Culture shock for Germans when visiting Australia

192 posts in this topic

 

You do realise that you are not actually obliged to answer, right?

Actually the problem is exactly that we do not realize that. I am not German, but I can follow the sentiments by albgardis exactly (the OP's husband's friend are, however, rude tossers to get all aggro on her). When I am asked something I try to answer truthfully. When someone asks me how I am, and I am supposed to answer "ok" even though I'm not, that person is in effect forcing me to lie which I do not appreciate. Hence the animosity towards this behaviour.

 

A good shopping trip for me is one where I did not speak to anybody. I don't enjoy shopping, I just want it done with sans inane babbling about weather, lipstick and shit.

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Ive got to say that its sooooo very German to be rude...

Im sick of the lack of politeness..

maybe they just need a kick up the arse,(or a fist) and told how to smile and be pleasent!!....

Trying to make new friends in germany seems like a task not worth the effort...

rude, stuck-up germans...

 

Goood, gooood. I can feel your anger... it gives you focus, it makes you stronger...something something something dark side, something something complete..

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Your friends are right, if somewhat dramatic. Australians are superficial and disingenuous. So are Brits and Americans. All Anglo cultures in fact. We (yes, I am Australian) talk about "egalitarianism" and "mateship" but its all bullshit. We are polite and friendly on a superficial level, but only when we don't have to do anything. Most Australians will call you their "mate" but they wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. That goes even for close friends, in my humble experience. Don't get me wrong, we Australians have some endearing qualities, but our belief in "mateship" is hypocritical to the point of being revolting. I'll take a grumpy German any day of the week.

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Germany has these meaningless colloquialisms as well though. Are you actually "greeting god" when you say Gruessgott to someone?

 

When I first got here I refused to because I don't believe in God but over time I've assimilated and now it's my standard. Shall I resent the Germans for making me a hypocrit as well?

 

I still refuse. I like the old "Servus!", if it is going to be boarisch. A lot of northern Germans find the whole "Grüß Gott" thing ridiculous as well.

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Your friends are right, if somewhat dramatic. Australians are superficial and disingenuous. So are Brits and Americans. All Anglo cultures in fact. We (yes, I am Australian) talk about "egalitarianism" and "mateship" but its all bullshit. We are polite and friendly on a superficial level, but only when we don't have to do anything. Most Australians will call you their "mate" but they wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. That goes even for close friends, in my humble experience. Don't get me wrong, we Australians have some endearing qualities, but our belief in "mateship" is hypocritical to the point of being revolting. I'll take a grumpy German any day of the week

I had a different impression when I first moved to Australia and I still have. There is a huge positivity in the attitude of most Australians, which is definitely related to the idea of mateship and egalitarianism, even if it may seem shallow sometimes. This positivity is something I really miss here in Germany.

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I had a different impression when I first moved to Australia and I still have. There is a huge positivity in the attitude of most Australians, which is definitely related to the idea of mateship and egalitarianism, even if it may seem shallow sometimes. This positivity is something I really miss here in Germany.

 

Egalitarianism is an artifact of colonial Australia. These days there are class structures the same as in any country. As for mateship, well this was a concept invented to convince young boys into going to war for England. These days its used to purvey various products and political causes, but in actuality Australians place far less value on friendships than in most cultures.

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You are fixated on that fact that someone has asked you a question.

As I have tried to explain, some of us actually try to answer questions. Others (Anglo-Saxons, judging from this thread) ask questions without being interested in the answer. Deciding that your way is right and the rest of us are wrong seems inappropriate to me. I'm just trying to explain why that behaviour annoys me, as it is apparently unfathomable to most people here. You may by all means be annoyed at me not asking you how you are doing, but I am likewise not trying to be impolite.

 

 

If you are in a good mood and give a friendly response, maybe even ask how they are, you might find you like that feeling.

Ive tried it, and I don't like it. I don't give a bit about how the store clerk is doing, as long as he and I can perform an economic transaction.

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Fuck - having read this and some of the posts, it's like banging your friggin head against a brick wall.

