Ok, so there are obviously more than five differences between Germany and America. More like 12 million, really. If there weren’t, they’d be the same country….but I digress. Anyhow, today I thought I’d share five little things I’ve noticed recently about Germany that I certainly won’t encounter when I fly home to California in ten days. (TEN DAYS?! WHAT THE HECK!)
Ready? Here we go.
1. No middle names- Many German people do not have middle names. It’s just not really as much of a thing. Some definitely do, but none of the kids I’m Au Pairing have one! Simpler, don’t you think?
2. No air conditioning or fans- Oh man, this one is a real toughie for us Americans. Coming from Southern California, my home doesn’t have air conditioning either, but the temperature is always mild and we have lots of fans for those days it peaks above 75! Here, hardly any homes or public spaces have air conditioning even though it can get really hot, and many don’t have fans. I asked why that was, and they said they believe it messes with your sinuses and gives you a stiff neck.
3. Lunch is the largest meal of the day- I totally love this custom. Germans usually eat a smaller breakfast, a big fancy lunch, and then a small ‘snack’ in the evening called Abendbrot, consisting mainly of bread with various toppings. I really like gathering in the middle of the day and having more time to digest before bed.
4. Kaffee und Kuchen- Coffee and cake is an afternoon tradition in German life. Not every day, but many days they take a break from their work and sit around to enjoy a little sweetness! This is especially big on Sunday afternoons.
5. The wedding Ring is worn on the right hand- When I first arrived, I thought no one was married, because I didn’t see any rings on the left hand. Finally someone cleared up the mystery: They wear it on their right ring finger!
Question of the Day
Can you think of a few little cultural customs that set your country apart? I’d love to hear.