Cliché 4 – Life is Simple… Eat, Sleep, and Play Football!

“Football is a simple game.

Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

– Gary Lineker

World Cup

 

We won’t beat around the bush here. This cliché is straight up true.

Fuβball (football) is the most widely played and attended sport in Germany. There are millions of Germans playing football at thousands of football clubs throughout the country, ranging from social and amateur clubs to the Bundesliga. The professional clubs draw an average crowd of 25,000 spectators, however, towards the end of the football season almost all games are sold out, or close to sold out (approximately 55,000-75,000 spectators depending on the stadium’s capacity).

Some Germans prefer to watch football games at home or out with friends, others prefer to go to the stadium to watch the home games and enjoy the atmosphere, and some fans even travel throughout the country every second weekend to watch their club’s away games. In 2014 Germany won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and almost half a million supporters greeted the team as they arrived back in Berlin as heroes – some supporters even waited overnight to make sure that they had a good viewing spot!

World Cup 2

In short, this myth is absolutely:

confirmed

Images retrieved from:

http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/07/14/1346153/redemption-germany-validates-self-football-power

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2692598/German-fans-descend-en-masse-Fan-Mile-Brandenburg-Gate-greet-World-Cup-winners-team-two-hours-late-party.html

Information retrieved from:

https://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/germany/sports-in-germany/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2692598/German-fans-descend-en-masse-Fan-Mile-Brandenburg-Gate-greet-World-Cup-winners-team-two-hours-late-party.html

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Cliché 3 – Being German is No Laughing Matter

Who is your favourite comedian? Or what is your favourite comedy TV show? Maybe it’s Canada’s Louis C. K., Britain’s Ricky Gervais or Australia’s Ahn Do? Could it be ‘The Office’, ‘Brooklyn 99’ or ‘Fawlty Towers’? Regardless of who or what it is, it’s fairly unlikely that the first answer which popped into your mind was a German or German TV show. This could be because most people think that Germans have no sense of humour. Is this really the case? Is Germany a country filled with completely serious people who never joke? Let’s find out…

When you look up German comedians on Wikipedia there are links to over 100 pages, including some of our favourites such as Kaya Yanar, Martina Hill, Otto Waalkes and Anke Engelke. When you look up German comedies on Google there are pages upon pages of websites listing the best German film comedies including everything from ‘Der Schuh des Manitu’, ‘Fack ju Göhte’, ‘Schlussmacher’ and ‘7 Zwerge’ to ‘Toni Erdmann’ (which won Critic’s Choice at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival), ‘Keinohrhasen’ and ‘1 ½ Ritter auf der Suche nach der hinreiβenden Herzelinde’.

If there are so many German comedians and comedies, why do people still think that Germans have no sense of humour?

Well, it’s a simple language problem.

Whilst most German movies have English subtitles, most jokes simply don’t translate, meaning the comedy is about as funny as a movie about the history of calculus (at this point we’re really hoping that there isn’t some hilarious movie out there about the history of calculus…). Even the movies which are funny and contain jokes with can be translated are not very popular outside of Germany – would you really go to the effort to purchase a German comedy on DVD when you can simply watch English comedies on Netflix? Probably not. Additionally, most TV shows and recorded stand-up comedy shows are never translated into English, either, again, because the jokes can’t be translated, or because there is simply no demand for it. In everyday life the German language itself also poses a minor obstacle to humour. For example, in English many words have a double or triple meaning upon which many jokes are built – this is rare or non-existent in German due to the use of compound words which clarify any confusion which could arise.

So what have we learned? Germans can definitely be funny, you just have to speak German to understand their humour!

Our Tip: If you are quite fluent in German check out some of the comedians which we mentioned above on YouTube. If you are not confident enough yet with your German language skills, buy or borrow a German comedy on DVD and watch it with English subtitles!

 

Overall, we’d say this myth is:

 

Images retrieved from:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/maximilianzender/dasderdienutella?

 

Information retrieved from:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/23/germany.features11

 

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Cliché 2 – If you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re 10 minutes late.

One of the first characteristics which people think of when they think of Germans is punctuality.

Well, they’re not wrong… mostly.

Time

Punctuality is actually quite an integral part of German culture and there are several reasons why:

  1. Germany has a relatively low power distance. A low power distance means that Germans generally view each other as equals. By being punctual Germans show each other that they value another person’s time just as much their own. If you show up late you are letting people know that their time is less valuable than your own.
  2. Germans like to plan. By being punctual, Germans are able to plan out their days very accurately. If you show up late to a meeting you may be forcing someone to push back their other meetings or reschedule appointments – this is a sure way to lose a friend or even get fired from your job!
  3. Germany is among the uncertainty avoidant countries. This simply means that Germans try to avoid unknown situations. If you can’t be trusted with something as simple as being on time, you will not be trusted with more important issues – so if you’re looking for a promotion at work, make sure you’re always on time!

