Author Archives: Oktoberfest for Teens

Cliché 16 – Es gibt nur eins, was besser ist als ein Hund – zwei Hunde!

Think of a German dog breed.

Now think of another.

Ok, now think of a third.

Starting to struggle? You’re not alone!

Most people think of the German Shepherd when they think of German dog breeds, but there are many more!

Which ones are the 5 most popular around the world? Read on to find out more…

 

 

  1. German Shepherd

Of course the German Shepherd is among the top 5 most popular German dog breeds. They are a rather large breed of dog, able to perform a variety of activities – from herding sheep, to police work (you may be familiar with TV’s most famous German Shepherd – Kommissar Rex!) and helping people with disabilities. German Shepherds are known for their high level of intelligence and their reliability. Their history dates back to 1890 when cavalry captain Max Emil Frederick worked on developing a working dog breed which had a noble appearance.

 

 

  1. Boxer

Boxers are a medium-sized dog breed and are known for their loyal character. They are very patient dogs and make great family pets. The first Boxers appeared around the late 19th century and were bred by crossing two, now extinct, dog breeds – the Brabant Bullenbeisser and the Old Bulldog. Boxers were originally used as messenger dogs and to carry wounded soldiers.

 

 

  1. Pomeranian

One of the world’s favourite toy dogs also originates from Germany – the Pomeranian. There are three main types of Pomeranian dogs: fox-faced, teddy-faced and doll-faced. They are a very noble and affectionate dog breed and require constant attention from their owners. They originated in a small area between Poland and Germany, called Pomerania – hence their name. Although they used to be much larger and used as cattle dogs, they are now quite a small breed and thus very popular in larger cities where most people live in apartments.

 

 

  1. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are medium or large dogs with a very strong and athletic appearance. They are often considered as a dangerous dog breed, however, they have only gained this reputation due to irresponsible owners who have positively reinforced aggressive behaviour. In general, Rottweilers are very obedient and intelligent dogs and can be incredibly lovingly and friendly if raised properly. Their origin dates back all the way to the Holy Roman Empire where their ancestors where used for shepherding and protecting. The first Rottweiler breed was born in Germany in the region of Rottweil.

 

 

  1. Dachshund

Who could forget the Dachshund – also known as Sausage Dog? Its name in German literally means ‘badger dog’ and the breed is characterised by their long body and short legs. Their history dates back to 1888 where they were officially entered into the first German breed club. Although they are generally very friendly and playful dogs, they have a natural drive to prey and often chase small animals and attack them.

 

Other popular German dog breeds include: the Schnauzer, Miniature Pinscher, Great Dane, Doberman and Weimaraner.

 

Is the German Shepherd a popular German dog breed? Of course! Is it the only popular German dog breed? No!

This myth has definitely been:

 

Images and information retrieved from:

https://www.animalwised.com/the-10-most-popular-german-dog-breeds-1250.html

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Cliché 15 – Frosty or Freundlich?

When many people imagine Germans, they think of very cold and unwelcoming people – this is often due to their portrayal in Hollywood movies – however, after visiting or living in Germany many people are surprised at how untrue this is!

Let’s have a look at some of the following situations:

 

Berlin

Photo: Digital Version/ Getty Images/ dpa/ picture alliance/ B.Z.- Montage

 

  1. You have just arrived in Berlin, your starting point for a trip around Europe. You arrived last night, got to your hotel or hostel, had a shower, slept, ate some breakfast and are now bright eyed and bushy tailed, standing on the Friedrichstraβe with a giant map in hand. It is not uncommon for a German to approach you in this situation (particularly if you are alone) and ask if you require some assistance. This person tells you, that you need to head to the U-Bahn station and take the U-Bahn for 4 stations to get to your destination. You walk down to the U-Bahn platform where you are confronted with a ticket machine – but which ticket do you buy? You turn around and see someone waiting to use the machine and ask them which ticket you require, and they will probably run you through your options and help you find the best one (unless they are in a rush and the U-Bahn is coming in 1 minute, in which case it might be best to let them go first and ask someone else!).

 

Breakfast

 

  1. You are in high school and are going on exchange to Germany over the summer holidays. You nervously walk out of the doors at Frankfurt Airport where you see your exchange family waiting for you with a big welcome sign and huge smiles across their faces. Waiting on your bed at home is a selection of German chocolates. Your host mother has made a lovely dinner for you and sends you to bed early, so that you have a better chance of getting over your jet lag. In the morning your host family greets you at the breakfast table – which is covered with every breakfast food imaginable – and asks you about what you’d like to see during your stay in Germany, so that they can try and take you everywhere you’d like to go.

