Excerpt:

Friday is a holy day. And Friday is also soup day. Abdulkadir, Efe and Yasmin sit on their little stools and cut several orange peppers into small pieces. The menu for today is pepper-and-carrot soup with homemade bread, which they prepared the day before. Intern Ayse and kindergarten teachers Seyma and Mirela stand at the stove, where they cook broth in several large pots. Twenty-two hungry children, each between three and six years old and representing nine nations, have to be fed later in the day.

Meanwhile, a few other children sit in a playroom upstairs, where they learn Turkish. Their teacher was sent by the consulate and comes once a week to the Islamic kindergarten in Karlsruhe. She has drawn different types of fruit on large pieces of paper, which she holds in the air, asking what they're called in Turkish. The children are enthusiastic. "Muz," they call out in unison as the image of a banana is held up. "Elma," they say when an apple comes next.

Salih stands out in particular. The six-year-old playfully switches between Turkish and German. Other children here can do the same with Arabic and German. Salih's father, Mesut Palanci, spoke only Turkish with his son until he was three years old. "So that he could speak his native language perfectly," says Mesut in perfect German.


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