A Cultural Understanding of Germany


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A Cultural Understanding of Germany

  1. 1. A cultural understanding of Germany Where language is spoken Historic events, celebrations, religions Flags, traditions, customs What of the language we have adopted Famous people, industries, buildings, sports stars etc Costumes, music and dance TourismIntroductionGermany is a large country in Western Europe. It has a population of 81,305,856 (from July 2011).It speaks the German language and he flag looks like this:Germany is spilt into 16 states., and each of these states has a separate ruling government.
  2. 2. Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, most of Switzerland and Luxembourg all use the Germanlanguage. In addition, many other countries bordering on Germany have small German-speaking communities. As a second language German is quite widely spoken in EasternCentral Europe. It is also taught in a lot of schools outside Germany as a second language.Although the written German language is pretty much the same throughout German-speaking countries there are several large differences in the spoken language.Cultural differences between Germany andEngland The schools in Germany mainly are half days however in England mostly school days are 7 hours. In England there is a large binge drinking culture however in Germany the legal age of drinking is 16, as they have a totally different attitude to drinking. They don’t think it is smart or fashionable to get drunk with friends. Germans celebrate Christmas on 6th December as ‘St Nicholas Day’ and this is the main day of their Christmas celebrations unlike England. Christmas was originally a German tradition and has spread to the rest of the world. They don’t start school until 6 in GermanyHistorical eventsPerhaps the most famous historical event in Germany was the holocaust. The Holocaust wasthe mass murder of six million Jews and millions of other people leading up to and duringWorld War II.The killings took place in Europe between 1933 and 1945. They were organised by theGerman Nazi party which was led by Adolf Hitler.The largest group of victims were Jewish people. Nearly 7 out of every 10 Jews living inEurope were murdered.Most of the victims were killed because they belonged to certain racial or religious groupswhich the Nazis wanted to wipe out. This kind of killing is called genocide.The Nazis also murdered politicians, trade unionists, journalists, teachers and anyone elsewho spoke out against Hitler. We will never know exactly how many died but there weremany millions of non-Jewish victims, including: Civilians and soldiers from the Soviet Union Catholics from Poland Serbs
  3. 3. Disabled people Homosexuals Jehovahs Witnesses Polish civilians Roma and Sinti people (Gypsies) Slavic peopleAnother famous historical event was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. After World War II(1939-1945), Germany was left in conflict. The east side (East Germany) was communist,while the west side (West Germany) was democratic. Since Germanys capital, Berlin, fellwithin East Germanys borders, the city was torn between the two sides and also split intoEast and West Berlin. The Berlin Wall was built by the East Germans to keep its citizens fromgoing to West Berlin.Democratic nations (such as America, Great Britain and France) disapproved of the BerlinWall. President Kennedy began to pressure the East Germans to take down the Wall whenhe visited in 1963, and President Reagan pressured them even more in 1987. By the end ofthe 1980s, communist power had declined, and East Germanys government failed in late1989. On Nov. 9, it allowed East Berlin residents permission to visit West Berlin. That day,thousands poured across the checkpoints, and started to tear down portions of the wall tocelebrate as guards watched. German reunification followed on Oct. 3, 1990.Famous people Mozart – famous composer in the 17th Century Bach – another famous composer Michel Schumacher - 7 time world champion F1 driver Boris Becker- a six-time Grand Slam singles champion Claudia Schiffer – world famous supermodel Hitler – leader of the Nazi party in WW2.Customs and celebrations Carnival is also called the “Fifth Season” in Germany; alongside with many colorful costume balls, the highlight of this festival is the Rose Monday Parade with marching bands, dancers, and decorated floats parading down the streets across Germany. Carnival is celebrated throughout the country, and some would say even more so in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Muenster, and Mainz. Berlin celebrates its own unique carnival in summer, the colorful Carnival of Cultures - more than 1,5 million people visit the multicultural spirit of Germany’s capital with this four-day street festival. It includes exotic food and drinks, concerts, parties, and a carnival parade with decorated floats, singers and dancers from over 70 different countries.
  4. 4. The highlight of the German festival calendar: Oktoberfest in Bavaria. EverySeptember and October, over 6 million visitors from around the world come toMunich to celebrate Bavarian cuisine, music, and traditions. There are many colorfulparades, open-air concerts, and of course many beers to enjoy!New Years Day - Many people send New Years Day cards rather than Christmascards. If you go to a candy store or bakery, you will see hundreds of little pigs madeout of sweet almond paste. Sometimes the pig has a penny in his mouth. This is tobring you lots of wealth in the coming year. You will also see pictures of chimneysweeps with their long-handled brooms and a four-leafed clover. This means that thedirt of the old year is swept away and the New Year will be all good luck.On their first day of school, German children are presented with a big paper cone – theSchultüte - jammed full of sweets and school supplies to help make their first day a little lessstressful