 

Refugees

 

  1. At the beginning of the current refugee crisis, the world turned to see what Germany would do – and they did exactly what everyone expected them to do: they opened up their arms and their hearts to welcome those in need. Most cities were overwhelmed by the amount of items donated – everything from food, to clothing, and medical supplies. In many cities refugees were welcomed by a large feast prepared by the locals and many people around the country, particularly students, have volunteered their free time to teach the refugees English.

 

Is everyone in Germany super friendly and welcoming? Of course not.

Is everyone in Germany cold and welcoming? Absolutely not – not even close! We’d say this myth is totally:

busted

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_wednesday_chef/2013/04/a-real-german-breakfast.html

 

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Cliché 14 – Deutsche lieben Sport. Ritter Sport!

Do Germans love football? Absolutely! Just about everyone has a Bundesliga team which they follow, and every week (during the football season) thousands of fans around the country flock to football stadiums to support their favourite team(s).

… But is football the only sport which Germans play? Absolutely not!

 

Schumacher

 

Motorsport (Formula 1)

Michael Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel.

Nowadays these are household names, not only in Germany, but around the world. These two drivers dominated the world of Formula 1 for many years and made watching the races on a Sunday afternoon a favourite German pastime.

 

BadBoys

Copyright: DHB/ Tilo Wiedensohler

 

Handball

Handball is a widely played and loved sport in Germany. The German National Team – Bad Boys (link to http://www.badboys-handball.com/nationen/deutschland) – is considered one of the best teams in the world, boasting nine world championship titles and two European championship titles. After winning their last world championship title in 2007, the team had a rocky performance for a few years, missing out on qualifying for the European championship in 2014. At the European championship in 2016, the Bad Boys were predicted to get kicked out of the competition in the group stage, however, in what has been described as a Sommermärchen (summer fairy tale), they ended up winning the entire competition.

 

IceHockey

Copyright: City-Press GbR

 

Ice Hockey

Although Canada and the USA are most famous for their love of ice hockey, Germans love it too! In fact, many people say that there is no sport in Germany where the fans are as noisy, and party quite as hard at the games, than at ice hockey games. Most major cities in Germany have an ice hockey team – so why not head to a game sometime and see if this rumour is true?

Although not many German players have made it into the American NHL, the German ice hockey league is considered to be one of the best leagues worldwide.

 

Tennis

Copyright: AFP

 

Tennis

The hype around tennis in Germany started in the 90s. Boris Becker became the youngest player ever to win the title of Wimbledon, whilst Steffi Graf was the top female player in the world for many years (you can get a picture with Boris and Steffi at Madame Tussauds in Berlin!). The hype died down for a few years, but with Angelique Kerber winning the Australian Open and US Open in 2016, the nation is once again closely following the sport.

 

Skiing

 

Skiing

Ask any German what they are doing over the winter break, and many will reply “Ich fahre in den Skiurlaub” (I’m going on a skiing holiday). Every winter, the roads heading towards the mountains are full of traffic jams, as most families and friend groups head up to the Alps to spend a week or two skiing or snowboarding (and warming up with a hot chocolate by the fire in the ski huts).

 

Cycling

Photo: Tim de Waele | http://www.tdwsport.com/

 

Cycling

Many people enjoy cycling in Germany, in fact, in one week in Germany you will see more people cycling around town than you may see in Australia in an entire year. When it comes to the professional sport, there are not too many professional cyclists, however, Germans do enjoy watching sport on TV of an afternoon – particularly the Tour de France. In fact, cycling is one of the most watched sports on TV in Germany!

                                                                                                                                                                    

The myth that football is the only sport which Germans play or watch is absolutely:

busted

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.movingto-germany.com/top-10-sports-in-germany/

http://www.tourism-review.com/ski-tourism-in-germany-to-be-hit-by-climate-change-news4896

 

 

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Cliché 13 – Are you bread-y?

Last week was all about cake, so let’s talk about our second favourite baked item: bread!

