Should we/How to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood

8 posts in this topic

We’ve just officially moved into our new still-under-construction home this week. I thought a good way to say hello to everyone - neighbors that we know and don’t know yet - would be to do a New York style “we’re you’re new neighbors” type of card in which I very basically mention that we’ve finally moved and are looking forward to getting to know them or whatever. I would deliver it in person with my little girl so that she could say hello as well (she is extremely friendly and eager to meet the neighbors). Is it normal here in the Schwarzwald to do such a thing? And if not, would it be a welcome gesture regardless? It’s always nice where I come from but I’m still not so familiar with the culture here and my German is basic at best, but I’m not embarrassed by it.

 

Background:

Our home has been under construction for some time now - slowed down significantly due to the pandemic shortage problems. However we have met some of the new neighbors, most of whom have been quite kind, some not so much. My husband and our dogs moved into the house over the winter so that he could finish up construction. He is very charming but kind of has a very poor sense of what’s appropriate and what’s not so I’m hoping that in my absence he hasn’t put anyone off.

As of two weeks ago I’ve officially moved into our new house (still under construction) with our newborn and our little girl who is four years old. Since I arrived with our little babies I have seen almost none of our new neighbors while I’ve been out and about. The few that I have seen have been extremely friendly, with the exception of the resident stickler who has however been obligatorily polite as the Germans here tend to be.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your plan cannot be wrong. Do it. And good luck. 

 

Whether or not it is appropriate is irrelevant. You need to start somewhere. They may be a little surprised. So what ? You will définitely need to go to them as I doubt they will come to you. 

 

Germans tend to be wary of strangers and keep to themselves. They also put up a wall when it comes to friendship. Getting beyond the superficial greeting can be a struggle.

 

Then again you could strike lucky. Fingers crossed for you.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like it is going well enough already, maybe there is no need to organise something special.

..

I did read about a similar situation in an apartment block. Someone wanted to have a party to celebrate moving in, but they were worried that neighbors might complain about the noise. "Invite the neighbors to the party to forestall their possible complaints!" advised an expert😕

I am a quiet neighbor, I should not have liked that.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About two weeks after we moved in, we invited the half-a-dozen or so nearest neighbours over for coffee and cake one afternoon. That worked well. 

It may depend upon where you live - people like to know their neighbours more in a village than perhaps they would in a large town or city. But getting to know your neighbours helps you integrate.

There may also be practical advantages: we found our baby sitter that way, and various neighbours were happy to help lend tools or share connections when I was telling them about the jobs I wanted to do in the house. 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in a village and live in a village. While not very common, I think this is a very cute gesture and most people would think it charming. Those who don't - meh, doesn't matter. They will probably be slightly confused but polite. 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, optimista said:

You will définitely need to go to them as I doubt they will come to you. 

 

This.

 

We have mostly lived in British enclaves in the past, and there it is normal to greet the newbies with a potted plant or something.

 

In German neighbourhoods this is not a thing. Apparently (probably read it on here back in the day) it's opposite here. Certainly, in the 3 German neighbourhoods we have lived, that's been the case.

 

In the same way as birthdays are backwards - here the birthday person gives the cake/whatever, there the group treats the birthday person. And going round to someone's house - we would generally be invited round to someone, here they would invite themselves. 

 

So why not? It is unlikely to go wrong, and quite likely to be at least neutral and possibly make a real difference. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of weeks after we moved in, a group of neighbours arrived on our doorstep to welcome us.  Our house was a complete mess so I didn't invite them in (still a bit embarrassed about that) and I was a bit confused as to who they all were - we have a big garden so we have borders with 6 different properties.  In the summer, we invited them all round for coffee and cake.    I like your idea and would say go for it.  10 years later, we know them all pretty well.  

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shortly after we moved into our house (village, only 7000 people) in the summer of 2020 (at the peak of COVID restrictions) we put on our FFP2 masks and personally walked over to the nearest neighbours' houses - all 7 of them - one Saturday afternoon and introduced ourselves. No gifts, no handshakes, just saying "hi".

 

Funny enough, they had already watched us closely with interest when we first looked at the house (before we even bought it). Then again they were all snooping around the day we first stayed over night (in the empty house, sleeping on air mattresses).

 

We threw a "house warming" Grillfest for the ones brave enough to enter somebody else's house and backyard a year later (with COVID-fears still widely spread). They brought bread and salt (a common house warming gift in Germany).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now