Student Culture in Germany
A culture always has its positive and negative points. Hence it is always important to deeply study the accepted and unaccepted customs of a culture when you are about to enter while studying abroad. When you are new to a place make sure you have proper knowledge of the place and their basic terms. It not only helps you but the people accept you happily if you at least make an effort to accept their culture.
Germany is a country which hosts one of the oldest cultures in the world. When you enter a country with such an awesome culture you are to respect them all the time and you have to make sure you don’t hurt them even unknowingly. A list of Do’s and Don’ts will help you sail through Germany.
Germans are known for their punctuality throughout the world. This really follows in Germany, you will never find a German late even by a minute. This is the first and the most important point to keep in mind when you are in Germany. You are supposed to be on time or even before time if you are to mix up with them. If you are going to be late call in advance and inform about your delay.
It is essential to shake hands whenever you meet someone new. Keep an eye contact while greeting the new person. Say “Guten Tag” which means good day in German. It is considered polite in Germany. Shaking hands with women when you meet them is a strict no-no in India (the situation is slowly changing in the metro cities), but in Germany it is considered normal. So do not hesitate, it is part of the German society.
Have discussions freely
Germans like to talk on important topics even in their tea brakes. Topics like politics, philosophy, cultural and religious differences are top on their list. Even strangers are welcomed with their views on different areas during a discussion. Germans love a good discussion, there are very few things that are considered a social taboo, rest all you are free to give your opinion on.
Have a sufficient change while in Germany
It is seen even though Germans are quite thorough with all the new technologies but the local restaurants and shops do not accept cards. You’ll have to search for an ATM more often than you thought earlier. Carrying change with you is always a good idea while in Germany.
Learn German language
Most of the people think that only English can sail them through the whole world, but it is not true in the case of Germany. A basic knowledge of German language is must if you ever enter Germany. German people are strict and proud about their language and culture. Learning German is a tough nail to crack as Mark Twain rightly said in his essay on German language, but knowing the local language can go a long way in maing yu feel accepted in a foreign culture. It will also help you a lot in your day to day life outside the classroom and help you mix up with the locals and make friendships that last a lifetime.
Do not Jaywalk
Germans are very strict when it comes to rules. You may be charged for jaywalking. Even locals will look at you with anger if they find you doing it, especially in front of children. You are supposed to make a good impression in front of children, so that they become good citizens in the future. Following the traffic rule is a major part of it. In no case are you allowed to disobey the ‘Red man’.
Do not get drunk
It is common to have a beer now and then in Germany, but everyone knows a beer does not knock anyone down, so do not act like you are drunk when you have had a beer. People do not like it when you act drunk in public and you can be fined for it.
Don’t wish someone happy birthday before their birthday
It may seem awkward but this is true, Germans do not like being wished before their birthday. It is believed to bring bad luck if you wish someone before their birthday. It is fine to wish someone after their birthday has passed.
Do not spit on the road
Spitting in public is a common practice in many countries but not in Germany. It is considered rude and is one of the gross things in Germany.If you do so you are sure to be frowned upon and even fined.
Do not show a Nazi salute
Nazi salute or its symbol or anything related to them should be avoided. It is also considered an offense! Be aware of basic cultural respects and signs. For Indian the ‘swastika’ is considered holy but when in Germany make sure to avoid it.