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Regular version of the site

Culture Café: Germany

What do we know about Germany ? How do you understand whether you “are” German or not? How can you differentiate German cities and how to survive there?

We know all the answers after attending our Culture Café on November 22, which was committed to one the most influential European nations—Germany. We are truly grateful to HSE international students: Inga, Mert, Isabella and Clarissa, who made us fall in love with this outstanding country.

Follow us on our breathtaking journey and get rid of all your stereotypes about Germans forever! 

Our Culture Café started in quite an unusual way. We all were standing and singing the German National Anthem. From the very beginning we could feel the spirit of this country and were united more than ever. After singing, we reviewed some general information: we saw the national flag, “met” a chancellor Angela Merkel (who also likes “German heroes,” e.g. football team Die Mannschaft), and learned that Germany is divided into 16 Bundesländer (states). Besides, it’s not a secret that many famous people were born there: important people of history such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther, Joseph Stieler and today’s well-known Sebastian Vettel, Karl Lagerfeld, Heidi Klum and Diane Kruger.

The second part of our Culture Café was no less fascinating and entertaining. We had an opportunity to make sure that we’re not Germans. How? So, you’re German, if: 

- You tend to complain about the weather all the time;
- You go to Mallorca and understand everything, because the Spanish island is Germanized;
- You got a driving license for your bike in primary school;
- You separate your trash into more than five different bins;
- “Being on time” means 15 minutes earlier to you;
- You don't like any other chocolate rather than the German kinds;
- 300 types of bread aren’t enough for you;
- You argue over the gender of Nutella…

Are these statements applicable to you? Are you surprised?

After making sure that we weren’t Germans and still had to learn a lot about this country, it was a perfect time to get this useful information. Germany has the biggest population in Europe, 79 cities that have more than 100,000 inhabitants and 4 cities with more than a million inhabitants (Berlin, Hamburg, München, Köln).

Berlin is the reunified and re-invigorated capital of Germany; known for its division during the Cold War by the Berlin Wall. Today, it's the #1 vegan city in the world and metropolis of diversity with plenty of galleries, elegant shops, galleries, museums and restaurants.

Hamburg is Germany's second largest city with the largest harbour in Europe. It is scientifically and economically important for the whole country. (Make sure to visit Moondoo and Reeperbahn night clubs, if you like partying.)

München — is the third biggest and the most expensive German city. It is Bavaria's capital and economic powerhouse combines high tech with fine arts, world class shopping, a vibrant nightlife and the world-famous Oktoberfest, and is the gateway to the Alps.

Köln, where the oldest and the largest university in Europe is located, the University of Cologne. What is more, the city itself is famous for a Special Fest - Karneval, which starts on 11/11 at 11.11 am and where every day is special. Click the link to see more:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg4lFYdAi8c.

Now, as we are aware of the most important, but not the least engaging German cities. It’s time to remember about the essential part of literally every Culture Café: food! No doubt that German food is one of the most prominent in the world, however, not many of us know that cuisine differs depending on a region. If you’re travelling to Bavaria, don’t forget to eat Sausages with pretzels, beer and sweet mustard; if you’ve chosen Thuringia, make sure to try “Thüringer Klöße“ with red cabbage, “Thüringer Rostbratwurst“ eaten with mustard or ketchup. “Currywurst“, “Königsberger Klopse“, “Berliner Pfannkuchen“ are the best options for you, if your destinations are Berlin or Northeastern Germany.

Indeed, just a few hours are not enough to talk about everything Germany has, but there are some things we simply cannot miss. Have you ever dreamed about having an Audi car? It’s German! Excited to try a new Adidas shoes? Go to the headquarters in Herzogenaurach to be the first one! Or do you feel like having delicious Haribo jelly and another Ritter Sport chocolate bar? It is also made in Germany! And that’s not it, you would be surprised to know what else was created there.

Our extraordinary Culture Café ended with German music, and then everyone was invited to join Germans for a beer.

It is always so amazing to realise that HSE students from all over the world are so different but similar at the same time! Even though we speak different languages, we always have a lot to learn from each other and there are no limits or obstacles.

Remember: nothing makes the Earth seem so spacious as to have friends from all over the globe; they make the latitudes and longitudes. Make sure to join us for the future Culture Cafés to broaden your mind and find new friends.

Author: Ekaterina Kravtsova
Editor: Irina Klimova
Proofreader: Kaelyn Cook