 

Why do these people not understand - it's not all about YOU. You're in someone's hometown cussing it, while she's sitting next to you and is your mate's wife. That in itself is an insult, forget 'superficiality', what's the word for 'courtesy' in German?

 

Positivity people - it's what makes the world go round (or at least mine, otherwise I don't know how I bare to live in this country).

 

For the OP - sure they're your hubbie's friends, but do you really have to see them that often? Hang out with likeminded people (and yes, there are also natives out there who are great) and meet them only when absolutely necessary i.e. births, marriages and deaths. They'll be miserable at all three occassions anyways.

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I don't give a bit about how the store clerk is doing, as long as he and I can perform an economic transaction.

 

Shame that they can't even do that on most occassions - forget about the smile! :rolleyes:

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I'm just trying to explain why that behaviour annoys me,

Yes. I can see that it annoys you. Which is why I am suggesting a way to tackle the feeling of annoyance. You can allow yourself to be annoyed by many things. Or you can find a way to avoid it.

I do the same thing myself. I get annoyed mostly by malicious or careless people. But not usually by people who believe they are being friendly.

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And if the German lady in the US feels uncomfortable giving an answer to "How you doing?", how do you think that I as an atheist feel about saying "Grüß Gott"?

 

We all have to fit in somehow and so I'll pick battles I can hope to win.

That, however, doesn't mean I can't still be my friendly self - I love the confusion it causes.

 

EDIT: And I smile when I go into my local Netto store - the cashiers now have to wear badges with "Ich bin freundlich!" on...

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I also don't beleive in fairies. And I don't think of "Grüß Gott" as a religious phrase. More like a greeting. Just like saying "Bless you" to someone who sneezes.

 

 

That, however, doesn't mean I can't still be my friendly self - I love the confusion it causes.

By all means continue. I do it all the time. I say thank you way too much for German standards. But I don't expect them to say thank you to me as often.

 

 

the cashiers now have to wear badges with "Ich bin freundlich!" on..

LOL. I just pictured my grumpy-looking old lady from the grocery store with that pin. I know she's not really grumpy. She just looks that way..

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@Melbel. You know what? You did absolutely nothing wrong. Screw them. Not worth the worry. Have you heard of the term "Ugly Americans" Looks like there are "Ugly Germans" as well.

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Fuck - having read this and some of the posts, it's like banging your friggin head against a brick wall.

 

Why do these people not understand - it's not all about YOU. You're in someone's hometown cussing it, while she's sitting next to you and is your mate's wife. That in itself is an insult, forget 'superficiality', what's the word for 'courtesy' in German?

I don't think anybody has defended the OP's German visitors. I certainly think it's abominable behaviour to go off on people like that.

 

 

Yes. I can see that it annoys you. Which is why I am suggesting a way to tackle the feeling of annoyance. You can allow yourself to be annoyed by many things. Or you can find a way to avoid it.

I do the same thing myself. I get annoyed mostly by malicious or careless people. But not usually by people who believe they are being friendly.

Ommmmmm ...

 

I'm trying to not be annoyed by it (the annoyment coming from my own confusion). Instead I just try to ignore the question, but it's hard because my mental processes are thrown off track.

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"Egalitarianism is an artifact of colonial Australia. These days there are class structures the same as in any country. As for mateship, well this was a concept invented to convince young boys into going to war for England. These days its used to purvey various products and political causes, but in actuality Australians place far less value on friendships than in most cultures."

 

Jesus, what happened to you to make you so bitter and twisted?

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I don't think anybody has defended the OP's German visitors. I certainly think it's abominable behaviour to go off on people like that.Ommmmmm ...I'm trying to not be annoyed by it (the annoyment coming from my own confusion). Instead I just try to ignore the question, but it's hard because my mental processes are thrown off track.

 

It's not about defending their behaviour, it's always about excusing the bad behaviour, by attributing it to German 'social norms' when in actual fact it is bottom line lack of courtesy/etiquette.

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