Lately, I have been struggling to live in Germany. A lot of the things really annoy me here since I have been back from China, and I am in a constant state of wanderlust. Still, Germany is the country I was born and grew up in, and this past year I got to explore a lot of amazing german cities and most of them were pretty amazing. So I thought I would show some “Heimatliebe” (home country love) and debunk some of the most common myths about my home country.
- All Germans are Nazis
Of course, there is the NPD (the nationalists party) in Germany that is actually a legal party that can be elected into the Bundestag, and I guess there are many Nazis all around the world (I am looking at you America!), still I would say that this is not true about Germany. We have racist and intolerant people everywhere, the more fascist people demonstrate on the streets, the more people will oppose them in bigger numbers to celebrate culture and international influences. I did experience my share of every day intolerance in Germany about my turkish background, but nowadays, I am trying to get over it as long as I am not being insulted or physically threatened.
- The trains are efficient and always on time
Many foreigners think that the train system is as good as the car manufacturing in Germany, but I have to disappoint you: The trains are always late, drive rarely, are dirty, always have technical issues, and they are more expensive than taking the frigging plane! I just hate these trains by now! I had been taking them for around 5 years now, almost every day, and they have been annoying me so much! They are actually one of the reasons I wanna leave this country :’D
- Germans walk around in leather pants and Dirndl every day
The only time germans (and with this, I don’t mean ALL germans. Some of them don’t like these clothes at all) will wear their traditional clothes is at the octoberfest or spring fest, or on occasional festivities.
- Germans only drink beer and eat sausage
Okay, germans do eat a lot of sausage and beer counts as a full meal in some south german cities. But there are actually a lot of vegetarians and vegans here, and many people (guys included) who would rather drink wine or a fizzy cocktail than beer. Many girls prefer white wine over beer and I have met some guys who’d rather drink a cocktail than a beer, especially during parties in big clubs. Beer is more of a relax/barbeque/football drink.
- Germans don’t shave
If you go to Berlin, you might find a lot of “hairy” women who pretend to shave just as a rebellious act against sexist social norms set towards women and how society thinks they should look like. Then again, there are a lot of people from different backgrounds living in Berlin, and because of its liberal, queer mindset, Berlin might be one of the most tolerant cities around the world, both towards foreigners and gay/queer/trans people. If I look at a normal german suburban town like the one I am living at, it’s the exact opposite: If I were to walk around with unshaved legs and armpits, people would give me looks. Everyone in Germany is shaved! This myth has been formed in the 80s when feminism was born and the free body culture was gaining popularity, which leads me to the next myth:
- Germans only go to FKK beaches (nude beaches)
Germans can be very tolerant when it comes to being natural and accepting nudity. There are actually a lot of nude beaches and thermal baths that have textile free days and hours, but there are many young germans who can’t cope with this situation here either. I feel like it’s more the older generation that practices this or new-age hippies. Also in changing rooms of fitness studios, you will see middle aged women walking around naked with a bush while young girls will cover up and try to get dressed with their towel still covering them.
- Everyone drives the newest car
It is quite true that germans love their cars, man and woman alike. They probably love their cars more than beer and sausage. But not everyone drives a Benz here. And not everyone has the newest model. Especially beginners will start with an older car to lower the costs in case of a small accident. And there are also people who don’t have enough money or don’t wanna spend their money on the newest car every half a decade. As much as germans love their cars, they love their environment a little bit more and will keep their car for years, giving it to their kids when they’re older, instead of buying a new one.
And this was everything that I could debunk about german myths. I am sure there are at least as much more as the ones I mentioned. If you have any in your mind, don’t be shy to ask me in the comments.
I hope you liked this post!
Thanks for reading!