I had already been exposed to Tibetan clothing in my childhood, I hadn’t expected these extraordinary colourful outfits from all over Tibet. I encountered clothing styles that were entirely new to me — an aspect that I particularly love about Tibet.

I took this photo in the Lhasa streets during a religious festival. I was astonished by this young lady’s style, the colours she had chosen and her big jewellery. Furthermore, I asked her if I could take a picture of her, and she kindly accepted. She told me that she often posted videos and photos of her on her social media to show her favourite traditional outfit.

Great respect is shown to the elderly and children in public spaces. People help them and make room for them, a wonderful gesture of care and respect.

Tibetan elders, dressed in colorful traditional robes, in front of a sacred site, reflecting the cultural appreciation of old age.
The deep-rooted respect for the elderly that is publicly visible in Tibet is symbolized by this group of pilgrims in front of a temple.
Tibetan elders, dressed in colorful traditional robes, in front of a sacred site, reflecting the cultural appreciation of old age.
The deep-rooted respect for the elderly that is publicly visible in Tibet is symbolized by this group of pilgrims in front of a temple.

Detchen: As I stared discreetly at people in the streets, I slowly realized that, interestingly, in Tibet it is not considered rude to stare at each other. This custom, which might be considered disrespectful in other cultures, is a normal part of social interaction here. I frequently got stared at, my mixed features sometimes drawing attention.

Customs cover so many aspects of people’s life, from clothing to behaviour in public spaces to table manners. I had the great pleasure of sharing meals with fellow Tibetans on several occasions, as I stayed in Lhasa for over a year and a half. Just as I experienced in my childhood, loving persistence is a charming part of Lhasa hospitality: you are given food and drink constantly. When you are invited to a Lhasa person’s home, the host keeps on asking you if you would like some more. Politeness demands that you refuse, even if you still have an appetite or thirst. Knowing that, the hosts always insist on offering you more.

Tibetan child in a colourful hat and brown jacket eats bread, an image that reflects the cultural appreciation of children.
A Tibetan child eating noodle soup.
Tibetan child in a colourful hat and brown jacket eats bread, an image that reflects the cultural appreciation of children.
A Tibetan child eating noodle soup.

Detchen: Moreover, I discovered that traditionally, burping is not considered rude in Tibet. Actually, it is not considered particularly polite either — it is regarded as neutral. But I noticed that this attitude is slowly changing.

I cannot finish talking about my experience of Tibetan customs, as they are very numerous and interesting. My experiences will only give a small insight into the multifaceted Tibetan culture as I experienced it in the families in Lhasa; naturally, a generalization for the whole of Tibet is not permissible in this context.

Cultural insights: Between wedding dresses and prayers

My encounters with Tibetan ceremonies and traditions.

Logo of the 'Salt Butter Tea' blog, featuring stylized Tibetan script and traditional cloud motifs against a sun background.
Salt Butter Tea: A Window into Tibet - a blog - invites visitors to share real stories and cultural experiences.

Detchen: I had the privilege of attending two weddings in Tibet that were both moving in their spiritual atmosphere and a bit overwhelming due to the large crowds. These celebrations were filled with vibrancy, joy, music, and beautiful dresses — a marvellous experience that I enjoyed very much.

I also attended a funeral once, but only part of the ceremony. We wrote three articles in English about the special Tibetan funeral rituals on the website https://saltbuttertea.com that I founded with my husband. This website offers in-depth insights into daily life and culture in Tibet, including religious festivals, dealing with death, life in Lhasa and other cross-cultural topics. We are trying to offer an authentic picture of Tibetan life.

Detchen: Growing up as a Buddhist, my values are also strongly influenced by this diverse religious background:

Non-violence: A fundamental principle in my life is to avoid violence towards all living beings. That’s why I have been a vegetarian for a long time now.

Law of cause and effect (karma): I deeply believe in the law of karma, that says that each action you take will bear consequence in the future.

Pilgrims in traditional dress circle a sacred mountain in Tibet.
These pilgrims on their way through the Tibetan highlands reflect the deep religious faith that leads them on a multi-day journey around the sacred mountains.

Detchen: Striving to be good: A constant goal in my life has been to be a good and compassionate person, which is a core idea in the Buddhist teachings. It doesn’t mean at all that I am a good person, but that is the goal I have been told to set since a young age and that still drives me today.

As for whether Buddhists are inherently better people, I believe that Buddhists are like every people in the whole world – humans, with qualities and flaws. Tibetans, as most of them are raised as Buddhists, grow up with the instruction of being good and compassionate, but of course, that’s not a guarantee that they will be.

