Germans tend to differ a lot from other nationalities when it comes down to culture. Relocating to Germany is going to be a lot to handle if you aren’t familiar with a couple of facts. This is why I Love Moving
has set up a list of tips for you to help you adapt to your new atmosphere. Stay tuned for more!
In Germany people don’t normally give hugs, it is more common to shake hands and when doing this maintain eye contact. Friends and family members are only to be greeted with hugs and kisses on the cheek. When communicating with a German you should keep a distance because they like their space and be sure to never address people with their first name, unless they ask you to. German’s give people titles like Herr for men and Frau for women that are used before their surname. Don’t ask Germans personal questions about their job or family unless you are close with them.
It is important to remember to never use your fingers when eating in Germany. Everything is eaten by fork except bread. Specific table manners like no elbows on the table are taken seriously in this country. To indicate that you are finished with your meal, place your fork and knife on the side. Crossing them means that you haven’t finished your meal.
Restaurant dining in Germany is somewhat different than at home because here you have to wait to be escorted and seated. It is also common to share tables at restaurants if you can’t find a free spot or are dining alone. Water is requested to be paid for and ordered separately. To try and avoid being stingy, be sure not to ask for tap water because they normally only serve mineral and still water. Bills are usually paid all together or separate if you want to divide the bill with the person you are dining with. Tips are normally 5-10% of the charge, but on holidays people often tend to leave larger tips.
Being a Guest in Germany
Don’t be late if you are invited to a dinner, if you happen to be running later than 15 minutes call and explain why, but never arrive early. It is normal to bring flowers, a box of sweets or some alcohol for the people that are hosting you. Be sure to take your shoes off when entering the house unless your host tells you not to. Try to finish everything in your plate so that your host won’t be left offended and remember to thank them to express your gratitude.
It is important not to be late for a meeting because you can make a bad professional relationship at the very start of your job at your new location. Germans also find it rude if you skip a meeting or cancel in the last moment. People in this country are quite straightforward and they like it if you get to the point quickly. In dealings they are quite professional and sometimes you may get the feeling as cold, but don’t take it personal. Germans tend to take the time to finalize a deal because they want everything to be perfect so you are going to have to be patient.