Category Archives: German culture

German history goes well beyond oompah bands. In fact, those aren’t German at all – they’re Bavarian. It’s not as simple as it seems, since the country has only existed since 1871 and regional rivalries coupled with two world wars and one Cold War make for a complex historic landscape.

Are you sure that’s what that sign means?

A sign in a foreign country may look like a word you know. But looks....

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Aren’t you glad you got the orange car after all?

One thing Germans hate is a dirty car. But there's no escaping the fine dust....

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The strange cult status of white asparagus 

If you are in Munich and see people jostling for a spot in line at....

Cozy? Let’s sabotage that by opening a window

Once you're comfy and cozy, a German is bound to open the window to air....

The Superbowl is super in Germany, too

Football may be America's favorite sport, but it's gaining ground fast in Germany, too. I....

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Better than bread: The best excuse to fatten up

Germans are now confronting the fact that Christmas is over but winter is just getting....

Ring in the New Year and fire the firecrackers

The New Year means more than resolutions. All of Germany sets off firecrackers at midnight....

‘Twas the Night Before Weihnachten

On a trip to a Christmas market in Munich, I was inspired by The Night....

Christmas cookies: Good, better, German

I loved Christmas cookies growing up and thought they were pretty good, but have since....

What happened to Santa Claus?

Santa Claus, St. Nick, or the Christ child? The figure we associate with Christmas takes....

Hot wine and cold toes

Christmas markets are popping up on every corner in Germany, including the medieval town of....

The 37 Days of Christmas

Germans don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but they celebrate Christmas half the winter. Starting at the end....

If this is punctuality, my watch is broken

Germans have a reputation for being punctual, but trains are a different story. During a....

What happened to my pumpkin pie?

It's not a holiday without pumpkin pie, but what I bake is a far cry....

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Celebrating St. Martin from the comfort of the couch

Americans celebrate fall with Halloween, but Germans have St. Martin. Children carry lit lanterns in....

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The nightmare of motherhood in Germany

School has started, a good moment to consider the burden on mothers with children in....

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The library, the monk, and the sandals

This stunning Baroque library tucked away in a monastery in a Bavarian village is the....

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Germans put the fun in fungi

My experience with mushrooms was confined to cans as a kid. In Germany, collecting them....

‘Tis the season of the Wiesn: The Oktoberfest for locals and tourists

What some probably don’t realize is that while the Oktoberfest is the biggest folk festival....

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The tiniest stars of the Oktoberfest live in a drawer

The Oktoberfest is synonymous with beer for most people. Yet half of the fairgrounds consists....

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Protesting technology by battling bikes and coning cars

Munich had a run-in with e-bikes once a few years ago. They successfully battled the....

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Not teaching foreign languages will make America more insular

Do you speak English? This question is often answered with “Yes” all around the world.....

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What’s in a name? More than you think

People’s identities are tied up closely with their names. But even when you are careful....

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Germans delight in overengineering, taking helicopter mothering to new heights 

Any foreigner in Germany knows all about the country’s love of overengineering. All it takes....

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Munich comes full circle: From putsch to Rabbi Conference

The hand of history has done its work on the city of Munich. Named after....

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Landshuter Hochzeit: The most theatrical wedding this side of the 15th century

Imagine if your wedding were so spectacular that people would want not just to reenact....

A fortune for footwear, or my kingdom for a sneaker

There was a lot of hullabaloo when Adidas dropped its sponsorship of the rapper Ye....

Watch out! Augsburg joined forces with the Swedes

Companies sometimes use shady tactics to gain the upper hand in a market. But this....

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One foreigner is not like another – here’s why

Listen to Brenda tell the story There are varying grades of foreigners in Germany, with....

Are you sure that’s what that sign means?

Signs are there for the express purpose of helping you find your way. They tell....

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This cheap ticket is amazing, but I missed my connection

Germany already experimented with a cheap train ticket last summer. People loved it so much....

Bring out the Easter eggs – the kids are coming home

Just as I was getting used to not being a mother, my COVID-harassed daughters came....

When a fight with your mom costs millions: acrimony at Aldi

There are grocery stores, and then there’s Aldi. In the decades since WWII, this discounter....

The nightmare of motherhood in Germany

Germany has the reputation of having generous social programs, with vivid descriptions such as "cradle-to-grave"....

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Look here, U.S. election deniers – Berlin bungled it big time 

The press and social media are still abuzz with deniers of the U.S. elections in....

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Even better than bread: the best excuse to fatten up, complete with cream filling

January is when Germans confront the fact that Christmas is over but winter is just....