By Monique & Bernard
Seebach is a town in the Alsace region of France, in north-eastern France. It is at the border to and has a population of 1850 inhabitants.
We grow tobacco, wheat, maize and hops. We also have a lot of shops, which is not typical for villages in this region.
Because there is not much industry here, many people work in the large companies in Germany.
We have a very young population which upholds our traditions. They respect the traditions but also live in modern times. Every July we have a big folklore festival called the Streiselhochzeit. It re-enacts a traditional country wedding.
Seebach is a closely-knit community. It is divided into a protestant northern section and a catholic section in the south. This is no longer important today, but sixty years ago, the division was real. Protestant children did not go to the catholic school and vice versa. The two groups did not really mix.
Today, to integrate yourself into village life and to participate in it, it is advisable to join an association or club. We have 30 – 40 such different associations.
Seebach is also synonymous with eat well, drink well, live well. Mothers pass recipes down to their daughters, generation after generation. Traditional recipes are Alsatian Dumplings, Tarte Flambée, Pot au Feu.
The architecture of our houses is typical for this area. Many of our houses are built in the half-timbered style and have white walls and red roof tiles. The typical Seebach houses are arranged in two main parts. A barn is built parallel to the street and the house is built perpendicular to the street. Inside, a lot of wood is used. The typical room is the “Stube”, (living room) and there were also were small built- in alcoves at the back of the room. Grandparents usually slept here. The living room and the dining room were usually incorporated. The parents and their children slept in a separate room. The families stayed in the same house, three generations under one roof.
In early times, each village had its own traditional costume which also signalled a social code. Some parts of the costume show the status of a woman: religion, if she is married or unmarried. For men, shirts were white, trousers black. The jackets had two rows of buttons. Men wore big black hats. The women’s dresses were simple but graceful. The head dress and scarfs varied with the occasion, marriages or mourning.