Over the past 22 months I have had the pleasure to immerse myself in many aspects of German life – daily life, culture, behaviours, trends, traditions, work habits, events – to be able to formulate some observations and generalisations*.
Here is what I have so far:
- Germans like to greet – with many variations of the basic form of hello.
- Germans have guidelines for communicating with others on a formal basis (Sie – siezen) or an informal basis (Du – duzen) and are intrigued when the guidelines are not followed, ‘Did you notice, he offered me the Du!’
- Germans are punctual and appreciate punctuality.
- On that note, lunch time is 12pm. Sharp.
- Coffee and cake hour runs between 3pm and 5pm. Fighting with pensioners to secure a table in a cafe during this time is highly likely. (I am surpised at how many people regularly enjoy a slice of cake or sweet treat).
- Despite the obesity epidemic (most probably fuelled by the cake eating) – the Germany I see is active, with walkers and runners seen in streets, parks, around lakes, at all times of the day and throughout the year.
- Many of said walkers, as well as hikers, are often seen with two ski-pole-like walking sticks in their hands. The Nordic Walking trend is big among the German folk.
- Germans like to wear activity-specific clothing. Yes, we understand that one must wear appropriate clothing when skiing for example, but is it really necessary to wear the summer equivalent of ski pants for your hiking/trail-walking/stick-walking/wandern activities? Outfit ‘sets’ made in light weight ‘breathable’ fabrics and matching sweat-bands are often seen. Continue reading