Kultur 3

This past summer my friend traveled to Germany to visit her boyfriend’s family. I recalled a lot of what she told me about her experience while reading the kultur texts because it seemed to align with much of what the articles were trying to convey—namely, Germans love their beer, sausage, and pessimism. I remember my friend telling me that while she loved it, she was not used to the meat-heavy diet, which I found interesting. Reading these articles, i’m quite surprised with the variety of sausages that are available in Germany. The same goes with beer—I am from Grand Rapids, which is known for beer, and I had no idea that beer came in such a variety! I found it interesting, however, that there has been a push to restrict public drinking to prevent violence. Psychological studies certainly show that alcohol contributes to aggression.

Another thing that I found interesting was the directness of Germans that the articles mentioned. My friend also told me that her boyfriend’s relatives were very direct people, and she particularly liked her boyfriend’s aunt for her witty sense of humor. From the articles, it seems like she fits into the stereotype of “the Hamburger”.

I enjoyed reading about the fact that Germans love their organic food, too. This contrasts the culture in America, where there definitely is a stereotype that people who buy organic almost always coincidentally wear Birkenstocks or are overprotective mothers. I think this is because buying organic in America is usually more expensive and inaccessible to a lot of people, whereas since most people in Germany buy organic, it is much more accessible.

Kapitel 3 Kulture

I found the first two articles, both about beer consumption in Germany, to be very interesting. The first article, “Beer, Brewskies, and Liquid Bread” seemed to glorify German beers, praising the wide variety of alcoholic beverages in Germany, alongside the fact that per year, each German drinks on average 115 liters of beer. It seems to me that beer is seen as more of a typical beverage in Germany, like getting a juice or soda in the US. It’s seen as more standard to be drinking a casual beer, such as after work, as mentioned in the article. It’s also interesting to note that 3/4 of the breweries in the European Union can be found in Germany! No wonder they have so many varieties of beer.

The second article, “Capping the Bottle”, painted a little grimmer picture of drinking in Germany. It stated several reasons for wanting to remove public drinking from the culture, including crime rates and public drunkenness. However, for as many people that are for getting rid of public drinking, there are others who are firmly for maintaining this tradition, citing it as a right of the citizens of Germany. It’s interesting for me to note that although there is factual evidence that banning public drinking may be good for society, people are holding on strongly to this tradition that is one of the most unique parts of Germany compared to other first world countries.

Finally, I thought that the article “The Dark Side: Optimists are Idiots” was a good way to build off of the culture readings from last chapter. We discussed how Germans like to complain and are very direct, and this article combined both of those ideas. Not only are Germans pessimistic and direct, but they are directly pessimistic. Again, it’s quite a shift from the happy-go-lucky world view of your stereotypical American. Perhaps this difference could be contributed to our different histories – Germany’s hasn’t exactly been the easiest, and while America isn’t without her blemishes, she was founded purely on a sense of freedom and optimism that may contribute to our stereotype today.

Deutsch Kultur 3

The article on different types of Deutches Bier was very informative. I’m going to Oktoberfest next fall mit mein Vater and some family friends, and I appreciated the opportunity to learn about some of the Bier that we may encounter. I also appreciated the reference to Radlers. The summer after 5th grade, I went on a trip to Europe mit meine Familie, and we spent a week in Deutschland und Österreich. Somewhere along the way, my parents convinced the waiter at ein Restaurant to serve mein Bruder and I Radlers, most likely due to their low alcohol-content. When I went to Europe mit Freunde last Summer, I was happy to find that Radlers still tasted sehr gut (even if they barely qualify as actual Getränke).

The article on the debate over public trinken in Deutschland was also interessant. I find it fascinating that in Deutschland the right to drink in public is seen as basic, because in die USA it is something that seems inherently illegal. In a sense, it can be related to Americans’ relationships with guns. Many people from around the world, and even in the US, see the right to bear arms as entirely unreasonable. However, there is a large amount of Americans who see it as a basic right, similarly to how many Germans see drinking in public as a basic right.

The article on döner kebabs and Turkish Essen in Deutschland was also sehr interessant. For all the complaining about immigration, it certainly brings great food in to Länder that can otherwise lack in some respects. For example, in my Heimatstadt of San Francisco, the best Essen you can get is very authentic Japanese and Mexican food brought by the strong influences of those cultures on the city. In London, Indian cuisine (in my opinion) is often better than the traditional British food offered in the city. And while I do appreciate classic German food, I believe that the Turkish immigration to the country has brought a great alternative. And the article seems to agree with me.

The article on German pessimism also strikes home with me. I honestly despise people like those described in the article, who are quick to shoot down one’s excitement or optimism. When topics that ich liebe are brought up, I tend to get very excited. If someone responds with negativity, I’m bound to be very miffed or offended. I’ll have to work on this when I go to Deutschland, because if the article tells the truth, I’m setting myself up for disappointment if I don’t.

The article on German humor was a good read. I most appreciate the “Berliner” and “Hamburger” humor outlined- while I certainly do like most jokes, my favorite ones are dark and laden with sarcasm. However, one aspect of the Berliner humor is constant snarky comments, which I’m not always crazy about. I do enjoy that type of humor, but when that is all someone has to offer, I can get annoyed. I am a bit disappointed that Southern German humor is of the slapstick variety- I might have to get used to it if I spend a semester in Tübingen my junior Jahr.

Kultur 3

From my nutrition class I’ve learned that GMO is banned in most European countries. The article Organic Food Obsessions confirmed with that.  However, I didn’t know that Germans are obsessed with organic food.  Actually, from the nutritional research standpoint, there is no conclusive result showing that organic food is healthier than nonorganic food.  I am not a big fan of organic food, especially given its higher price here in the US compared to nonorganic food.  However, the cost is not a problem in Germany, which helps to further promote organic food.

I am not completely unfamiliar with doner kebab. I’ve seen some in my hometown, but don’t recall that I have tried one.  I think nowadays it is really common for a food style emerges and prospers in another foreign country.  In the US one can also come across a Mexican fast food chain wherever he goes.

I was surprised to find out that “Currywurst” doesn’t taste anything like curry at all, according form Forget the “Mett”, Try a “Frikadelle”. Given the name, I would expect that this food item is the German sausage with curry sauce.  From this article, it seems the fast foods in Germany are really not tasting good and I don’t even want to try any of them.

The article Optimists Are Idiots reminded me of one of the article last time, the one that talks about Germans’ complaint.  It is really tough to get alone with someone who always has negative emotions.  However, the humor in Germany presents in another way, as being discussed in Vee Have Vays of Making You Laugh.  Perhaps sometimes only Germans can understand Germans’ humor, such as the “pregnant oyster”.

For myself, I am way more used to the metric system. I had hard times converting from the metric system to the English system, especially for the weight, height and temperature.  I was surprised to find that the US is the only country using the English system (as far as I know).

Also glad to learn more about my favorite city Heidelberg from the textbook.