The agenda of this article is pretty straightforward. It means to encourage you to visit Germany as soon as possible. It is just so that you can have the time of your life. Get ready to enjoy fantastic nature trails, visit weird museums, drink beer openly (it is legal), try to speak German in the right way, and so much more! Especially for students all over the world, head over to in and around Berlin now! This is because university education in good old Deutschland is free for all, even for non-Germans. Germany welcomes you to share its culture of work ethics balanced with fun! In fact, some facts about Germany are so strange that foreigners may actually find it a bit weird to believe! Here you go.
The top ten strange things
Precisely, here are the best ten reasons why living in Germany is different.
- Sundays are more than just national holidays. It should be rare to find anything open on the seventh day. All the department stores and shops take a sabbatical. People enjoy their leisurely walks and bonding with each other. So much so, any kind of drilling work is illegal on a Sunday, and that includes even DIY home renovation projects.
- The Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world, and it begins a good two weeks before October. Munich is one of the major centers of this Bavarian country celebration. Special traditional beer drinking flasks called steins are novelty items with detailed engravings and etched designs. The brewed beverage must be according to the German Purity Law. It is actually an official food of Bavaria. The Germans love the beverage so much that it is legal to drink it openly. The Germans brew about 1500 varieties of their favorite drink. (FYI: Ireland first, Germans Second as for beer consumption).
If you order with your first finger at a bar, you get two beers because the thumb counts as another one. Just use the thumb if you want only one. However, do not drive under influence though. In fact, even cycling under influence is under strict prohibition.
- There is a common folk belief that fresh air from an open window can cause illness.
- You cannot tune your piano in the night. It is against law. It is also against law in most states to play loud music on Good Friday.
- Be careful with the language and the quirks of it. For example, to say Danke or Thanks in response to a question can actually mean “No, thanks”. JFK, on his famous visit to Berlin, said “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”, which translates roughly as “I am a jelly donut”. Moreover, be polite to the police because even arrogance can cause you a hefty fine. The government (precisely, the Standesamt or the civil registrations office) can reject baby names that do not make the gender of the newborn obvious.
- Flipping the middle finger is a serious offense and can cause you fine. Prostitution is legal though. Sex workers have their due respect over here.
- Football is an incredibly popular activity. In fact, here one can find more football fan clubs than anywhere else in the world!
- There are 300 varieties of bread and 1000 different kinds of sausages! The currywurst is the most famous type. More than 800 million of these disappear every year from dishes. There is also a museum dedicated to this.
- Local people call the chancellor’s office as the ‘washing machine’. There is a Barbie Doll fashioned after Angela Merkel (which probably does not look much like her anyway).
- The Germans do not punish anyone caught trying to escape from their prisons, for they believe that it is the natural right of a person to want to be free.
On a serious note
On a serious note, the Germans are hardworking, straightforward and honest people and anything against these basic natural traits typically raise eyebrows. It is illegal to deny the Holocaust in Germany. The city of Berlin is 9 times as big as the city of Paris. It also has more bridges than Venice. The rail station in Berlin is the biggest in all of Europe. Popular traditions such as the Christmas tree, the Easter Eggs hunt, and the Easter Bunny all have their origins in Germany. On the first day of school, each child receives a cone filled with candies and donuts. There is an Easter Eggs museum near Stuttgart. Other weird archives include the Hygiene museum, the museum of unheard things, and the museum of dialogue.
The Easter celebrations here are among the most prolific in Europe or anywhere in the world. Schools give a two-week vacation.There is also this unique tradition of lighting up a special Easter bonfire to herald the onset of spring, correlating with pagan traditions. They keep the fire lit throughout the Easter night.