Culture shock for Germans when visiting Australia

192 posts in this topic

 

"Guys, it's Friday afternoon. The sun is back out. Chill out and grab a Helles.

 

Sun - where? Not in bloody Maxvorstadt/Schwabing, that's for sure. <_<

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Wow snaark... you haven't ended your life yet!!!

 

Actually Im 1st Generation AUSSIE, not of any UK decent either!

 

A person from Melbourne is a Melburnian. Melbournian is sometimes seen but is considered grammatically incorrect. The terms Melburnite and Melbournite are also used but we are Melburnians

 

Now remember its "UP the street...NOT across the road"!

 

:P

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@ Sylvain

 

There are those differing norms again. Was my post Concise, blunt and plain speaking or just rude and impolite?

 

I didn't find it rude and impolite at all. It was indeed concise, blunt and plain spoken. But when you're trying to make a point, especially in writting, you need to think of how the other person will or might perceive the message. Things like "I see you still don't get it then" can appear as attacks towards the person itself.

 

If you don't care if the person gets your point or not, then using whatever writting standards you desire is just fine. But if you're really trying to make the other person understand your point of view, I find it's sometimes easier to express yourself in a way that will make them the most receptive. Compromising by using the other person's desired writing style makes that person more open to compromise.

 

Now. Why hasn't the clock rang 17h00 yet???

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Actually Im 1st Generation AUSSIE

Hey man, my daddy died in Korea for that flag...

 

...what a coincidence, my flag was made in Korea!

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Hey man, my daddy died in Korea for that flag...

 

...what a coincidence, my flag was made in Korea!

 

Whats that got to do with the price of fish??

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I just try to ignore the question, but it's hard because my mental processes are thrown off track.

Yup! That's good old brain-lock!

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Hah, you wouldn't think there were sooo many cultural differences between two developed, 'western' countries... but it seems people from both down under & the fatherland get very stirred up about a little 'gidday mate, 'how are you' or 'schön abend noch'!

 

Not all Germans are like that mean couple who are friends with your husband - but maybe my viewpoint is different because I live in friendly, laid-back Cologne.

 

Here, the old ladies running the tills in the bakeries or supermarkets can be a bit stoic, which doesn't bother me. But the supposedly famously 'ball-breaking' and rude waiters at the Brauhaus are actually usually very friendly - with a refreshing lack of formality and a bit of teasing.

Same for the taxi-drivers - both the old-school Cologne guys and the Persian immigrants can be very friendly and chatty; and I like that subtle teasing from the old Kölsch dudes.

Maybe it's a language thing- I think it's really understanding language nuances that let you catch the cheeky, informal irony of strangers.

 

And it's ease of language that lets me enjoy shooting the breeze with the local grocery clerk in NZ. Whereas in Germany my comparative language skills preclude me initiating that kind of exchange.

 

I would say that I enjoy saying 'schön abend noch' to the ladies at the Biomarkt and I always feel like this phrase is sincerely returned, even if there is just a hint of a smile. If a sales assistant in Melbourne said 'Have a great weekend to me' with wide open eyes and a big smile, I would also take that on face value. Whether it's saying 'how are you' or 'have a nice evening', these kind of social niceties are just that and they can have different forms of course. Why waste time worrying about whether they are 'fake', as this woman living in America seems to be?

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My friend Kerstin, who grew up in Trier (NRW), always shoots the breeze with the half-Nigerian man who runs the kiosk near her apartment - he chats about his nieces coming to Germany to study and she teases him about his diet asking him if he eats potato chips (when he is actually a fitness fanatic). The elderly couple who are the landlords of the building I work in are similarly chatty when they drop by to check if the roof is leaking or whatever.

 

Again, I would say it partly luck of the kind of people you happen to meet in Germany, and probably partly also a language barrier.

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Now that I have read through the the rest of the thread (took a break since Friday) I am thinking this will be my last post within this thread. I just don't see the point of explaining certain facts and impressions just to be shot down by rude people who actually complain bitterly about the "rude Germans". What an irony!

 

And the few who did understand what I meant and trying to explain the German attitude again - they were then also shot down by the sunny minded who dislike the grumpy Germans. Really great!

 

I don't see the point in it, but I definately have learned something.

 

 

For example I don't understand why in Germany I must refer to someone I don't even know or like, let alone have respect for, as Sie instead of Du. I do it because it's considered polite in Germany but I still find it ridiculous.

 

Also as a Bavarian, I consider your comments regarding us not being real "Germans" to be just as offensive as those Bavarians who consider themselves better than the rest of Germany.

 

Eleanor, you might have misunderstood something generally about the formal speach in German. (Probably the fault of a teacher telling you "Sie" expresses respect). There is absolutely NO connection between the formal speach (Sie, Ihnen) and respect. Really! It is rather a way to keep the distance.

 

So especially the dude you don't like at all, especially him you want to keep on distance by speaking in the formal "Sie" form!!! Only those you like wou will speak informally to, like your sister or friends... So I think you got it exactly backwards.

