Fun facts about Germany
Unity and justice and freedom – the day of reunification took place on 03 October and is the most important national holiday of Germans. In fact, we can say: With exciting cities, beautiful landscapes and friendly people, Germany is a great country to study and live in.
But we Germans are also pretty weird. With these fun facts about Germany, you’ll find out what really makes us tick.
#1 You will recognize them by their punctuality
Yes, it’s true: Germans are very punctual creatures and demand this same punctuality from their fellow man. You can be the most talented applicant for a job, but if you are one minute late for an interview, that’s it. Adios and goodbye.
It’s not that we don’t like tardiness, we hate it, with tradespeople as well as friends. We expect life to run like clockwork, except with Deutsche Bahn – we’re happy if the trains run at all, but that’s another topic.
So if you want to make a habit of getting along well with us Germans, for heaven’s sake be on time! Then we let quite a lot pass, unless you dare to push your way to the checkout, which brings us to the next bizarre fact.
#2 Everything has its order – really everything!
You think you’re a decent person? Then treat yourself to a visit to a German allotment garden site and ask the people there what they are annoyed about with their neighbor. Don’t be surprised if the Laubenpieper, as allotment garden owners are called, complain that the 1.5-centimeter-long branch of the neighbor’s hedge protrudes into their own plot, or that the lawn on the plot opposite is only mowed once a week instead of every three days (but definitely not on Sunday!), as required by the association’s statutes.
We Germans insist on law and order; regulations are, so to speak, our map with which we go through life. By the way, the fact that we slavishly observe regulations does not mean that we do not grumble about precisely these regulations.
We may constantly want more freedom and less bureaucracy, but let’s be honest: Germans only experience true feelings of happiness when they get carried away by internal documentation requirements or the road traffic regulations according to paragraph XY.
We regulate the most absurd things; for example, you need a permit if you want to swim in one of our sewers. So if that’s what you have in mind for an excursion, no problem for us – but please get the official okay first 😉.
#3 Besserwessi and Jammerossi
If you talk to Germans, they will sometimes sound as if the Wall fell only yesterday and not 33 years ago. Most of the time, clichés come up about the overconfident, know-it-all West Germans, whereas the East Germans are always complaining and are too stupid to vote.
Discussions about this are as pointless as they are outdated, so we recommend that you do not take part in them. Germany is a federal country consisting of 16 very individual states. So see the geographical and cultural diversity in Germany for what it is: a real enrichment.
#4 German language, strange language
Our language is like a dragon: it can never be completely mastered, at best it can only be tamed. Even language professionals like copywriters and German teachers regularly despair of the sense and nonsense of grammatical rules. Even the Duden sometimes knows no better explanation than: It’s just the way it is.
At the same time, we are mighty proud of our language, which has funny irritations in store, including double meanings:
- Bank (seat / financial institution)
- Fly (insect / piece of clothing on the neck)
- Rope (rope / drop of water)
- Pine (type of tree / part of the body on the head)
Funny and strange is also the tendency of Germans to use extremely long words, which are created by stringing several words together:
I don’t know why we have this soft spot, but notice something? The long words occur especially often in the bureaucratic setting, which brings us back to point #2: Everything has its order! 😉
#5 The highway without speed limit
Our European neighbors have speed limits on long-distance roads. We don’t, because Germans get a pulse at the idea of not being allowed to live out their freedom. That is to say, to take leave of one’s senses and speed along the left-hand lane of the autobahn with the speedometer needle at the limit.
We’re in a terrible hurry, you remember point #1, punctuality and all that. That’s why we’re also tailgating at speeds of 190 km/h. If you still haven’t understood that you have to give way, and you have to do so immediately, you will be made aware of this by flashing your headlights.
The German autobahns are known worldwide, which is why celebrities like Tom Hanks like to come here to tickle the horsepower out of their cars. The Hollywood actor summed up what German drivers think in a talk show on Letterman: “It doesn’t matter how fast you drive in Germany – someone is always faster!”
#6 Beer is official food
The Germans and their beer … The mere fact that we have over 12,000 pubs serving home-brewed beer speaks of a long and intense love affair with liquid gold.
We’re world-renowned for the quality of our beers, and if you ask us what the Reinheitsgebot means, you’ll hear hymns of praise and patriotic arias.
Sure, there’s alcohol in beer, but we see the combination of water, barley and malt as the source of life, which is why beer is considered an official food under our Food and Feed Code (yes, that’s really the name of the thing).
That’s why you’ll find beer in the grocery section of supermarkets and on the breakfast table, because a beer is simply part of a hearty Weißwurst breakfast, at least in Bavaria. In other German states, drinking beer in the morning is called Frühshoppen.
#7 Döner Kebab and Spaghetti Ice Cream – Made in Germany
The fact that baklava and other oriental specialties are sold in our kebab stores does not change the fact that the kebab was most likely invented by Kadir Numar, a Turkish immigrant who opened a snack bar at Bahnhof Zoo in 1971. This is most likely because there are several other people who could have invented it, but it is certain that Germany was the place where it was invented.
Spaghetti ice cream is also tricky: It was invented by the Italian Dario Fontanella, but not in picturesque Venice or sunny Palermo, but in Mannheim. In 1969, at the age of just 17, Fontanella came up with this creation, which has remained a fixture on German dessert menus to this day. At that time, Fontanella pressed vanilla ice cream through a spice press, thus combining German craftsmanship and Italian cuisine in pure pragmatism. Guten appetito!
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We hope that these fun facts about Germany will help you feel at home here. In conclusion, we can say: We are a bit peculiar, but we can also laugh about our quirks. So be sure to come and have a cold beer with us – but be punctual!
If you want to get to know Germany and its citizens, which we highly recommend, check out these articles:
We wish you a great time in Germany and say a loud ahoy and Herzlich willkommen!