When Germans come to Australia, their first complaint will usually be “Es gibt hier keine richtigen Brötchen und das Brot hat keine Körner!” (There are no proper bread rolls here and the bread doesn’t have any grains!”) Australians then often think “What on Earth are they on about? Our bread is fine! What a weird thing to complain about…”

The common stereotype is that Germans love their bread and that they know how to bake it! Is this true? Let’s find out…

 

k7251-27

 

The very first bread was made sometime over 10,000 years ago when people started to harvest grains for food. The grains were ground down and mixed together with water to create porridge. A little while later, this ‘porridge’ was baked in ashes or on top of hot stones to make a sort of flatbread. This initial ‘baking’ lead to two ground-breaking discoveries:

  1. People realised that if they surrounded the mixture with heat, rather than just placing it on a hot stone, this would create a round bread – and thus, the first ovens were born!
  2. People discovered that if they let the mixture stand for a few days, yeast would be attracted to the dough, which would make it rise, resulting in much lighter, airy breads.

Who knew that adding water to a few grains would result in the invention of one of our favourite kitchen appliances?

 

Symbolbild Bäckerei

 

Now, the baking of this initial bread occurred in several places around the world. Throughout the years, bread has become more than just a food in Germany – it has become an integral part of the country’s culture. Germans start their day by eating Brötchen (bread rolls) for breakfast, and finish their day with a light Abendbrot (literally, “evening bread”) (Germans eat their main meal at lunch time and therefore only have a light evening meal). Bread is also found at every festival – whether it be a Fischbrötchen (bread roll with fish) in Hamburg or a Leberkässemmel (meat loaf on a bread roll) at Munich’s Oktoberfest, and, of course, the big, soft Brezeln (pretzels) should never be missing!

Did you know that Germany produces more varieties of bread than any other culture? There are over 300 varieties of dark and light breads made in Germany, as well as more than 1,200 varieties of bread rolls and other small breads. As with all German food, there is no “typical” German bread, as the “typical” type is dependent on what region you are in. Overall, people in the northern parts typically prefer the darker, heavier breads, such as rye breads, whereas those in the southern parts generally prefer lighter breads made with wheat.

You can find out more about the different categories of German bread here: http://www.germanfoodguide.com/breadcat.cfm

 

Overall, the myth that Germans love bread and know how to bake it is definitely

confirmed

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.germanfoodguide.com/bread.cfm

https://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/2016/05/16/american-expat-tries-and-fails-to-make-german-bread/

http://m.uk.diplo.de/Vertretung/unitedkingdom/en/01/4IntangibleHeritage/Bread.html

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Cliché 12 – Aber bitte mit Sahne!

“Let them eat cake.” (As the famous quote, commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette, goes.)

And cake we shall eat!

 

Let’s talk about German cake. Your first thought was probably ‘German cake? Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!”

 

Cake2

 

Yes. The Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is probably the most famous German cake, but is it the only one? The answer to that is absolutely and unequivocally – no!

Cake is an incredibly important part of the German culture. Although this tradition is not as common with younger people, the daily (or weekend) ritual of ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake) is something you’ll find throughout the entire country – whether you’re in München, Köln or Bonn!

There is no official count of how many types of cake there are in Germany. There are some classic recipes which have been around for centuries, however, although the ‘official’ recipes which bakers learn may not have changed, every family will have their own recipe. This means that for every cake there is you have hundreds, if not thousands, of slightly different recipes! That’s a whole lot of cake!

 

Cake1

 

What kind of cakes do they make in Germany? All kinds! There are cakes with chocolate, biscuit bases, fruit fillings, cheesecakes, jam, nuts, cream… you name it, Germany has it!

One thing you will find whilst you travel throughout Germany, is that every region has its specialties – no two bakeries have the same assortment of cakes! We strongly suggest doing a Torten/Kuchen-Reise (cake tour) throughout Germany!

 

Overall, the myth that the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is Germany’s only cake is unquestionably

busted

 

Images retrieved from:

http://germanculture.com.ua/baking-recipes/black-forest-cake-2/

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2011/10/01/german-flag-layer-cake/

 

 

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Cliché 11 – You’re in my way!

If you have been to, or lived in, Germany, you may have experienced one of the following scenarios:

  • You’ve parked your car at the shopping centre and get out of the car. Someone standing by tells you that you did not park very well and should probably straighten up.
  • Your hedge is growing over the fence into your neighbour’s yard. Your neighbour tells you that you must cut it immediately, otherwise they will hire a gardener and you will receive their bill.
  • You accidentally stand on the wrong side of the escalator. Someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you to move over because you’re in everyone’s way.
  • You throw your trash into the trash can. An elderly lady scolds you, as if you are her grandchild, because you threw your paper into the general trash can, instead of the specially marked paper trash can located 50m away.