Logo of the 'Salt Butter Tea' blog, featuring stylized Tibetan script and traditional cloud motifs against a sun background.
Salt Butter Tea: A Window into Tibet - a blog - invites visitors to share real stories and cultural experiences.

Detchen: I had the privilege of attending two weddings in Tibet that were both moving in their spiritual atmosphere and a bit overwhelming due to the large crowds. These celebrations were filled with vibrancy, joy, music, and beautiful dresses — a marvellous experience that I enjoyed very much.

I also attended a funeral once, but only part of the ceremony. We wrote three articles in English about the special Tibetan funeral rituals on the website https://saltbuttertea.com that I founded with my husband. This website offers in-depth insights into daily life and culture in Tibet, including religious festivals, dealing with death, life in Lhasa and other cross-cultural topics. We are trying to offer an authentic picture of Tibetan life.

Pilgrims in traditional dress circle a sacred mountain in Tibet.
These pilgrims on their way through the Tibetan highlands reflect the deep religious faith that leads them on a multi-day journey around the sacred mountains.
Pilgrims in traditional dress circle a sacred mountain in Tibet.
These pilgrims on their way through the Tibetan highlands reflect the deep religious faith that leads them on a multi-day journey around the sacred mountains.

Detchen: Growing up as a Buddhist, my values are also strongly influenced by this diverse religious background:

Non-violence: A fundamental principle in my life is to avoid violence towards all living beings. That’s why I have been a vegetarian for a long time now.

Law of cause and effect (karma): I deeply believe in the law of karma, that says that each action you take will bear consequence in the future.

Striving to be good: A constant goal in my life has been to be a good and compassionate person, which is a core idea in the Buddhist teachings. It doesn’t mean at all that I am a good person, but that is the goal I have been told to set since a young age and that still drives me today.

As for whether Buddhists are inherently better people, I believe that Buddhists are like every people in the whole world – humans, with qualities and flaws. Tibetans, as most of them are raised as Buddhists, grow up with the instruction of being good and compassionate, but of course, that’s not a guarantee that they will be.

Prayer flags in a Christian context: a dialogue

How prayer flags connect cultures and beliefs.

Elmar: You were also a guest at my wedding in Oberreute in 2022. After the ceremony at the church, we organized a reception in a garden decorated with prayer flags. What do you think about us as Christians putting up prayer flags?

Detchen: I feel a connection with people who hang up prayer flags. It shows an interest in Tibetan culture, which I find stunning. We Buddhists also sometimes go to Christian places ourselves. My mum, who is a Buddhist, sometimes lights candles in Christian churches, not out of disrespect, but because just as in Christian traditions, you light candles for sick and deceased people in the Buddhist traditions as well.

Elmar: How do you see Christianity in comparison to Buddhism?

Detchen: Although the philosophies are different, there are many connections between all religions, especially in ethical values such as love, kindness, generosity, selflessness, and forgiveness. These universal principles unite different faiths and cultures by showing that our basic human values have much in common.

Spiritual glow of butter lamps lit in a Buddhist temple in Lhasa as a sign of devotion, in front of a traditional Endless Knot.
Butter lamps in front of a cloth with the Endless Knot, photographed in a temple in Lhasa, symbolize the eternal prayer and wisdom of Buddhism.

Elmar: You were also a guest at my wedding in Oberreute in 2022. After the ceremony at the church, we organized a reception in a garden decorated with prayer flags. What do you think about us as Christians putting up prayer flags?

Detchen: I feel a connection with people who hang up prayer flags. It shows an interest in Tibetan culture, which I find stunning. We Buddhists also sometimes go to Christian places ourselves. My mum, who is a Buddhist, sometimes lights candles in Christian churches, not out of disrespect, but because just as in Christian traditions, you light candles for sick and deceased people in the Buddhist traditions as well.

Spiritual glow of butter lamps lit in a Buddhist temple in Lhasa as a sign of devotion, in front of a traditional Endless Knot.
Butter lamps in front of a cloth with the Endless Knot, photographed in a temple in Lhasa, symbolize the eternal prayer and wisdom of Buddhism.
Spiritual glow of butter lamps lit in a Buddhist temple in Lhasa as a sign of devotion, in front of a traditional Endless Knot.
Butter lamps in front of a cloth with the Endless Knot, photographed in a temple in Lhasa, symbolize the eternal prayer and wisdom of Buddhism.

Elmar: How do you see Christianity in comparison to Buddhism?

Detchen: Although the philosophies are different, there are many connections between all religions, especially in ethical values such as love, kindness, generosity, selflessness, and forgiveness. These universal principles unite different faiths and cultures by showing that our basic human values have much in common.

