Renate Ribeiro likes living in the “multicultural city” of Geretsried

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Created: 01/14/2023, 06:00 a.m

Von: Doris Schmid


Has remained true to her adopted country: Renate Ribeiro left Venezuela 30 years ago. She has lived in Geretsried for almost 20 years. © Sabine Hermsdorf-Hiss

A German father, an Italian mother and raised in Venezuela: Renate Ribeiro is a globetrotter. She likes living in the “multicultural city” of Geretsried.

Geretsried – Renate Ribeiro has taught countless students their mother tongue. She loves the Spanish spoken in South America. The Venezuelan taught at the adult education center for many years. In 2015, a stroke of fate changed her life. Ribeiro learned to deal with it. And she found a new calling.

There was good money to be made in the oil industry

The 58-year-old has a German father and an Italian mother who met in Venezuela. “My father comes from Baden-Württemberg and emigrated in 1956,” says the tall, slim woman. Many Europeans came to Venezuela at the time. There was good money to be made in the oil industry in particular. Her mother’s family also came to South America for economic reasons. The German-Italian couple had three daughters and still live in Venezuela today.

To study graphic design in the USA

Renate Ribeiro left her parents’ house early. At the age of 16 she went to Michigan, USA, to study graphic design. She returned and at the age of 25 she married. Her husband Ricardo – who incidentally had Portuguese parents – worked for the Linde company and really wanted to go to Europe. The couple married in 1989, and when their son Daniel was three months old, the young family actually went to the old continent. First to Italy, then to Wolfratshausen. The city and later also Gelting was their fixed point for many years, to which they always returned. Ricardo Ribeiro’s job meant that the family often had to move. “Our daughter Isabel was born in China,” the Geretsried native looks back.

To Mexico for a year with the family

A dream came true for Renate Ribeiro as she packed the bags for a year-long stay in Central America. The destination: Mexico. “It was important to us that the children also get to know the Spanish culture and language,” she explains. Mexico is not Venezuela. But the cultures would be similar. Above all, the cordiality towards other people would have internalized son and daughter there. “We always greet each other with a kiss on the left and right,” says Renate Ribeiro, giving an example, “regardless of whether you know the person or not.”

Her mother says she never found moving house to be a burden. “When we moved to China, I wasn’t excited until two days before we left.”

Flag of Venezuela
The UN counts 195 countries in the world. 106 nationalities are registered in the city of Geretsried (as of June 8). Our newspaper introduces people from all parts of the world who have found a new home here. © pms-graphics

After the stay in Mexico, the family finally settled in the district. When Ricardo Ribeiro fell ill with leukemia in 2009, everything changed. He battled cancer for six years. In 2015, the founder of the big band “Linde Sound Machine” lost the fight. “My husband was a musician at heart,” reveals Renate Ribeiro. The time after his death was difficult, says the Geretsriederin openly. “You learn a lot about yourself through such strokes of fate.”

In 2020, Ribeiro decided to no longer teach Spanish, but to work in the lunchtime care at the Isardamm Elementary School. She looks after first through fourth graders. “We play, do handicrafts, do homework,” reports the 58-year-old. This activity is great fun for her. “It’s super pretty and the kids are super cute.”

The best from both worlds

I was born in Venezuela. The country is located on the Caribbean coast in South America. It borders Brazil to the south, Colombia to the west and Guyana to the east. Venezuela has around 28.7 million inhabitants on an area of ​​912,050 square kilometers. The state capital is Caracas.

The funniest misunderstanding:

I said “let’s burp” once. But I wanted to say “let’s toast”.

The biggest difference:

Venezuelans like to touch each other. That happens automatically. People don’t do that very often here.

What I will never understand about the Germans: This performance orientation that starts at school.

In Bavaria they say “Grüß Gott”, in my native language “Hola, qué tal?”

My favorite dish: Arepas. These are small flatbreads made from cornmeal that can be filled with anything.

What I appreciate about my country of origin: the language and the friendliness of the people.

… and to Geretsried: Geretsried is a multi-cultural city. I like that.


One City – 106 Nations: Published so far

The UN counts 195 countries in the world. 106 nationalities are registered in Geretsried (as of June 8th). In no particular order, our newspaper introduces people from all parts of the world who have found a new home here.

Switzerland: Yvette Sauer comes from the French-speaking canton of Neuchâtel. In 1966 the Swiss emigrated to Germany – because of love.

USA: Valerie Harshman from Maryland followed her fiancé to Upper Bavaria. In our series of nations, the woman from Geretsried talks about Christmas in the US.

Bosnia: Anto Maric loves his job as a truck driver and wants to do it until he retires. In our series of nations he introduces himself and his home country Bosnia.

Vietnam: Truong Diem brings the Magic of Asia to Geretsried.

Slovakia: Maria Looß-Samkova was not able to learn her dream job in her home country. In Germany, the native Slovakian had the opportunity to to get as close as possible to their career aspirations.

Afghanistan: dr Kubra Panahi had to flee the Taliban with her family. Now the Afghan is building a new life in Geretsried.

Turkey: In his home country, Turkey, it is really hot in the summer. “It’s so beautifully green here,” enthuses Yildiray Alkan, while his gaze falls on the manicured lawn in front of the terrace of his semi-detached house. In 1993 he turned his back on his home country.

Ukraine: She has a German name. But for a long time, Anita Weininger didn’t even know that she had German ancestors. “The topic was taboo in our family,” says the native Ukrainian. No German was spoken at home in Lemberg either. She only learned that later in a roundabout way.

Belarus: Ala Aliakseyenka studied German and English in her native Belarus, also known as Belarus. Now she teaches bilingual children in Geretsried in Russian, their mother tongue. Click here for the article.

Netherlands: His father was Dutch and his mother was born in Lower Bavaria. His last name comes from northern France. Hans de Caluwé is a real European mix. The tall man has lived with his wife in Geretsried since 1976.

Kazakhstan: Two things are very important to Larisa Sulemenov: being a teacher and having her family around. The 55-year-old is somewhat saddened that she cannot reconcile the two in her life. But she found a good way for herself, so that she can say today: “I’m glad I’m here.” Your history.

Russia: Elsa Kodeda (39) comes from the Republic of Tatarstan, which is part of the Russian Federation. How the trained opera singer ended up in Geretsried of all places.

(Our Wolfratshausen-Geretsried newsletter informs you regularly about all important stories from your region. Sign up here.)

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