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Germany

 

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Country

Identification

Federal Republic of Germany

Language(s)

German (different dialects)

Religion(s)

In the south: predominantly Catholics

In the North: predominantly Protestants

Various other Christian denominations

Muslims

Jews

Political System

Democracy

Currency

Euro

Geographical Information

In the middle of Western Europe

Continental climate but very different from the north to the south

Landscape varying from coastal plains in the north to the high mountains of the Alps in the south of the country

Borders : 9 countries (Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland)

Typical Food and drinks

Regional specialities, mostly heavy dishes due to the climate with a lot of meat, particularly pork - Large range of salads and vegetables

In the north : fish dishes

Different wine regions and beer all over the country

Wine consumption is increasing, beer consumption decreasing

Holidays and Festivals

New Year´s Day, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, Ascension of Mary, Reformation Day, All Saints Day, Day of prayer and repentance, Christmas, 1st May Day, Unification Day (3rd October), Fasching (Carneval)

History

First settled by Celts and German tribes, Franks and Romans

Part of the Holy Roman Empire which was divided between Charlemagne´s sons (843) à Kingdom of Germany followed by centuries of religious and territorial wars and wars of succession

Unification of different parts to a kingdom through Prussia with the help of Napoleon à Empire of Germany with Prussian domination

Last emperor: William the Second (till 1918)

Constitution of the Republic of Weimar.

In 1933 Hitler is Prime Minister and leads Germany to the second World War .

Up to 1946 Germany is a Federal Republic, cut in two parts: West and East. The West part is a Federal Republic and the East part a communist republic.

Germany´s reunification in 1991 brings former German regions back to West Germany.

Member of the NATO since 1955, EU since 1957

Art and culture

Literature: Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Annette von Droste Hülshoff, Lena christ, Thomas Mann, Bertold Brecht, Günther Grass...

Art: Albrecht Dürer, Carl Friedrich, Emil Nolde, Gabriele Münter,…

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Händel, Ludwig von Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Carl Orff, Arnold Schönberg,….

Film: There is an active film industry with people like Caroline Link, Werner Herzog…

Architecture: Roman ruins, castles, palaces, medieval towns

Churches from Romanesque to very modern

Modern office and shopping complexes - Bauhaus movement -

Walter Gropius

Dos and don´ts for visiting the country

Punctuality is a must.

Observing of rules and regulations.

Suitable behaviour at invitations (never offer flowers without removing the wrapping paper before! It is not usual to say Christian names without being allowed to)

Some sensitive topics should be avoided (e.g. World War II and Holocaust)

Population and

% of foreign population /minorities

about 84.000.000 inhabitants

about 7.500.000 foreigners (approximately 8,93 %)

about 2.000.000 Turkish people (most of them Muslims) and 592.000 from the former Yugoslavia, 318.000 Poles, 231.000 Croatians, 168.000 Bosnians, ….

about 1.900.000 European citizens from other EU countries (approximately 610.000 Italians, 360.000 Greeks, 190.000 Austrians, 128.000 Spaniards, ….)

Main Integration Problems

Language

Education or lack of education

Different cultural and religious backgrounds

Some prejudice against foreigners, especially coloured people

High concentration of foreigners in urban areas (mostly Turkish people)

Isolation of the Muslim population (lack of wish/interest to be integrated)

Disturbance through fanatic Muslims

 

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Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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