This is not because Germans are rude, they are simply direct.

 

UK Train Travel

 

If you have just arrived in Germany from Australia, it can sometimes be shocking that people would tell you things like this to your face with no regard for your feelings, but the simple fact is that Germans live in a society where they are able to express these thoughts. If you are standing in the way, they will tell you. If you throw your trash into the wrong trash can, they will tell you. If you’re taking too long on deciding what kind of bread roll you want at the bakery, you guessed it, they will tell you!

Whilst you may get a brief shock the first time you are told off for doing the wrong thing by a complete stranger, don’t take it to heart – they aren’t trying to upset you, they’re simply stating what’s on their mind. So if someone is standing in your way in Germany, don’t be afraid to tell them so, and if someone tells you that you are standing in their way, simply move aside (if you really want to confuse them, say ‘Entschuldigung’ (sorry) with a big smile on your face as you move aside).

Overall, the myth that Germans are direct is absolutely, 100%:

confirmed

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

https://www.german-way.com/germans-the-notoriously-direct/

http://www.macleans.ca/society/why-the-escalator-etiquette-of-stand-right-walk-left-is-wrong/

 

 

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Cliché 10 – Ordnung muss sein (there must be order)

When you go to a German house you will likely find that the garbage is separated into at least 4 different bins. People do not cross the road when the pedestrian light is red. There is a government office called the ‘Ordnungsamt’ – literally translated to ‘The Office of Order.’

It’s no wonder that Germany is known for being a highly organised, and as a result of this also highly efficient, country. The real question here is, where did all this order come from?

Well, many have speculated. Some suggest that it is due to the climate – in areas where the four seasons are very pronounced, people tend to become more organised, as they must systematically grow, harvest and store their food if they want to survive. Another suggestion is that their tendency to be organised comes from their punctuality – if you want to be on time, you must be organised. Finally, it could be due to Prussian times – Prussia, a German kingdom many years ago, was most famous for having a highly organised army. Whilst there may be no single answer to this question, it is definitely true that Germans are, in general, highly organised.

 

Ordnung

 

Is there an exception to the rule?

Of course!

Whilst Germans love order in most aspects of their life, there is one time when there is total chaos. Whether you’re waiting in the bakery on a Sunday morning to order fresh bread rolls or whether you’re waiting for a bus, you will soon come to realise that Germans do not queue. Don’t be surprised if the sweet old lady pushes right in front of you, even though she arrived a good 5 minutes after you.

 

Queue

 

Although this is one MAJOR exception, overall we’d say the myth that Germans are very organised is:

 

confirmed

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-if-there-is-one-the-historical-reason-why-Germans-are-so-disciplined-and-organized

http://www.fluentu.com/blog/german/german-stereotypes/

http://www.livhambrett.com/2015/11/08/germany-why-cant-you-queue/

http://sei-erfolgreich.ch/2015/05/ordnung-muss-sein-auch-im-networkmarketing/

 

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Cliché 9 – Jokes about Germany are the Wurst

When most people think of German food, they tend to think about sauerkraut, potatoes and sausages. They think of tables at the Oktoberfest filled with heavenly foods which may be delicious, but not fabulous for the waistline!

 

Bavarian white sausages

 

These three ingredients are definitely a favourite in some regions of Germany, but food throughout Germany is much more versatile than this stereotype would have you believe. In fact, nowadays it can be hard to determine exactly what “German food” is.

In the south, such as Bavaria, the cuisine is quite heavily influenced by Austria, so you will find a lot of dishes with potatoes and schnitzel here. However, the north, such as Hamburg, is heavily influenced by the sea and by the Scandinavian cuisine – here you’ll find everything from herring and grilled fish to meatballs and pork! So whilst the different regions throughout Germany have very distinct cuisines, it is almost impossible to define the overall “German cuisine.”

In addition to the regional influences, it is difficult to imagine Germany without a Döner Imbiss on every other corner, or takeaway pizza available 24/7. Like in so many other European countries, having many different cuisines available is becoming the norm, so you can have your Weisswurst and Brezel for breakfast, a Döner for lunch, and sushi for dinner!

