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Humanities 133 Germany Culture

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Trista Britton

Germany

Germany, being at the center of Europe, has the largest economy on the continent, and the 5th largest in the world.  All the surrounding countries have had some sort of influence in creating what Germany is today. (Zimmerman, K.A.) German might be considered one of the most important cultures and language among us.  Despite the extreme history and bloodshed Germany has been a part of, the culture is full of rich customs and well-thought-out practices. (German Culture)

  At the roots of this culture, the people are made up of structure and privacy, while valuing hard work.  Some people initially think of Germans as unfriendly and cold, but more so it’s related to their art of perfectionism and precision throughout their lives.  (Zimmerman, K.A.) German is the official language of the people, with regional dialects present as with most countries.  English appears to be the widely accepted second language.  Like in America, handshaking is considered polite and customary, although rude to go on a first name basis.  Instead of saying a prayer and ‘Amen’ at the dinner table, it’s normal to say “guten appetit” with a response of “danke, gleichfalls”! (German)

“In many respects, Germans can be considered the Master of Planning.  This is a culture that prizes forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day.” (Business Etiquette) This is a good summary of business as usual for the German culture.  Careful planning, and again, structure, are the basis of German business practices based around laws and contracts and procedures.  Business is so serious that humor is typically frowned upon, and surprises are strictly forbidden.  This type of unethical behavior might hinder future business endeavors.  

There are many celebrations and cultural symbols that are at the heart of the Germans.  Even in the arts and sciences, Germans have much to contribute and be proud of.  One of the most prolific pleasures we often associate with the Germans is Beer (and Riesling!).  It is by fat the most popular alcoholic beverage among the people, with many beer varieties originating all over the country.  German sausage, or more specifically Bratwurst, is another common associate to the German people.  Together, these two pleasures are in abundance at the countries annual “Oktoberfest” (which starts in September!).  This age-old tradition started from a celebration of the wedding of the crowned prince Ludwig of Bavaria around the early 1800s.  (Zimmerman, K.A.) With Christianity being the dominate religion among the people, Germany also celebrates many of the traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter.  In fact, taking a trip to Germany during the winter holidays can be quite the wonder with hundreds of Christmas markets all over.  The Germans only acknowledge one federal holiday, German Unification Day, which marks the reuniting of East and West Germany.  (German Culture)

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