Cultural differences between Germany and UK

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jeremy
Okay.

I have enjoyed these DSDS and Ich bin ein star... silly postings but for once I would be interested to set up a more interesting discussion.

I have a question which I would like to discuss:

What are the main cultural differences between Britain and Germany?

(sorry if it sounds like a Geography essy exam question)!
Katrina
Hiya
I know that these are stereotypes and one shoe does not fit all but:
If you are a Christian in the UK people think that you have gone mental and were born with a tambourine in your hand.
If you are a Christian in Germany (particularly in Southern Germany) this is entirely normal (even going on a pilgrimage like to Compostuela - sp? - in Spain isn't that unusual).
Germans have colleagues and friends, the two are separate. British people have friends but go down the pub after work with their colleagues (possibly due to commuting?).
Germans go out with their friends to a bar and sit with their friends as an exclusive group. British people stand with their friends but will talk to other people outside the circle.
British people have a few good friends but many accquaintances. Germans have few accquaintances but their friends are friends for life.
German people watch less telly and eat their meals at a table without watching TV.
British people love their telly and eat on their laps while watching telly.
Just some things off the top of my head.
Any more?
Katrina
MysteryMan
Can a worms there Jeremy

Sometimes I think there are very little differences, sometimes I think they are huge. I think we as expats are probably pretty sensitive to the differences: for all intents and purposes Germany looks the same as Britain / America therefore they are thrown into sharper relief. This would be in contrast to being an expat in a place like Japan where the they are more obvious and thus perhaps subconsciously to a greater extent tolerated.
alanbail
In england its rare to find someone with no sense of humour at all, in Germany this is common . The standard german is in fact as serious and as robotic as they are portrayed back home, fact. next.
don_riina
Spot on MysteryMan.
Recently, there was some topic on the water being hard here or something. If you have lived in Asia, then you see it as quite nice that you can actually drink the water here without getting sick, regardless of whether it stains your bath. The taps in Madras produced some brown muck that you would not even want to bath in.

I am on record for thinking that Germany gets most things wrong, so I won't make any comments comparing it to Britain, apart from one small one. The eating in front of the TV thang.
I think that in Britian, you eat alot more convenience food, whilst here (as I have ranted about 100000 times) bloody everything must be made from scratch unless you go for Dr Oetkers bloody pizza. Therefore, somebody has to spend yonks in the kitchen peeling, chopping and cooking, and thus they may get a bit offended if tha family grabbed a plate and buggered off to the TV. In the UK, sunday dinner is more often than not actually cooked from ingredients, and you are expected at the table. On days when its fish fingers with chips n beans, noone cares if you watch it on front of the telly.

Actuall, its probably more to do with the fact that in England, there is actually some TV to watch, whereas here, there is nothing. Apart from the occasional bit of footy on DSF.
jeremy
Well said Don,

Part of the reason I am so fascinated with guitar is that I am learning everything off the Internet in another room. I can't stand German telly. I heard that when Anglo German couples get a Sky dish the German of the pair ends up watching British telly as it is better.

I virtualy lived off Neighbours with my mates at teatime when I was a student (15 years ago!) Dear old Mrs Mangel... I mean we all had some good telly to watch then! We used to sit taking the p*ss out of it.
alanbail
those long winter nights must have just flown by jeremy... TV is TV, its for morons , end of tv discussion.
acquascutum
the germans seem to have forgotten WWII
the british have not

germans have no incentive to work when unemployed
the british do

the germans think they have the devine right to control europe's destiny
the british don't give a monkey's left tit about europe
Foxy
I may not be popular for saying this, but it defo needs to be said so here goes - Manners. Manners in Britain involve, saying sorry when u bump into somebody; Manners in Germany involve pushing past someone as hard as possible and not uttering a word!

In a supermarket for example, I have lost count of the amount of times I will be looking at a shelf say and somebody just comes and stands right in front of me. What is all that about?

I appreciate its a cultural thing, it just takes a while to get used too when you first move here.
beans
Amen, Foxy.
Big C
@acquascutum - I disagree with your first comment. I think that the germans have far from forgotten WW2. When drunk they seem to love bringing it up with me (being english).
The favourite topic is normally. "I have nothing to feel guilty about, it wasn't me. I am a new generation etc. etc." However the fact that they go on about this for ages, makes me think that may be they do still have hang ups about it all!
pepper
Its not just in the supermarkets, on a Saturday people just seem to wear blinkers ! tunnel vision, they only see what's infront of them, nothing else matters !

One thing for the German culture, is that they seem to use the spare time better than we do in Britain, but then again there is far more spare time in Germany to be had, more holiday, bank holiday's shorter working weeks !

Sitting in coffee bars and making one cup of coffee last around 3 hours while reading the newspaper !
jeremy
@alanbail:

those long winter nights must have just flown by jeremy... TV is TV, its for morons , end of tv discussion.
Well it did last winter. I spent it learning Cubase music software and guitar. I became somewhat proficient in making lots of noise and making an awful version of Jealous Guy which is not for public consumption. Still fun tho.
Katrina
I thought that this was going to be a discussion thread not a big long whinge one
Some things are different, some the same.
What some perceive as a lack of manners, might not be truly a lack of manners, rather a cultural difference.
When I first came to Germany, I was surprised when men, instead of holding the door open for me and waiting for me to go through first, would go through the door first and then hold the door for me to come through behind them.
Impolite? No, not here. This men first though the door is actually extremely polite in Germany and comes from a time when chivalrous men would go through a door first to check for danger before allowing a woman to go through.
So it is different. Not better. But not worse either.
Katrina
jeremy
Well said Auntie Katrina!

God was nice to the Bavarians. He gave them lots of holidays which I appreciate.

So Katrina, reversing the logic to the UK, we let women through doors to check if it is first safe for ourselves?
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