                                                                          

Doner

 

Overall, we’d say that the myth that Germans only eat potatoes, sausages and sauerkraut is most definitely

busted

 

Images retrieved from:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386535580498332156/

http://andberlin.com/2015/06/30/doner-macht-schoner-6-of-the-best-berlin-kebaps/

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Cliché 8 – You had me at ‘Versicherung’

Remember this scene from Family Guy?

Well, just like Peter, Germans love their Versicherung (insurance)! You can get insured for pretty much anything in Germany! Pet insurance, household insurance, personal liability insurance, legal assistance insurance, travel insurance, car insurance, bicycle insurance, unemployment insurance, kidnapping and ransom insurance… ok that last one isn’t particularly popular, but you get the point!

Both health insurance and car liability insurance are mandatory in Germany, and many landlords will not let you rent a place without personal liability insurance. Whilst having certain types of insurance is definitely a good idea, some people might think that it’s overkill to have your own personal insurance advisor, as many Germans do.

So what’s the verdict? Germans don’t like their insurance. They LOVE it. This myth is absolutely:

confirmed

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.katerle.net/witze6/Versicherung.htm

http://www.fluentu.com/german/blog/german-stereotypes/

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Cliché 7 – Die Sprache der Liebe

Languages such as French, Italian and Spanish are often described as ‘the languages of love,’ but what about German? Well… not so much.

We’re sure that you’re all familiar with videos such as the one below, so it comes as no surprise that most people don’t necessarily consider Germans to be romantics.

Let’s start talking about the language itself. Most people consider German to be quite a harsh language (and when you watch the video above it’s no surprise!). German requires many sounds which come from the back of the vocal tract, which often lead to the perception of a language sounding harsh. However, there are many languages which use these sounds, so why do most people immediately think of German when it comes to harsh sounding languages?

Well, it turns out that the answer to this is incredibly simple – it’s because people expect it! The negative stereotype that German is a harsh language actually changes peoples’ perception of the language itself. People expect the language to sound harsh and that’s why it does! Funnily enough, many other languages, such as American English and yes, even the language of love, French, use the same harsh ‘r’ sound which is common in the German language, yet neither of these languages are generally perceived to be particularly harsh.

 

 

So now we know that the German language isn’t actually that harsh, but what about Germans themselves? Will they buy you long-stem red roses on Valentine’s Day? What about a romantic dinner by candle light? Or how about long walks on the beach at sunset?

 

 

Well, many Germans aren’t exactly what you would call romantic by the standards of Hollywood movies – German romance is much more subtle than that. Whilst they may not necessarily sweep you off your feet, as an Italian or French person may do, they may win you over in other ways:

  • If they say they’ll call, they will actually call. They won’t play games with you and make you wait for a certain number of days before they pick up the phone – if they like you, they’ll call or text you when they say they will!
  • They will be on time. None of this making him/ her wait. If they say they’ll meet you at 7pm, that’s exactly when they will show up (but this means you should be on time too!).
  • They’ll be honest with you. You won’t hear “I’m just so busy right now” (unless it’s the day before their final exams or a huge presentation at work) or “It’s not you, it’s me”. If they like you, they’ll tell you… but if they don’t like you, be prepared for them to be brutally honest with you and tell you that too.
  • They’ll make plans. They won’t make you wait all week and leave you wondering whether he/ she will call at the last minute on Friday night to ask you out – if they like you, they’ll probably call you on Monday to see if you’re free on the weekend and make plans.
  • Holidays! Germans love to go on vacation – often to another country, but sometimes to visit other cities within Germany. Be prepared for many fun, exciting, and sometimes very romantic holidays together – whether it’s a weekend trip to the Austrian Alps or a 3 week vacation backpacking through Asia.
  • They’ll open up to you. Whilst many Germans often hold back when they initially meet new people, they will open up to you once you get to know them better and you’ll experience more than just their serious side!
  • They’ll try to improve your life. If you mentioned to your German significant other that an extra shelf in your room would make your life so much easier, don’t be surprised if one suddenly appears right where you wanted it.

Whilst German romance may not include the grand romantic gestures which you see in movies and TV shows, it may surprise you how much easier and more fun your life becomes when you start dating a German!

 

We’d say that the myth that Germans aren’t romantic is most certainly

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/03/german-harsh-language-other-languages-video_n_3683379.html

http://monkeysandmountains.com/german-romance

http://www.kitaab.com/evolution-of-romance-in-the-literature-era/

 

 

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