How bad is the discrimination in Germany?

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I am, as you see in the picture, have a darker complexion. I am part Hawaiian. One of my children has the same complexion, the other is 'white' looking, though they have the same parents. Is this going to be a huge problem for myself and my son..or will it be more a problem that we are American? I ask this only because I have read a lot on this forum about kids getting abuse at school because they look foreign or because they were American. Any thoughts, situations or advice?

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Jena:Hi!Are you planning to come to Germany then?I believe there was a similar thread a few weeks ago..perhaps someone else remembers where it is?

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How bad is the discrimination in Germany?

Comparable to the USA or any other western country, IMHO.

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@ John..yes we are moving to Göttingen this May/June. @ ExpatUSA, then maybe I shouldn't worry as I have not been discriminated against here?

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It obviously depends on the people that you meet... however, I've found that there is a mild undertone of distaste for foreigners in Germany. The good thing is, it's not a violent or hateful distaste. It's more like the East-West divide, like how Eastern Germans will make a remark like 'Oh, he must be from the West.' etc. Sometimes people make slightly rude comments like that about my American ways (even though I'm Canadian but it's all the same.) Best thing to do is not to take offense as usually no harm is intended.

 

In terms of your Hawaiian ethnicity, I'd say embrace it! I think people will be more receptive than you think... and if you ever get teased about being American, just mention Hawaii and they'll all love ya!

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...then maybe I shouldn't worry...

That's what I was trying to say.

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My son has white-blonde hair, blue eyes... But German kids treated him like a foreigner. Kids will be kids, the world over. "This sandbox is for Germans, not Americans", even though his father is German. I remember the same scheit when I moved to Spain as a kid. When your kids learn to speak German, things will go more smoothly for them.

 

I agree with the earlier post that you (and your children) should call yourselves Hawaiian, rather than American. Germans love Obama. ;)

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Don´t worry,Jena.Toytown would arrange a possee to come and rescue you if need be!Agree with other posters about Hawaii!THAT sounds really cool here!Can we swop places?!And if anyone gives you any badmouthing,remember it´s their problem not yours.No one can punch a cloud.

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Thanks everyone, I feel so much better about it! I believe one should speak the native language of the country one is visiting. I would never go to another country and expect them to speak English to me. I would try (no matter how poor) to speak their language! I am trying to learn German right now. @ John..what do you mean by swop places?

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Nice post @jpp888! Very much to the point. As I said in another thread, @JenamenaP do come here! If you are making an effort right now, as you say, people will be charmed by your German with an English accent – – and switch to English very quickly since most Germans are polite and love to speak to you in your own language.

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Hannoverian..thanks you for the invite. I am coming nd I look forward to my long visit! Being I went to culinary school..the bäckerei look amazing ( I looked some up via internet!) Yes, jpp888...I agree the Americans bring issues on themselves..I experienced that in France when we were living just outside of Paris for 3 months. After seeing a couple of girls scream English at the top of their lungs at an old French lady selling paintings, I was ashamed to call myself American.

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I received some racist slurs today. That might have been because I was cursing at the asshole in English, though.

 

(He was behind me at the meats counter and, as I was next, I moved between the two woman who were being served to see what I wanted to buy. Then he insisted that he was next because I "had left the queue". Um, I hit the roof, much to the astonishment of those serving.)

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People always have some disputes. Also Germans among themselves. Thus, it isn't necessarily racist if they are arguing.

 

If I have trouble with an old lady, I may say to her 'You stupid old hag'. If she would have been young I'd said 'You stupid slut'. That's not age discrimination. It's just... maybe you're stressing the most obvious feature in such a moment. Especially if you don't know their names.

 

And I mean, in America they might shoot you to death if you don't queue up properly. At least, once I read a report about a woman who was shot to death on a parking lot in front of a supermarket in America.

 

And when I spent my time on English forums .... I can't say I was drowned in friendliness and hospitality. But they all were rude sometimes, also among themselves.

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I would have thought you have made a good choice in Göttingen if you are concerned about racisim. (I live in a village just outside)

 

I probably blend into the background better than you, (until I open my mouth) but have never had any problems or even witnessed any. I have a few Palastinian friends - none of whom reports problems.

 

I just asked my kids and they say there is a turkish guy in his class. During normal kid arguments, when insults of all types get thrown, one of them will be "auslander". Apart from that he is simply a part of the class, not an outcast.

 

We don't however like the Groner kids Football team (who are mainly turk/greek) - but that's only because they always beat us - our achilles heal!!!

 

Hope that helps

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Thanks everyone, I feel so much better about it! I believe one should speak the native language of the country one is visiting. I would never go to another country and expect them to speak English to me. I would try (no matter how poor) to speak their language! I am trying to learn German right now. @ John..what do you mean by swop places?

 

Jena:I´ve never been to Hawaii..but would love to!That´s what I meant!

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There is discrimination here, I've been a victim of it many times...but it might be not worse than in UK, France, USA, etc...

 

Now, it depends from where you are coming from. If you are a foreigner from a 1st world country, you will be treated much better as a foreigner from a 3rd world one.

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I am, as you see in the picture, have a darker complexion. I am part Hawaiian. One of my children has the same complexion, the other is 'white' looking, though they have the same parents. Is this going to be a huge problem for myself and my son..or will it be more a problem that we are American? I ask this only because I have read a lot on this forum about kids getting abuse at school because they look foreign or because they were American. Any thoughts, situations or advice?

 

Being a babe helps anyone. As long as you stay away from small towns in the eastern half of Germany you wont be hassled any more than you would anywhere and probably a lot less than in some places in the US. You will probably get more comments about being an "American" (particlarly anywhere near a military base) than being dark skinned. Kids fighting will pick on anything thats different be it a long nose, overweight or dark skin, Its not necessarily racist, just kids.

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If you are a foreigner from a 1st world country, you will be treated much better as a foreigner from a 3rd world one.

 

I've never felt a big difference.

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