Does this mean that every German is always on time? Of course not, but generally speaking they will be fairly punctual. Although there is one exception…

DB

There’s a running joke that all Germans are on time, except for the Deutsche Bahn (DB) – the largest German railway operator. Although the railway has made large efforts to increase their punctuality, don’t expect your train to be on time. Particularly in winter trains can be delayed for up to a few hours!

Overall, the myth that Germans are punctual is:

confirmed

 

Images retrieved from:

http://www.sushi-suzuki.com/sushilog/2014/02/the-seven-wonders-of-germansgermany/

http://howtoguide.org/myth-reality-german-punctuality/

 

Information retrieved from:

https://geert-hofstede.com/germany.html

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Germans-so-punctual

 

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Cliché 1 – The traditional ‘German Outfit’

When we think of a traditional Indian outfit we think of the sari. When we think of a traditional Japanese outfit we think of the kimono. When we think of a traditional German outfit we think of Dirndl and Lederhosen… but are these really ‘traditional German outfits’?

Dirndl und Lederhosen

The tradition of Dirndl and Lederhosen actually dates back all the way to the 18th century in Bavaria. Lederhosen, literally meaning ‘leather pants’, were worn by the working peasant community as they were sturdy, whereas the Dirndl, made up of a blouse, dress or bodice and skirt, and apron, was worn by the servants and maids as they were very practical for work both inside the house and outside on the farm.

Dirndl und Lederhosen2

So are they are a traditional German outfit? Well, the short answer is, no.

They originated and are still worn to cultural events in Bavaria today, such as the Munich Oktoberfest, and, whilst some people in the Bavarian countryside still wear Dirndl and Lederhosen every day, this is not the norm. Outside of Bavaria they are uncommon, although there are few exceptions, such as the Cannstatter Wasen folk festival in Stuttgart, however, they are not found in mid to north Germany. If you were to show up to an event in Hamburg wearing a Dirndl or a pair of Lederhosen people would probably be very confused or assume that you’re going to a fancy dress party.

We’d say the myth that Dirndl and Lederhosen are traditional ‘German’ outfits is:

Busted

 

Images retrieved from:

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/495325658990769316/

https://raredirndl.wordpress.com/category/what-to-wear-with-your-dirndl/

 

Information retrieved from:

http://www.bavarianspecialty.com/pages/History.html

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Let’s get this OktoberFUN for Teens started!

Herzlich Wilkommen zum Oktoberfest für Teens 2017!

We hope you’ve had a fantastic start to the year and, most recently, enjoyed a wonderful Easter break with your loved ones. Whilst you were busy settling into the school year and hunting for chocolate eggs, we’ve been having plenty of brainstorming sessions about how we can make this year’s Oktoberfest for Teens the best ever!

All of your favourites will be back this year, and, of course, we have some new and exciting surprises in store for you!

EURO 2012 - Public Viewing Berlin

What’s Coming Up…

We are thrilled to announce that the Goethe Institut’s theme for 2017 is … drum roll please … ‘Menschen in Deutschland’ (people in Germany).

Our Infosheets and quizzes will take you on a journey through the wonderful worlds of German literature, science and technology, music and fashion, cinema and TV, sport and give you an insight into Germans today. In addition, the blogs in the weeks leading up to our Infosheets will inform you all about German clichés – the true, the untrue and the somewhat true. Our weekly Arbeitsblätter will also be returning this year due to the large amount of positive feedback which we received last year!

At this year’s event there will be a new game which guarantees nail-biting excitement and will give you even more opportunities to win fantastic prizes! How can you prepare? Read the weekly Infosheets carefully and play our preparation game which will be distributed with the Infosheets in week 6!

Oktoberfest

 

So brush up on your Fliegerlied moves, dust off your Dirndl and Lederhosen, and WATCH THIS SPACE – we have some great blogs coming your way! 🙂

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Paula Hay at paulahaygtb@gmail.com

Bis bald!

Your Oktoberfest for Teens Team

 

 

Images retrieved from:

http://www.oktoberfest.net/oktoberfest-munchen/

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/wm-2014-regierung-will-naechtliches-public-viewing-erlauben-a-944817.html

 

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Das war so ein schöner Tag!

What a day!!! Our feet are sore from dancing, our voices are hoarse from singing, our taste buds exploded from all of the delicious food and we still have an adrenaline rush from those rides!

We hope you enjoyed today as much as we absolutely LOVED having you here!

Thank-you from the bottom of our gingerbread hearts for being a part of the Oktoberfest for Teens 2016 and don’t forget to upload your memories from today on social media using the hashtag #OktoberfestBrisbane.

Bis zum nächsten Jahr!

oft

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Morgen, Kinder, wird’s was geben…

…morgen werden wir uns freu’n; welch ein Jubel, welch ein Leben, wird auf den Brisbane Showgrounds sein!

oft

Kids, teachers and parents – get your shirts and Dirndl ready, and get lots of sleep tonight, because tomorrow is the best day of the year – the Oktoberfest for Teens 2016!