 

And about the Bavarians: try to research some history about them. The real border between us Germans (Germanics) is the river Main. I am a Saxon, my genetically related "cousins" are in Denmark, the Netherlands and of course in England. I am genetically related to any of them, despite the different colours of our passports. The Bavarian has the same passport as I have, but he is not from the same genepool. Not that this would be something bad or so. I have no problems with them personally, most of them are really nice people. But there I this cultural difference that we both (Bavarians and Northerners) keep up at all times. Remember, there was no "Germany" before 1871! (That is recent in the german point of view on history).

 

And only 20 years ago the Bavarians were thinking very loudly about whether they should leave the federation, because they saw the financial burdon coming with the poor east to join the club. As you surely know, every club member has the right to leave, and they considered it fo a while.

 

So thanks all for your contributions, it taught me a lot.

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algardis, my (Australian) gent read your posts and laughed. His ex-wife comes from Schleswig-Holstein and your writing style is all too familiar.

But it's ok, their children are Australian Bavarians so they still have a chance, the poor little Untermenschen coming from that inferior gene pool and all.

 

Frankly, you are beyond my pity.

But please continue not to see the point - the rest of us won't be sad to miss out on your "sincerity".

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When I was little I use to think when Colin and the boys sang "buying bread from a man in Brussels he was six foot four and full of muscles" I thought he was saying" buying bread from a man named ambrosios" Made me excited hearing them saying that. Well I was wrong....what culture shock.

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And about the Bavarians: try to research some history about them. The real border between us Germans (Germanics) is the river Main. I am a Saxon, my genetically related "cousins" are in Denmark, the Netherlands and of course in England. I am genetically related to any of them, despite the different colours of our passports. The Bavarian has the same passport as I have, but he is not from the same genepool. Not that this would be something bad or so. I have no problems with them personally, most of them are really nice people. But there I this cultural difference that we both (Bavarians and Northerners) keep up at all times. Remember, there was no "Germany" before 1871! (That is recent in the german point of view on history).

 

Oh boy, I wonder what that makes me. 'Genetically' (haha) I am not Bavarian at all, I also don't sound Bavarian, and I have been living mostly in Baden-Württemberg for the past 7 years but I still was born and grew up in Bavaria. I guess that would mean I have to be really confused on the inside, being that my dad is from Northern Germany and my mom's parents are from Eastern Prussia and Silesia but my mom was also born in Munich. Oh how will I (and my mom actually) find a cultural identity?? I mean, we are all essentially Northern Germans, and by that I mean almost Danish, Dutch, and English, and maybe even Scandinavian, yep, let's throw that in for good measure, how can we feel at home in our Bavarian exile, how can we unite these fundamental cultural differences between our genes and our environment? You know, this has all made me very depressed and you made me realize that I have no cultural identity. Who am I? Heck, you can't even go by whether I say 'Grüß Gott' and 'Semmel' or 'Guten Tag' and 'Brötchen' and label me by that. I say both, depending on where I am. I guess that is yet another sign of my lack of cultural identity.

Oh, or maybe you are simply full of shit. Hmm, yup, I think that's it.

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Des is hoid a Greiz mit a preissischen Krampfhenn :D

 

 

 

God, I nearly missed this interesting chat with this howdy dodee expression. My reply to the question how are you? is usually just 'as little as possible' and it breaks the ice every time :) It also helps to pretend to be a little hard of hearing.

As for the Bavarians to be second class Germans,that is nothing new.I happen to be a Dinarian.

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The Bavarian has the same passport as I have, but he is not from the same genepool. Not that this would be something bad or so. I have no problems with them personally, most of them are really nice people. But there I this cultural difference that we both (Bavarians and Northerners) keep up at all times.

A German making comments on the genetics basis of culture. And then adding, "I have no problems with them personally, most of them are really nice people".

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing the humor in this.

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Mariposa - so you are a Saupreiss, eh :P

 

And Bavarians are second class Germans? Na.

It's nice to be a Preiss but it's higher to be a Baier! :)

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Nobody will ever win this arguement because everyone's right. Outsiders need to realize they are living in Germany and things are done the German way here, normal social behaviors included. And Germans need to lighten up when they visit other countries as well. The whole world doesn't revolve around a single culture.

 

Good call.

 

 

I'm happy to accept that it's a cultural norm, fine.

What I can't understand is the justification for it.

 

You've got two choices, either go around in life being a grumpy twat, which has the implicit result of making other people unhappy, or go around feeling positive and friendly on the inside, which, whether it rubs off on anyone or not, and most likely here it doesn't, is surely a good thing?

 

Insincere or not, I'd rather not create a personal "us versus them" mentality every time I leave my apartment, it's a wilting experience.

 

Great post!

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@ ...what's her name? Lanolin? oh, no sorry, albgardis

 

do you believe genetics play a role on culture? fuck, why don't you just gas the bavarians, all organized and shit. Don't forget to give them a stamp on their way out. Oh wait, those rub off when you sweat too much when you're nervous. Better make it a tattoo. When you post shit like that you get shit answers like this.

 

i'd kindly remind you that if it weren't for bavarians, the world would be completely convinced that germans ARE in fact emotionless robots. Bavarians seem to the be only Germans I've met who'll say "let's get drunk and have a laugh". And don't drag the Danes into it because at least they like to have sex. Like, sexy sex, not "am I making it function?" sex.

 

"How are you?" Well if you'd like to know, German bureaucracy is making me racist and german girls are making me depressed.

 

 

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