Often here, misunderstandings occur not so much as a result of linguistic fumbling, but because of a certain scale of directness, at the opposing ends of which sit my own heritage and my adopted home. How I react, disagree, say yes, make conversation, how I oil the cogs of social interaction, how I try to translate little phrases from English to German, the ones that mark certain points in a conversation … it all comes from my own socio-cultural norms, ones that tend to sit if not in direct opposition to the German ones, then at least somewhere on the other side of the fence.
This is a preview of Living in Germany: On German Directness.
This weekend brought with it a series of reminders that, in case I had forgotten or indeed been so desensitised to the cultural quirks of this glorious country they ceased to have an effect, I am indeed in Germany. That happens, occasionally. A situation arises, a conversation is had, a premise wandered into and one is reminded of the essence of this place that has become the norm and the fact that the essence can in fact be delightfully strange.
Everyone settles into life in a new country at a different rate. Some are immediately at home, while others never feel completely comfortable. Homesickness, awkwardness, loneliness: they all are parts of the expat experience to a greater or lesser degree. But fitting in is too. You might surprise yourself.
I have been in Germany for eight years now, but it has only been in the last few years that I have been noticing the telltale signs of “German-ification.” Though I have felt at home in Germany for many years more, it seems my transition into this culture is now complete. How did I know? Well…
Expat blogger “ifs ands and butts” visits a dirndled, beer-filled celebration in Stuttgart. More pictures and words here.
“Want the German beerfest experience without the hellacious task of finding a seat at Oktoberfest? Well, you’re in luck. There is actually another magical land where you people gather in traditional German tracht by the thousands, drink beer out of a Maß, and sing and dance to German party bands; it’s called the Wasen.”
Photo copyright dpa/picture alliance
The Euro blues
Newsflash, not everyone is in love with the euro:
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: Spargel Season, Stuttgart, and Secrets.
Sarah of workingberlinmum is an expat from the UK who has made Berlin her home. She blogs regularly about what it’s like to raise children abroad and away from family, raising bilingual children, single parenthood, kids crafts and fashions, and more. Today she’s joining us on Young Germany to talk about her experiences raising bilingual children and what that can be like for grandparents who only speak one of the child’s languages. Welcome Sarah!
As the title of this post says, it must be tough being a grandparent to a bilingual child. It of course depends on whether the grandparent speaks the child’s dominant language or not, but if they don’t, they face a lot of challenges communicating with their grandchild.
This is a preview of Grandparenting Bilingual Children in Germany.
Funding for archaeology cut. Historical documentation to suffer.
“With Roman settlements along the River Rhine and as the region where Neanderthals were discovered, and thus named after, NRW has long been a source of learning about our predecessors.
“But this could soon die out, as the Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Thursday that the state government plans to cut its funding each year until 2015, when there will be nothing left at all. “ You can read the rest of the article here.
Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds
Why Berlin? That’s why.
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: Castle for Sale.