Check out these new videos from the „Heinrich Böll Stiftung“ about the life in Germany. Just click on the link and open the video. They’re available in Arabic with German subtitles and English with French subtitles.
Throwing garbage in a garbage bin. Yeah, I have to admit it doesn’t sound very exciting. But actually, we Germans love our garbage bins. We don’t like trash. We really don’t like trash in our streets. Therefore, we absolutely do like to throw our garbage into the bins which can be found everywhere in our cities. Sometimes, it’s not that easy and you can’t find a dustbin. In this case, you have to carry the trash with you until you’ve found a garbage bin. Doesn’t sound funny? It would be less funny if everyone threw his trash on the ground. And you have to admit – the next garbage bin isn’t that far away.
Politeness. The word “politeness” is quite abstract but it can be transformed into reality in a really easy way. Open the doors for others, offer your seat to a person in need, say “hello”, “thank you” or “excuse me” (you can find the German translations for these words in a former article). It can be so easy to be polite – and to be honest, it just feels good to be nice to other people.
Punctuality. There’re few things Germans love more than punctuality. Maybe Kartoffeln (potatoes), but that’s quite stereotypical, so let us drop that subject. However, it is absolutely important to arrive on time if you have a private or official appointment. By the way, being early is even better than arriving on time! You’re ten minutes early for your job interview? The job is yours!
Sitting on the ground. What seems quite normal in other cultures is rare in Germany. We just don’t like it to sit on the ground without an underlay or something we can sit on. Maybe that’s a part of “Deutsche Reinlichkeit” (German cleanliness). For us, it’s not enough to be clean, we have to be – well, actually there’s no English word for “Reinlichkeit”. It’s just cleaner than clean, you know? I’m not sure if a non-German person can understand it. However, we don’t like it to get dirty. And therefore, we don’t like it to sit on the ground. If we want to sit down, we’re looking for something to sit on, like a bench or a window sill. And what we don’t like, we don’t like to watch others doing it. But you have to admit that it’s much more comfortable and easy to rise from a bench than from the ground.
Being loud. Germans are a people of silence. We love silence. We love it to be silent. Loud shouting or laughing in the streets or at home is frowned upon. We just don’t like it. And actually, I think we just have a problem with the thought we could bother or disturb other people. Maybe, the neighbor tries to sleep? Or the guy next to me has a huge headache? By the way, talking silently doesn’t just train your hearing – it’s good for the voice, too.
Much alcohol. Yes, alcohol is tolerated in Germany. Yes, a lot of German folks love to drink too much on a Saturday night. No, it’s still not okay. Just try to be careful with it. Alcohol is a drug, it’s toxic if you drink too much and you’re probably more likely to have bizarre and stupid ideas. And you really want these stupid ideas to become true. Where does it end? Maybe at a police station. Therefore, just try to be careful. Start slowly (if you even have to start), even if alcohol is declared as a sign of freedom. By the way, did you know that alcohol kills a lot of brain cells every time you’re drinking? Who wants to become dense because of drinking?