⋆ THE GERMAN ETIQUETTE 

Deutsche Höflichkeit


"Willst du mit mir hausen, so laß die Bestie draußen"

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-

Germans can consider themselves fortunate when it comes to their norms and manners in everyday life. You don't do certain things, and it is good to know them, especially if you are an expatriate or visiting for a longer period of time from abroad.  First and foremost, Germans may seem a bit reserved at first glance but are, in general, friendly folks! Let's start with punctuality since it is regarded as offensive if someone has to wait for you. Whereas the phrase "Time is money" is very accurate for business, timeliness has the same significance in private life. Germans don't like to waste their time. So make sure to be on time unless you are a VIP and even then, you avoid being not on time if you don't want others to think that you don't come from a good home. Call someone if you can't make it. As you can see, Germans enjoy the advantages of a good upbringing which leads to the next point: Garbage. Let's take a look at how to handle it: Germans are extremely environmentally conscious and separate their trash to minimize their carbon footprint. Recycling is just one aspect of the German order. Another one is a way of life that comes to terms with the challenges of climate change.  Therefore, make sure to use the right garbage can for each piece of trash. German life is highly organized with an appreciation for rules and laws. When it comes to law enforcement, there is one good rule that deserves appreciation and which is worthy of remembering:  If you respect law enforcement, law enforcement will respect you. There won't be any breathtaking surprises if you inherit the German etiquette.  Another vital aspect is privacy as Germans enjoy their private life with their family and friends. Privacy means that you don't nose around uninvited. If you are chosen to be a new friend, don't bail on your friends since they are, in most cases, buddies for life. If you need to talk to them or coworkers, you don't "storm" their houses and rooms uninvited, which would be extremely rude and disrespectful! Instead, knock on the door first and wait for permission. Be straightforward and don't play a role in gaining your likes. Don't emphasize what an incredible and good person you are, for example, if you do charity. Either you do good things for society, or you don't. To play-act and blowing smoke won't stand very long in Germany. In honesty, you find the hour of power. Small gifts are not necessarily expected but extremely attentive and polite if you are invited to come over (e.g. flowers, a bottle of wine, bottles of beer). Usually, you bring your own birthday cake when celebrating with your colleagues.  Whereas Fast Food is a welcome change, you can't beat the German cuisine. Wait until everyone on the table has their food before you start to eat your meal and avoid slurping sounds and an opened mouth while enjoying the different tastes of Germany. Avoid specific topics and keep in mind that sometimes it is really the best option to keep your mouth shut. Be polite and offer your seats to senior citizens and disabled people when using public transportation. Some German values go without saying: You don't make fun out of others (especially the vulnerable and handicapped) and you try at least to rightly pronounce the names. Avoid cursing words and bad language. The best advice to get along with most Germans is to use your common-sense. Something most citizens of both nations have in common. Finally, do not copy this text without permission and enjoy a great country called Germany soon again.