An unusual decision: Between law and language

From Hogwarts to H Mart: books that shape my life.

Elmar: And do you work as a lawyer today?

Detchen: No, I am a French teacher! My passion for teaching is more than just imparting knowledge; it’s a way of connecting with others, sharing experiences and encouraging growth.

I have fully embraced the digital age and offer my courses exclusively online. The COVID-19 pandemic was the driver before that I had never thought about offering courses online. And today it also fits harmoniously into my life. I live in Paris, my husband lives in Liechtenstein and I travel back and forth a lot.

My approach is simple: I encourage my students to engage in discussions about topics that they and I are passionate about. Myself, I talk a lot about books when I practice a foreign language I’m learning. I love fantasy, historical novels, and memoirs. If they like reading too, I ask my students to do the same. It helps them overcome their fear of speaking, which creates (hopefully) a safe and nurturing learning environment.

Detchen: My favourite books as a child were fantasy books. Like many people my age, I grew up with Harry Potter. After seeing the first film at the age of seven, I immediately started reading the books. It was the beginning of my love for books. As a teenager, I loved “Eragon” and was inspired to write my own (awful) fantasy stories. I also read a lot of French fantasy authors like Pierre Bottero, Erik L’Homme and Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian.

Detchen: Likewise, I also read a French Christmas novel, which I never usually do, but I wanted to give it a try. Not only that, but I also just finished a fantasy book called Nettle and bone, a dark fantasy novel that takes elements from fairy tales. Now, I might return to the memoir genera with “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. I discuss my readings in slow French on my social media to create immersion for people learning French. I am ever grateful to be able to combine my passion for books and my job as a teacher.

Elmar: And do you work as a lawyer today?

Detchen: No, I am a French teacher! My passion for teaching is more than just imparting knowledge; it’s a way of connecting with others, sharing experiences and encouraging growth.

I have fully embraced the digital age and offer my courses exclusively online. The COVID-19 pandemic was the driver before that I had never thought about offering courses online. And today it also fits harmoniously into my life. I live in Paris, my husband lives in Liechtenstein and I travel back and forth a lot.

My approach is simple: I encourage my students to engage in discussions about topics that they and I are passionate about. Myself, I talk a lot about books when I practice a foreign language I’m learning. I love fantasy, historical novels, and memoirs. If they like reading too, I ask my students to do the same. It helps them overcome their fear of speaking, which creates (hopefully) a safe and nurturing learning environment.

Click on “Learn more” to access the description of the circular hike from Oberreute via Hausbachklamm, Wildrosenmoos, Sulzberg, Hochsträß and back to Oberreute via Martins Höhe.

Detchen: My favourite books as a child were fantasy books. Like many people my age, I grew up with Harry Potter. After seeing the first film at the age of seven, I immediately started reading the books. It was the beginning of my love for books. As a teenager, I loved “Eragon” and was inspired to write my own (awful) fantasy stories. I also read a lot of French fantasy authors like Pierre Bottero, Erik L’Homme and Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian.

Detchen: Likewise, I also read a French Christmas novel, which I never usually do, but I wanted to give it a try. Not only that, but I also just finished a fantasy book called Nettle and bone, a dark fantasy novel that takes elements from fairy tales. Now, I might return to the memoir genera with “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. I discuss my readings in slow French on my social media to create immersion for people learning French. I am ever grateful to be able to combine my passion for books and my job as a teacher.

Gedankengang - walk & talk

I haven’t been this excited about something I’ve talked about so much in a long time!

Detchen: I talked so much. I guess I could go on talking about it for hours. That’s the thing when you’re passionate about something, right? That’s the thing when you’re passionate about something, right?

Elmar: Me too, thank you very much!

💬 I need your opinion! I look forward to your feedback, thoughts and stories: When was the last time YOU were so excited about something that you could talk about it for hours?

Click on “Learn more” to access the description of the circular hike from Oberreute via Hausbachklamm, Wildrosenmoos, Sulzberg, Hochsträß and back to Oberreute via Martins Höhe.

Detchen: I talked so much. I guess I could go on talking about it for hours. That’s the thing when you’re passionate about something, right? That’s the thing when you’re passionate about something, right?

Elmar: Me too, thank you very much!

💬 I need your opinion! I look forward to your feedback, thoughts and stories: When was the last time YOU were so excited about something that you could talk about it for hours?

Click on “Learn more” to access the description of the circular hike from Oberreute via Hausbachklamm, Wildrosenmoos, Sulzberg, Hochsträß and back to Oberreute via Martins Höhe.