As a German living in the UK, there are some things your non-German friends will just never get about your culture and heritage. Azimo goes beyond the beer-and-sausage stereotypes to line up nine traditions, quirks and habits that only those from Deutschland will truly understand.
1. Christmas starts on 6th December
Along with the traditional advent calendars and Christmas Eve presents, you know that 6th December is a festive don’t-miss when Germans leave their shoes outside for St Nicholas to fill with chocolates. It means you get a whole lot more treats than your non-German friends during the Christmas build-up.
2. New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be complete without a screening of Dinner for One
While you probably couldn’t explain why to your UK friends, somehow it simply wouldn’t feel like a proper New Year’s Eve without watching this obscure 1963 British comedy sketch about an old woman whose friends are all dead. ‘Same procedure as last year?’ ‘Same procedure as every year!’
3. You learned how to behave from fairytales
Your nails are always meticulously trimmed after reading the horrifying Struwwelpeter, you gave up sucking your thumb thanks to the tailor in Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher, and Die Geschichte vom Zappel-Philipp scared you into never fidgeting at the dinner table again.
4. You never wish someone a happy birthday before the date
Until the moment the clock strikes midnight on the day of someone’s birthday, you’d never dream of wishing them a happy birthday – it’s plain bad luck. Instead, you make sure you’re first in with best wishes on the day.
5. Summer makes you long for quarry ponds
You spent your summer holidays as a child playing in a picturesque quarry pond in the countryside with your skin slathered in sun cream. In fact, the need to be at one with nature runs deep – you, like many of your fellow Deutschlanders, love being outdoors. Without clothes, if at all possible.
6. You own a lint roller
Your parents raised you to be a decent human being, not a monster, so your home is as dust-free as you can make it – although you probably don’t have time to dust under the sofa twice a day like Oma. And while we’re on the subject of domestic chores, you’re never without an iron close to hand.
7. You know where the nearest German bakery is
They don’t make real bread in the UK, so you have to find a proper bakery to get your fix as your need for Roggenmischbrot and Mehrkornbrot knows no bounds. You may or may not have an emergency packet of rye in the cupboard, and ‘Gott sei Dank’ for LIDL’s selection of German foods.
8. You feel sorry for kids starting school in the UK
Unlike your first day at school in Germany, when you were given a Schultüte (school cone) stuffed with sweets, presents and stationery to smooth over any nerves, kids in the UK are packed off with little more than a pat on the back. Children here are so deprived.
9. Your fridge is always stocked with sparkling water
Forget lukewarm tap water – in most German households, not having a bottle of chilled sparkling water on hand to offer guests is considered the height of bad manners, about the same as a British person not having tea in the house.
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