When you land in another country, you are expected to behave according to its cultural norms and traditions. This will prevent you from embarrassing yourself by committing a cultural faux pas. Understanding a country’s culture can be daunting but it will help you live at ease.
When you choose to study in Germany, you must learn about its social etiquette. Here are some etiquette tips for you to follow:
In Germany, giving greetings to someone is critical. When you enter a restaurant or shop or any establishment, a hallo (hello) is expected and tschüss (bye) when leaving. On the phone, you should extend your greetings to the persons in the same room and relatives of the people you’re talking with. Even though you don’t know them personally, it is important that you show respect by greeting them.
Eye contact is important when drinking in Germany. They have a superstitious belief that not making eye contact while clinking glasses will give you seven years of bad luck. If you are offering a drink, just back off when someone does not accept it.
Germany is a beer-loving nation. They have a relaxed view regarding alcohol. In fact, 16 is the country’s legal drinking age. What’s fun is you can drink in public, in open parks and even on public transport.
Eating etiquette in Germany requires that you eat as quietly as possible. Burping, slurping, and snorting loudly are considered rude. Also, keep your hands on the table as a sign of politeness.
In diners, do not be surprised if a server seats others on your table’s empty seats. This usually happens in casual eateries.
The German language has both formal and informal addressing. If you will be studying in Germany, it is best that you know the difference between the two. The formal “sie” (you) is used when you are talking to an elder, acquaintance, or a professional. But if you want to go for the informal, do not be shy to interchange “sie” with the actual name. However, take note that you should wait for the older or higher person when it is time to switch to the more informal “du” (you).
If you will be celebrating your birthday in Germany, you may need to bring your own cake or treats, which will be shared with your friends, colleagues, or classmates. They say that this ritual is more of fair sharing. You bring the cake and refreshments, they shower you with gifts in return.
You may find this strange but Germans find it inappropriate when they see a person in public with wet hair. So, grab your hairdryer with you. It will be a great lifesaver. You’re welcome.
Understand what it’s like to study and live in Germany as an international student. Learn more through our articles here at MSM Unify.