Author Archives: YG Guest Blogger

About YG Guest Blogger

YG Guest Bloggers are bloggers and writers who write the occasional post for our site. If you have something you'd like to say about your experiences in Germany and would like to become a YG Guest Blogger, then send us an email at contact[AT]young-germany[DOT]de.

What’s Underneath a Lid

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

At breakfast with a friend and her daughter in Germany a few years ago, I quietly held my breath wondering how the little girl would eat her yogurt. And she did it! Without interrupting her happy chatter, she peeled back the foil, then scraped off the tiny bit of yogurt before eating the whole thing.

I leaned back, relieved and touched. My friend had passed on to her daughter what we were taught as kids.

Although I was born 20 years after the end of World War II and never suffered shortages of any kind, the commandment, “Do not waste food” of my grandmother’s generation was instilled in me. That mentality is, of course, not a peculiar German one. Americans who lived through the Great Depression were equally mindful of food waste.

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Living in Germany: Dressing Up

by Alexandra Ioakim of Flythesevenseas

Photo courtesy Sailthesevenseas

Photo courtesy Flythesevenseas

Our firm hosted a ‘sales and marketing day’ last week for the all employees in the Munich office to ‘promote talent and opportunities across service lines’ – i.e. a means to justify a large celebration.
Lured by a night out for a pre-Oktoberfest party (and informative workshops of course)  I accepted the invitation. In preparation for the event, the invitation described:

Dresscode           
Dre Dresscode sowohl für die Tages – als auch die Abendveranstaltung ist Tracht, bayerischer Landhausstil oder Casual.
(The dresscode for both the day-time and evening event is Tracht (Dirndl / Lederhosen), Bavarian country estate style or casual).
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The Everyday Expat: Understanding Cultural Awareness

Photo copyright dpa

Photo copyright dpa

Culture shock is often discussed when people consider moving abroad. Differences between home and destination country cultures can be confusing and difficult to navigate and the radical change in lifestyle can be harder than you might have imagined. Yet one of the best ways of preparing for ‘culture shock’ is by working on your cultural awareness – something which is less debated but in reality much more important for the success of your expat life long term.

Cultural awareness can be prepared for in advance but it is, above all else, something which is actively practised. Reading about your destination country before you go, especially advice from other expats, can give you a really good understanding of where you’re moving to, but once you’re there, remember to observe, ask questions politely and avoid making assumptions about the way people should or will behave.

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German Cuisine: Why Marlene Dietrich Disliked Rutabagas

by Nadia Hassani

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

Photo copyright Spoonfuls of Germany

The third winter of World War I, whose beginning a century ago is commemorated this year, is also referred to in German as the Hungerwinter or Steckrübenwinter (Rutabaga winter). The blockade of Germany through the North Sea cut the country off from overseas trade and supplies, and the potato crop in 1916 had failed. As a result rutabagas, until that time mainly grown as animal fodder, became a staple of the 1,000-calorie ration-card diet for civilians.

Marlene Dietrich was then a teenager in Berlin. She would recall with a shudder how her family ate rutabagas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in every possible form. Most people’s faces turned yellow from all the rutabagas, hers didn’t. Her perfect, porcelain-like complexion stood out already then.

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World Cup Blog: End Of World Cup 2014 And Filling The Void Left Behind

by Ian Schneider, @EN541 

Well what a finale that was! It was a thoroughly exciting final game between Argentina and Germany, with either side looking like they could take the trophy home at any minute. I also found this final game was much better and more exciting than the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands, which is something I was worried about. Fortunately however, both teams attacked aggressively and there were lots of great plays on both sides.

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers (photo: Ian Schneider)

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers (photo: Ian Schneider)

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World Cup Blog: Road to Glory

by Yuri Damasceno 

Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. No matter how brilliant, it’s already old news and there isn’t much one can say that hasn’t already been said in the media and social networks. But more than winning the World Cup, Germany has accomplished a much more difficult task while making it look like easy game: they have conquered Brazilian hearts (and that was way before the heartbreaking 7X1).

Team Germany

Team Germany

Ever since their arrival in Salvador (the capital of the Brazilian state, Bahia) the German squad spread niceness and charisma wherever they went. Neuer and Schweinsteiger wore the uniform and sang the hymn of the local team Bahia and put smiles on the faces of local citizens (even the ones that don’t cheer for Bahia). Podolski and, the usual nice guy, Schweinsteiger, also wore the uniform of the most popular team in Brazil, Flamengo (from Rio de Janeiro). Many German players posted messages in Portuguese to the locals in an attempt to socialize with them (and also in person on beaches and streets of Brazil).

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Castles in Germany: Happily Ever After

Photo courtesy Sail the Seven Seas

Photo courtesy Fly the Seven Seas

Forget the news about efficiency, debt bailout packages, Oktoberfest records and NSA phone-tapping – Germany really is just one big fairytale.

Like many young girls, I grew up reading and was read the classical fairy tales from The Brothers Grimm (Die Gebrüder Grimm) and Hans Christian Andersen. Yes very cliched, but just for the record – Rapunzel, The Princess and the Pea and Snow White were my favourites.

Little did I know that decades later I would live amongst the settings and inspiration of my childhood fantasies. Since moving, I have managed to prance around the royal gardens and courtyards of some (or, lets say a handful) of Germany’s many palaces and castles.

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