I found the article about Martin Luther to be interesting because it highlights again how history can influence modern culture, although various aspects, such as theological, may not be as present. And that’s really the significance of Martin Luther and the Reformation,
But the Reformation was not just about God. It shaped the German language, mentality and way of life.
I was particularly interested in Martin Luther’s ideas against ostentation, and how this influences not only German culture and values, but invariably the entire world. I love understated pieces from IKEA, and it was cool to learn where the simplicity came from. I also liked learning about the exception of ostentation, music. If I remember correctly, music, particularly classical music, was seen as something very upper-class in history. However, music’s role in German culture is not really described to be that of an extravagant display, but rather one that was an ally to Germany’s theological underpinnings.
The article about the closed-door culture struck me as a small detail that illustrates a contrast between German and American culture. I think about how freshman in college are encouraged to keep their doors open to meet new people, and how professors often have their office doors left open. I wonder if there is anything like that in Germany, and if not, whether they view this as a weird American thing.
The article about garbage culture in Germany pointed me back to the fact that Germany is very environmentally conscious, and again to the differences between American and German culture. Although in many ways I consider myself to be environmentally conscious, I catch myself freezing when trying to tell if my trash is compostable or not. It’s definitely a more complicated system it seems, but perhaps that is part of the makeup of a country that leads the way in environmental innovation.