Willkommen in Deutschland!


The Thick, Fat Pancake .....a German Folk Tale

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News in Germany

German rail company Deutsche Bahn is test running the brand new high speed ICE train. Deutsche Bahn is hoping to run the Cologne-London route by the end of 2013. This brand new model of train is supposed to run up to 300 kilometers an hour and slightly slower when going under the English Channel. According the article, the French are upset about this new model because it will reach its highest speeds when running through the French countryside. The test run and safety checks went well and pulled into St. Pancras Station in London for the first time.

Munich firm Milchkristalle has patented “night milk” made with high levels of melatonin also known as the “sleep hormone”. Melatonin helps regulate the body clock, entering the bloodstream when it is dark, and stopping again when it becomes light, prompting people to wake up. The hormone is sold in the United States but can be prescribed by doctors in Europe. The cows that produce this milk are fed a special diet and milked between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., so they can produce up to 25 times the normal levels of melatonin, according to the company. The milk is turned into a crystalline powder so it can be transported and stored easily. People are supposed to mix with milk or yogurt an hour before going to bed; the firm claims it can help people sleep. The reaction so far has been controversial.

Weather in Berlin

German Culture

Germany is an affluent and technologically powerful country with a population of 82,400,996. It is bordered by 9 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. Despite this it has a very homogeneous population: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish). Germany has a 99% literacy rate where literacy is defined as age 15 and over who can read and write. Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organization. Even though Germany is very homogeneous it is looking outward. It has the 5th largest PPP and is testing a high speed train connecting Cologne and London.
A Planning Culture
. In many respects, Germans can be considered the masters of planning.
. This is a culture that prizes forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day.
. Careful planning, in one's business and personal life, provides a sense of security.
. Rules and regulations allow people to know what is expected and plan their life accordingly.
. Once the proper way to perform a task is discovered, there is no need to think of doing it any other way.
. Germans believe that maintaining clear lines of demarcation between people, places, and things is the surest way to lead a structured and ordered life.
. Work and personal lives are rigidly divided.
. There is a proper time for every activity. When the business day ends, you are expected to leave the office. If you must remain after normal closing, it indicates that you did not plan your day properly.
The German Home
. Germans take great pride in their homes.
. They are kept neat and tidy at all times, with everything in its appointed place.
. In a culture where most communication is rather formal, the home is the place where one can relax and allow your individualism to shine.
. Only close friends and relatives are invited into the sanctity of the house, so it is the one place where more informal communication may occur.
. There are many unwritten rules surrounding the outward maintenance of one's home.
. It is imperative that common areas such as sidewalks, pavements, corridors (in apartments), and steps be kept clean at all times.
Meeting Etiquette
. Greetings are formal.
. A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.
. Titles are very important and denote respect. Use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name. You should say Herr or Frau and the person's title and their surname.
. In general, wait for your host or hostess to introduce you to a group.
. When entering a room, shake hands with everyone individually, including children.
Beer in Germany is a major part of German culture. There are around 1,300 breweries in Germany, second largest amount after the United States which has 1,500. Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event.
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Comic Strip: Germany-Technology and Population