Nearly five years of my life I spent as a research associate at the Georg-August-Universität of Göttingen. In this time I did a lot of scientific work, taught students and wrote my PhD thesis about the usage of mobile Internet within enterprises. This all not only brought me a nifty book for my bookshelf, but also – according to ancient customs – a nice trip to the goose girl, the landmark of Göttingen.
After surving the final examination all friends and family are waiting with sparkling wine and while you are still recovering from the tension of the questioning you’re put into a pull cart and brought to the market place of Göttingen. There you have to try to get safely over the water of the fountain, up to the “most kissed girl in the world” to bring her a bouquet of flowers and kiss her.
The statue was made of bronze and erected in 1901. Climbing up to the Goose girl was forbidden by law from 1926 on which did not stop this tradition. Only in 2001 the council of the city of Göttingen officially allowed this again – a merely symbolic act, as nobody ever took this law for real. Practicing to climb up before having finished your PhD is – in contrast – absolutely forbidden; it brings bad luck. There is also a copy of the statue at Nicaragua; maybe this rule doesn’t apply there?