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Archive for the 'Living in Germany' Category

German Soccer

Soccer is the most important sport in Germany. More than six million members are organized in the German Football Association (DFB). In addition there are about four million people who play soccer in hobby teams on a regular basis.

 

In 2006 the soccer fever in the country reached a new dimension. The FIFA World Cup put Germany into a state of emergency. Houses and cars were decorated with flags. Even in companies television sets were installed, so that the employees did not miss a match of the national soccer team. Emotional higlights during that period were the fan parties. Thousands of people watched the matches together on huge screens and partied with the visitors from all over the world. The atmosphere was wild and peaceful. Also the weather contributed to the fantastic atmosphere. During the whole tournament there was perfect summer weather.

 

Hopefully this party will be continued in 2011. Then Germany will host the Women’s Soccer World Cup. Of course the German women will try to defend their actual world champion trophy in their own country.

Compared to the USA, women’s soccer still plays a minor role in Germany. There is an average of 800 to 1,000 onlookers at league matches. But the situation is slowly changing. Because of the two championship victories in the last World Cups, the regard is constantly increasing. In 2007 more than 20,000 excited people bid their welcome to the successful team in Frankfurt. With a total of eight championship victories at international tournaments, the women soccer team is even more successful than its male counterpart.

Now you understand the importance of Soccer in German society! Next time you play the sport, you will have these key elements in mind!

Bier

The picture of the beer drinking Germans is well used abroad. Indeed the cliche of a nation of beer drinkers is based on real facts. With a consumption of more than 110 liters per head Germany holds the second position in Europe. Only Czech people drink more.
But not only the consumption of beer in Germany is high, but also is the assortment of different kinds. Estimations say there are more than 5000 different beers.


Of course you won’t find all of them on the shelves in the supermarkets. Many beers come from small breweries which sell their products regional or direct to the customers. Nevertheless there is an impressive assortment in a German drinks cash-and-carry. In addition to regional and national kinds of beer you will find many international ones. Popular brands are for example Miller and Heineken. With this huge number of beers it is not easy to keep track of all of them.


The most important national kinds are pilsner, wheat beer, lager, dark beer and bock beer. In addition there are regional beers like “Alt” from the Niederrhein, “Kölsch” from Cologne and “Berliner Weiße” from Berlin. Some regional kinds of beer have loyal devotees. In the region between the big cities Düsseldorf and Cologne people are friendly arguing on the topic who enjoys the more tastefull beer. People from Düsseldorf swear by their “Alt”, people from Cologne defend their “Kölsch” emphatically. A special position on the beer market is held by the federal state of Bavaria. More than 50 percent of all German breweries are located here. Nearly every hamlet has its own small brewery.

Ratingen

 Ratingen is located in immediate proximity to Düsseldorf. With more than 90,000 inhabitants the town is middle-sized. People who like being outside in nature, can explore the woods which surround Ratingen. There are many paths for walkers, bikers and people on horseback. Furthermore the recreation parc “Green Lake” and the open air theatre at the “Blue Lake” are popular destinations.The centre of Ratingen is the townplace with its fountain and the surrounding old houses. Three times a week it is market day. 


Then it is possible to buy meat, cheese and flowers here. Extremely favored are fresh vegetables and fruits, which are mainly grown on farms in the Ratingen’s environment. In combination with “St. Peter and Paul”, the old church, the marketplace is a nice setting for many city festivals. A special experience is a summer evenig at the market place. If the weather is fine, it is barely possible to get a seat in one of the beer gardens. Nearly every chair is occupied, normally until 11 p.m. No wonder – the atmosphere ist fantastic. 
It is best, when the sinking sun baths the historical buildings at the market place in a golden light. Ratingen is an old town. A settlement of that name was first mentioned in the 9th century. In 1276 the settlement gained its town charter. Shortly after that the construction of the city wall begun. Until today three towers and some other parts of the fortification survive. 


On a trip to Ratingen you should not miss it. You will get an extremly good impression of the fortification and its construction at the “Big Tower”. In addition to the city wall you can see parts of the city moat there. Ratingen is located between three freeways. There is no place in the city from where one needs more than 15 minutes to reach a freeway entrance ramp. Furthermore the train connections to Essen and Düsseldorf are good and the airport in Düsseldorf can be reached in just a few minutes. Because of its good travel connections and the proximity to Düsseldorf Ratingen’s economically growth is good. Since local business taxes are less high than in other areas many companys from sunrise industries are moving to Ratingen.

To Live and Work in Germany, You Have to Start Here!

Every country and culture has their own unique way of defining what is proper behavior when meeting someone new. In Germany, you may have seen that people sometimes hug of exchange kisses on the cheek, like the French do. However, it is a recent trend, as  only young people will get as close as that. As a rule of thumb, most Germans will shake hands while bowing their heads a little, kind of like a nod.

Another thing to be taken into consideration when greeting someone, is also the rank of the person. The older or higher-ranking person should offer his hand first. If you offer your hand to somebody ranking higher than you, a few will even snub it, but fortunately they are the minority. Of course, a general cultural rule is sometime not followed even by the natives in some cases, and being a foreigner might give you a bit of leeway, but in the case of , especially, a professional work environment, we recommend that you keep in mind the general customs, as first impressions are very important.
Germans are known to observe the rules (in particular the uneducated may not), please try to observe etiquette when in Germany, as that will definitely help your career in Germany. We are sure that people will take into account your manners and you will be much more appreciated for your courtesy.

Also, it is quite important you don’t forget to bow your head a little when shaking hands. If If you keeping looking straight ahead,
people will instinctively perceive you as arrogant. And we sure don’t want you to give the wrong impression!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From GermanPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at GermanPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn German together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study German with GermanPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the GermanPod101.com team!