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Germany

Introduction

Historically, Germany has been called Das Land der Dichter und Denker or “the land of poets and thinkers,” because of the major role its writers and philosophers have played in the development of Western thought. But because of its long history as a non-united region of distinct tribes and states before 1871, there are many widely varied names for Germany in different languages; more so than for any other European nation. In the German language, the country is known as Deutschland from the Old High German diutisc. Meanwhile, it is known as Alemania in Spanish, while Allemagne in French. It is also called Germania in Italian, Niemcy in Polish; and Saksa and Saksamaa in Finnish and Estonian, respectively from the name of the Saxon tribe.

Germans call themselves Deutsche (living in Deutschland), but they can also be called Germani (for the people) and Germania (for the area where they live). As for the Germans from the Latin Germania, the German people are called tedeschi.

Following World War II, Germany has consistently been a popular destination for immigrants. Initially, migration was primarily between West and East Germany, and the majority of the inbound population was ethnically German or from other parts of Europe. After the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, Germany experienced a labor crisis, and instituted a guest worker program to fill empty jobs. While this policy was initially designed with the intent for workers to return to their home country, many of the guest workers gained residency and brought their families with them.

The majority of people who came to Germany as a result of this program were from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Greece and former Yugoslavia. However, despite the increase in resident workers, Germany maintained a policy of “ius sanguinis” (or “right of blood”), which meant that the vast majority of the guest workers and their families were not granted citizenship.

 

Area: 357,022 km2 (137,847 sq mi)

Population: 83,166,711

TV Tower, Berlin. Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels

Capital: Berlin

National Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen

Government Type: Federal parliamentary republic

Languages: German, Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, Romani

Religion:

· Roman Catholic 28.2%

· Protestant 26%

· Muslim 5%

· Orthodox 1.9%

· Other Christian 1.1%

Ethnic Groups:

· German 87.2%

· Turkish 1.8%

· Polish 1%

· Syrian 1%

Climate: Germany has a temperate climate throughout the country with warm summers and cold winters. Extreme temperatures sometimes reach -10° C (5°F) in winter and 35° C (95° F) in the summer months.

Photo by Alexandra on Pixabay

Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)

Expat Population: 10.6 million

Taboos:

Germans find small talk boring and a waste of time. They are also punctual, so avoid being tardy and late. Also note that chewing gum, blowing your nose, winking at someone you do not know well, and rolling down the window to chat with someone outside, are all minor infractions of taboo in Germany.

Cultural Behavior:

German culture and people are, to a large extent, all about reason and logic. It is true that many Germans tend to place punctuality as a high priority. German people also tend to be thrifty, sensible, and respectful of one another’s privacy. Note as well that sense of ‘order’ is more apparent in German business culture.

Traditionally however, German people tie a lot of importance to notions of family and community.

Country Ranking in HDI (Human Development Index): Ranked 6th in the world

Cost of Living:

The average monthly living expenses in Germany (for non-students) is around €1,200, but there are many factors which can affect this, especially location.

 

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