There are at least six countries that use the German language as one of their official languages.
Most of them may have retained or adopted some German culture and tradition.
If you’re thinking of Germany and only know beers or the popular Oktoberfest, then you have to know more facts about them.
Here are 7 interesting facts about German culture that you’ll love.
German Traditions and Culture: How much has changed?
Sudden changes in German culture and traditions are not new. Ever since the unification of East Germany and West Germany, a lot of Germans have changed over the years.
That includes how each person lives or which traditions they accept.
It is important to know these facts about German culture if you’re moving to Germany or getting married to a German.
But, some of these traditions are also present for those living near Germany or non native speakers that have been occupied by the Nazi regime before.
There are many discoveries in German culture that you can discover far more than classical music, good food, great company, and the culture of holidays and celebrations.
Take a look at these 7 interesting facts about German culture that you will notice once you arrive in Germany.
How Germans wear clothing
Trachten used to be a status statement. Meaning, you can have different types of clothing associated with a religion, class, ethnicity, or profession.
Lederhosen is traditional men’s clothing. Lederhosen, which translates to “leather trousers” in German, are men’s short leather pants.
These are traditionally worn by working-class German men and are generally knee-length.
For women, drindl is a ruffled apron dress that consists of a bodice, often known as a top, and a skirt.
The dirndl was the normal uniform of servant girls in the nineteenth century, but it is now largely worn in Bavaria and Austria, and, like lederhosen, is generally worn for celebration.
Today, modern Germans can wear whatever is popular right now. Many famous brands outside Germany are also seen in the malls or in clothing retail shops.
Popular German designers and fashion pioneers are Hugo Boss, Esprit, Wunderkind, Lagerfield, and more.
German Cuisine (German Food and Drinks)
While German food and drinks vary by region, city, or location, they are mostly consisting of bread, potatoes, meat, and greens.
However, you’ll also get to enjoy different types of beer, cake and pastries (desserts), seafood, and dairy.
Don’t expect to have the same type of cuisine per region. There are specialties for each city, so you won’t get to be eating just pork, beef, sausages, and purely meat.
Throughout German history, the culture of drinking liters of beer is present and ever-evolving.
Not only are grains like barley, wheat, and malt used for food, they are highly important for German drinks too.
Germany has the largest beer festival in the world. People even travel to Germany just to be part of the annual Oktoberfest.
There are also craft beers and beer brewing classes that you can try. Maybe you can even use this as an opportunity to practice your listening and speaking skills.
Luckily, there are also other German festivals that you can enjoy with or without an alcoholic beverage in your hand.
Etiquette is highly important when doing business in Germany.
Germans like well-researched and detailed meetings.
That means, you have to prepare ahead and don’t do any surprises, even if it has an intended positive outcome.
Germans want to be told ahead of any changes or just discuss them as a proposal instead of a fully functional and absolute decision.
When addressing someone of authority or of position, it’s essential to say Mr. or Ms. following their surname.
More importantly, as Germany is an advocate of renewable and green energy, companies should adhere to their social responsibility in promoting these policy objectives.
The culture of being on time (Punctuality)
It’s related to the business culture, but this topic is so important to Germans, that it needed a separate section.
Germans are highly punctual and disciplined when it comes to time management.
It’s critical to leave a good impression of being early for Germans, so arrive 15 minutes earlier than the said meeting time.
Aside from arriving on time, Germans also prefer to end meetings at the exact time or even earlier.
It’s best to get things done right away, so get straight to the point with your business matters.
In case of any delays, inform your business partner or your manager (if you’re an employee) to show respect.
How Germans spend their holidays and celebrations
If your ideal country is one that celebrates its holidays to the full extent, you’ll enjoy Germany.
According to a GFK (Growth from Knowledge) study, at least €1,020 per person was spent on holidays and celebrations last 2017.
It doesn’t only help the people take a moment to relax and be with their families, but it also helps Germany’s tourism and economic industry too.
The traditional German holidays (not in order) are:
- Weihnachten (Christmas Eve): December 24
- Weihnachtstag (Christmas): December 25
- Ostern (Easter): held on the second or third week of April
- Neujahr (New Year’s Day): January 1
- Allerheiligen (All Saints’ Day): November 1
- Silvester (New Year’s Eve): December 30 or 31
- Tag der deutschen Einheit (German day of Unity or Unification of East Germany and West Germany) October 3
- Tag der Arbeit (Labour Day): May 01
- Oktoberfest: from September 17 to October 3
There are still a lot more festivals that are both nationally and not nationally recognized which weren’t included in this list.
If you are planning to travel to
Loving German music
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard famous classical composers and German music artists such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Johannes Brams.
Although Austrian, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was also popular as an inspiration for many German classical musicians of that time.
In the 21st Century, there are still many popular German artists that you can listen to and the genre doesn’t matter.
There is music you’ll enjoy the beats and lyrics for Hip Hop, Pop music, Rock music, Schlager (Folk music), New Wave, and Cabaret and Swing.
If you’re learning German for the first time, why not use music and lyrics to study vocabulary and German verb tenses?
Germans and sports
Some American sports have grown in popularity in Germany over the years.
The Bundesliga, Germany’s top-flight football league, is always regarded as the representative team for German sport.
It is recognized as one of the greatest leagues in the world.
European countries love their sports and Germany has always been in the top leagues when it comes to Fußball (Football).
Sports encourage teamwork, unity, and creativity with strategies on how to beat the competition.
You’ll find that many Germans love for their kids to enroll in sports camps and adults even have their own regular sessions.
Germans also love to do sports during the winter, summer, and rainy days.
You’ll also see famous German athletes and sports figures in areas like tennis, Formula One (F1) racing, golf, and ice hockey.
Don’t forget to do this while in Germany
If you’re an English speaker, you’ll find it easier to study Deutsch since both of them come from a Germanic language.
Don’t forget to visit the museums and libraries in Germany. Studying German history will give you better insights into how the German language has developed.
Try to diversify the places you visit too. Go where the young people go. You’ll also discover deeper German words, terms, and German slang.
Ready to visit Germany? Brush up on your German vocabulary first. It won’t take too long for you to learn German. It is definitely worth it to start your German classes right away.