You’ll need your energy to learn how to yodel, dance the Fliegerlied, go round-and-round on the rides, try lots of different foods, take part in our exciting games and competitions, and much, much more!

We have lots of surprises in store for you – so be sure to Kodak those moments and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OktoberfestBrisbane.

oft2

Bis morgen!

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Only 2 More Sleeps!

We had an AMAZING first weekend at the Oktoberfest Brisbane, but the best is yet to come! The Oktoberfest for Teens is THIS THURSDAY!

It’s hard to pin-point what we love most about the day…

… the delicious food…

food

… the incredible entertainment…

band

… the thrilling rides…

ride

… although, if we had to choose, we’d say our favourite thing about the day is getting to hang out with YOU!

Wir freuen uns auf Euch! 🙂

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Geschäftsetikette (Teil 2)

For our final Infosheet-related blog we thought we’d take you on a journey around the world to explore some of the ‘quirkier’ business etiquettes.

etikette1

Timing

As mentioned in Infosheets 5 and 6, Germans, similar to Americans (USA), Japanese and Brits, expect you to be punctual, whether for a job interview, business meeting or business dinner. If the meeting starts at 9am, it is expected to start exactly then, so you would be expected to arrive a few minutes earlier for a punctual start. However, in some parts of the world, such as the Middle East and Latin America, time is fluid and meetings may start well over an hour after its scheduled start time. Countries such as China and India are also known to be ‘flexible’ with their start times. What can you do? Show up on time, bring a book, and never look angry or frustrated!

etikette-2

Greetings

When you greet a business partner in Germany or Australia you give them a firm handshake (without crushing their hand!), but this isn’t the norm everywhere. In countries such as France, Taiwan and Hong Kong it is customary to give a lighter handshake, rather than a firm one.

Fun fact: did you know that too much smiling is considered a sign of insincerity or falsity in Russia?

etikette-3

Business Meetings

Most business meetings will have an agenda, but not all countries tend to strictly follow this agenda. In countries such as Germany, Australia, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand it is customary to follow the agenda. However, if you find yourself in a country such as Israel, Spain, Brazil, Russia or Canada don’t be surprised if the agenda is only loosely adhered to.

etikette-4

Business Cards

When someone gives you their business card you just grab it, give them yours, and that’s it, right? No, not everywhere. Whilst this practice is fine in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North and South America, you should accept a business card with both of your hands in most Asian countries, as the business card is viewed as an extension of one’s self. If you’re like us and like to write down where you met a person and the date on their business card, don’t ever do this in front of someone in (or from) Asia, as this is viewed as being extremely disrespectful and could severely damage your business relationships and reputation!

etikette-5

Gifts

In Germany appropriate business gifts are generally small and not too expensive and should reflect one’s country. However, in some other countries there are other rules to consider. For example, whilst it is fine to present a German or American business partner a bottle of liquor, alcohol is strictly taboo in the Islamic Middle East and among Muslim hosts in Asia. Furthermore, whilst it is often common to present your host in Germany or Australia with your gift among arrival, it is presented at the end of the meeting in countries in the Middle East and Asia to ensure that they are not regarded as bribes.

etikette-6

Have a business meeting in another country or with a person from another country? Then it’s always best to research their business etiquette; don’t leave it up to chance or the last minute, otherwise your actions may be lost in translation and you could even end up offending your potential business partner!!

Information retrieved from:

http://charityowl.com/funny-business-etiquettes-from-around-the-globe/

http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/18/business-travel-etiquette-forbes-woman-leadership-global.html

Images retrieved from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P5kYbjZzy4

http://www.buckliving.com/having-a-good-handshake/

https://www.ichauffeur.co.uk/business-old/punctual/

http://downloads.adventistas.org/pt/comunicacao/materiais-de-divulgacao/agenda-eclesiastica-ape-2015/

http://www.stonebtb.com/news/business-card-etiquette-13496.shtml

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Geschäftsetikette (Teil 1)

We’re already in our final week of Infosheets – you all know what that means – Oktoberfest for Teens 2016 is just over 1 week away!!

Our final topic for this year’s Infosheets is Geschäftsetikette (business etiquette) in Germany. As mentioned in the Infosheet, Germany and Australia are culturally quite similar (for more information check out https://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html and compare the two countries). The Infosheet covers a range of topics from greetings to gift giving – below are two short infographics which summarise a lot of these points!

etikette

etikette2

Did you know that you can even get lessons on business etiquette from Germany’s very own Maria Prinzessin von Sachsen-Altenburg (princess of Saxe-Altenburg)? With her classy and confident appearance, the princess is well-known in the business world for giving presentations on business etiquette by showing the audience that there is more to etiquette than a list of rules! Find out more at http://www.prinzessin-von-sachsen-altenburg.de/ or watch her videos below.

 

Images adapted from:

http://static.businessinsider.com/image/554b664069bedda46efbd144/image.jpg?_ga=1.206123667.1219522011.1474275980

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