What does HAISL mean??
Almost every village, no matter how small, has one or even two. They sprout from the ground like mushrooms. I’m talking about the HAISL. From the outside, they are usually rather unremarkable, these small wooden cabins. The interior often amounts to nothing more than a hodgepodge of discarded furniture. Old corner benches, sofas, tables, chairs. But it’s cozy and uncomplicated. In rural areas, the HAISL is becoming more and more the favorite meeting place for the youth. Those who don’t live in a larger city often don’t have many options for leisure activities. In villages that are too small even for street names, there are rarely taverns, pubs, or nightclubs. But necessity is known to be the mother of invention. Those who don’t have a car or don’t yet have a driver’s license aren’t condemned to be stuck at home every evening. The young people don’t hesitate, they get to work. Someone has an empty hut on their property or a construction trailer, another person has a stove that no one needs anymore, the next one quickly puts together a bench. And there you have it, the HAISL, it doesn’t take much. With this, the young people in rural areas create their own little world. And they also take responsibility for it. Each member contributes. When you go to the HAISL, you don’t have to go through hours of styling marathon. You can just be yourself, as you are. No one has to pretend. Anyway, everyone knows everyone in the HAISL. There’s no muscle-bound bouncer giving every newcomer a stern look to instill fear. Whoever wants to come, can come. It’s not about presenting oneself in the best possible way, but about socializing. In a world that’s getting more complicated all the time, and where demands on young people are constantly rising, the simple things are often the most beautiful. Of course, there are celebrations in every HAISL. Not every weekend, but when there is, it’s done properly. For many young people, HAISL parties are part of the program every year. People you haven’t seen in a long time, you meet them on such occasions over and over again. That’s part of it too. Even years later, HAISL visitors still remember legendary parties. Shared memories connect and friendships are formed. A HAISL is not just a HAISL. It’s a simple but beautiful place where cohesion arises and everyone is welcome.
by Carolin Böckl