German v.s. Czech Cultures

After being in Prague for a few weeks, I felt that it would be a great chance to travel to another European country. Friday morning me and some friends caught the bus to Munich and started to explore the amazing city. This post will focus on examining the differences in culture between the Czech people and the Germans from what I’ve seen with my limited amount of time in both countries.

For starters, I could immediately tell that the Germans were much less quiet by how they acted on the transit systems: many of them were talking loud and people were less focused on keeping a low profile. Walking around in the streets of Munich, it was obvious that the German people were pretty much OK with making eye contact, but my time in the Czech republic made it hard for me to keep eye contact with them and I could tell the Czech culture had been rubbing off on me slightly. I was also approached by Germans who were trying to speak to me, which surprised me because people in Czech Republic tend to mind their own business and not worry about interacting with people if they do not have to. Unfortunately all I could say was “sorry man I don’ speak German”, so the guy instantly switched to English, which he spoke very well to my surprise. In my opinion the English in Germany is much more widely used: in every shop or restaurant me and my friends visited, we were able to communicate with the Germans very easily. I feel that the Germans are much more comfortable with speaking English around foreigners than the Czech people who seem very conscious of their language skills and do not want to make mistakes when communicating, which can lead to some interesting situations when trying to communicate simple things.

The Hall and Gardens

Probably one of the greatest experiences on my trip to Europe so far would have to be visiting the beer gardens and the beer hall named Hofbräuhaus, where I got to experience real German culture and cuisine. The gardens were an amazing thing to experience because of how much German personality you could experience in one place. German families would bring their children to the gardens and while they enjoyed some food and drink, the kids would be playing on this insanely cool looking playground which would never pass safety standards in the United States. Compared to the Czech beer gardens, the German gardens were very rowdy, with Germans yelling and shouting to their friends, laughing at other Germans who were too drunk, and kids running around the tables. The size of the garden was very large in comparison to the Czech gardens I have seen and the amounts of food and drink were massive. From what I have seen in the Czech republic, people seem to be more tame when eating and drinking and overall more quiet, whereas the Germans get drunk, loud, and sometimes incoherent. During my stay in Germany I thought a lot about how tolerant the Germans were about loud noises and wild actions and how the Czech people would react if they saw this happening in their country.

Now for the Beer hall, Hofbräuhaus. Examining the environment in this hall would probably the best way I could explain the culture in Germany to someone else. When you first reach Hofbräuhaus, the first thing you notice is a foul stench of the mixture of sweat, beer, and hearty food. Drinks were served in huge 1 liter mugs and waitresses with huge pretzels were walking around and taking orders. The environment of the hall was much different from anything you would expect in the Czech republic: there was a live German band playing authentic German music, people were smacking their drinks or hands on the table to the same pace as the song and there was lots of shouting and laughing which really contrasted the Czech way.

Design

For this portion of my post I wanted to showcase German design. Being a car enthusiast, I had to check out the BMW museum to see what Euro cars were all about and why not start with one of the most well known brands who branched out from aviation to car making. In order to showcase German design, I’ve created a collage with pictures from the BMW museum:

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