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German Behavior (essay)

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German behavior

In the past the Germans were well known for the two World wars which have been started by us. These events are still in the mind of people all over the world. A survey of pupils carried out for the Goethe-Institut in London reveals Adolf Hitler way out ahead when 14-to-16-year-old were asked to list their ten most famous Germans, living or dead. Furthermore they were asked whether they considered Germans to be arrogant and nationalistic; the result, more than 50 percent of those who had never visited the country nor learned the language, replied “yes”.
But there aren’t just bad opinions towards the Germans, because nowadays German pupils have the opportunities to make friends in the whole world. The world gets to know that there aren’t just “Nazis” in Germany. The pupils in Germany do exchanges or they make the acquaintance of pen friends, especially the Internet is the media where large numbers of German people receive information about foreign countries and get in contact with them. Just a few years ago Europeans thought of gun violence as something typically American. But in the last few years there have been more and more terrible shootings all over Europe. One of the worst was here in Germany in April 2002. When a schoolboy took a gun, irrespective of hurting people. Finally he shot 16 people in his school in Erfurt. Now we are forced to see that violence is a part of our society, too. Gun controls are much stricter in Germany (Europe)
than in the US. But there are two problems: First, many young people can get guns legally for sports and hunting. And second, many illegal guns have got in Western Europe because of recent wars in Eastern Europe. Furthermore the German culture gets more and more influenced by the American ideology. Another peculiarity of Germany is its love for e.g. soccer. Whereas hooliganism is very common in British football stadiums the Germans are mostly fair and players and referees don’t get hurt by coins or bottles thrown at them. To my mind the German’s fairness is something what the other countries have to honor and to grasp.
Few foreign people will admit to being prejudiced towards Germany. We Germans aren’t said to be very friendly whereas the Americans should be so sociable. Often Germans are rather stressed but we are also more organized and our national welfare is a very good one. The Germans do seem to have rules and regulations governing every aspect of life, for example if you get into car and you have steer your way through the forest of road signs in German cities. In Germany it isn’t so easy to make the audience laugh out and it’s nearly a struggle to entertain the people. Germans aren’t chummy all the time. I mean, no one can be friendly every day, but other countries’ inhabitants are able to pretend that they are pleased. In Germany there is too much envy. We are told that we can’t be happy if our neighbor is happier than us, if he has a better profession and earns more money. The younger generation is developing a different attitude to live. We are getting back to basics, means we are wondering about our identity. While the older generation had to start from scratch after the war and were constantly saving to invest in a better future their children no longer had to be afraid and spent everything they earned on a more luxurious life. The younger generation of Germans feel that they have nothing to do with the war and yet they see the way that they are judged from outside and they think it’s unfair.
In Germany there are no real no-smoking areas in public places and smoking is allowed in most trains, airplanes and restaurants. The Germans can drink alcohol when they are 16 years old. It is rather inappropriate if you get drunk in a bar whereas being tipsy is acceptable. Sometimes it seems as if Germans are uptight because they don’t feel obligated to say “Excuse me” or “Sorry”. Common courtesy is less prevalent in Germany where all too cheery greetings are regarded as superficial. Trust me, in Germany it is necessary to feel for the situation. Germans aren’t very open-minded. “Friend” is a word reserved for those who have become close to you. If you feel, that you became closed enough to someone you are on a “Du-compatible degree”. I can assure you that this is misleading for foreigners. But they can, maintain at leased a trace of their accent, which will give them a “foreigner allowance”. In Germany you aren’t expected to call adults by their first names. For Germans, it’s the opposite and formality has literally been built into the language. Even adults of the same age who have known each other for years often address one another as “Sie”. They switch to “Du” only when a special bond of friendship has been established. You should always use “Sie” until you are invited to do otherwise. In the past you had to observe the rules of hierarchical position, therefore from top to bottom, but even these rules have been watered down with the time. Germans take it for granted that they shake hands with other people. Body touching seems to be a quite cultural thing. In Germany there are situations where a light touch on the arm or a hand on the shoulder can communicate more than a thousand words.
922 Words
Dies ist ein englischer Aufsatz zum Thema "German Behavior", wie es der Rest der Welt sieht. (922 Wörter)
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