Germany overview

Population and Basic Facts of Germany

Geography & Climate

Germany is located in Europe bordering Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic. It is the 6th largest country in Europe, while only the 62nd largest country in the world. Germany has over 2500 kilometers of coastline bordering the Baltic and North Seas. Approximately a third of the country is forest and woodlands — the highest point is located in the Alps, at the Zugspitze to the lowest point, Wilstermarsch, located in the lowlands in the northern section of the country. Glaciers can be found in and around the Alps as well as many rivers crisscrossing through the country such as the famous Danube, Rhine and Elbe.

Berlin is the country's capital while also being the largest city in Germany with an approximate population of 3.4 million. The country consists of 6 states, including Berlin. The approximate population of Germany as of 20 is just over 8 million residents.

Germany’s climate is diverse as it is located between Western Europe and the continental Eastern Europe. The temperate seasonal climate fluctuates between mild winters and warm summers in the western half to very cold winters and hot summers in the eastern half. Rainfall is year round with no specific dry season, but eastern Germany can have longer periods of no precipitation. However the uplands which have a primarily mountain climate have lower temperatures and much greater precipitation.

 

 

Demographics

Germany is the most populous country in the European Union, after Russia, with a density of 225 inhabitants per square kilometer. Germans, as a whole, have a lengthy life expectancy of approximately 80 years with females just surpassing males with 82 years. However, the birthrate of Germany is a mere .4 per woman while the death rate has been significantly higher since the late 970s. If this trend continues, experts hypothesize that the population will decrease to 60-70 million by the year 2060.

Approximately 90% of the population is German nationals while immigrants comprise the other 0%. Immigrant residents from English-speaking nations, not including military members, are from the following in order of largest to smallest population in Germany: Unites States, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

Christianity is the largest religion in the land while being divided among the following subsets: Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians. Islam is second largest religion with 5% of the population. Other major religions include: Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism.

German is the official language with only five recognized native minority languages. Protected by the government those five are:

·         Danish

·         Sorbian

·         Romany

·         Low German

·         Frisian 

 

Culture

The German culture is vast and deeply rooted —known as the land of thinkers and poets (Das Land der Dichter und Denker); Germany has a long history of producing famous writers and philosophers. These scholars have greatly influenced Western thought and culture. Germany believes culture to be an important aspect of society and the government has subsidized theaters, museums, symphonic orchestras and libraries — although the country's influence extends to various types of cultural areas such as: art, music, architecture, literature and philosophy. [...]

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German holidays

Eat, drink and celebrate like a German.

 

Being in a foreign country provides even more reasons to be excited about the holidays. For expats in Germany, a public holiday isn't merely about getting the day off work and being able to snuggle up and catch up on all the television shows you may have missed. Instead, it's a call for exploration and education. Yes, education. Learning how different holidays are celebrated in Germany and being a part of the festivities is a great way to discover how different or similar German holiday traditions are to your own.

 

Expand your palate during the holidays, try something new, something traditionally German. Soon enough, you'll be cooking up German meals, all on your own, being able to manipulate the ingredient where ever you see fit. Your home will be the go to place for a decadent Christmas dinner.

 

German public holidays and how they are celebrated:

 

  • New Years: On Silvester (New Years Eve), families often host a special Raclette dinner filled with conversation and laughter where a bottle or two of  champagne always seems to make its way to the party.  And because New Years Eve wouldn't be complete without a screening of 'Dinner for One', everyone huddles up on the couch in preparation for this 963 classic. At around midnight, the thunder starts. Every street and corner, city center and small town sends flashes of light in the air, one after the other, making the sky more picturesque than ever. For those living in Berlin, it's worth joining in the hustle and bustle at the Brandesburger Tor to watch the extravagant firework displays. The New Years day itself is a whole lot calmer. There are no more fireworks allowed and families can sit home and recover from all the banging that occurred the previous night.

 

 

  • Christmas: On the 24th of December the Christmas tree is put up and presents are opened. The Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus) pays a visit during the early hours of the evening and drops off all the goodies for the children. Christmas dinner is usually comprised of goose, vegetables and potatoes.

 

  • Good Friday: This is usually a calm day in German households, where families enjoy a special dinner together.

 

  • Easter Monday: Moms and dads enjoy hiding Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies in the garden or around the house. The children then have fun testing their eyes, checking each and every crevice for their goodies. Lunch on Easter Monday usually consists of lamb, vegetables and potatoes.

 

The Easter fire is also very popular amongst Germans and something you won't want to miss.

 

  • Labor Day: Labor Day is usually celebrated with a small family lunch, or when the weather permits, a picnic.

 

  • Ascension day: A special church service is held.

 

  • Whit Monday: Beware that your property is locked on this holiday as spirits (mischievous kids) are known to go around stealing and places tools in places they don't belong.

  • Day of German Unity: In Berlin, concerts are held and speeches are given by German politicians. 

 

These are public holidays, which means all stores are close, so be sure to get your grocery shopping done before. [...]

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13 Things to Know Before You Move to Germany

Moving to another Country is such an exciting prospect that you might forget about getting to know the country you are about to move to deeply before hopping on a plane. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of 3 things to know before you move to Germany to make preparing for your stay here a breeze.

Learning to Speak German is a Feat in Itself

This should not be a surprise, as Germans would often joke that speaking German is a feat for themselves as well. What you have learned in language class may not prepare you enough for what you’ll face once you’ve made the move to Germany. Don’t fret though, it will be easier as you immerse yourself in the culture and the people.

Brace Yourself for the Sky High Taxes in Germany

To give you an idea how high the taxes are, you will probably make the same money working only half a day compared to working the full day with overtime. All the other earnings may just go into taxes. In fact, having a walk-in closet is taxed in Germany!

Getting an Apartment in Germany Involves Having Super Powers

This is one thing you really have to be prepared for even months before you move to Germany. In many cases, you need to look for an apartment months up to a year before your actual move to Germany.

German Paperwork Takes Forever

Not only that, but Germans love their paperwork. If you are going to cancel something that requires paperwork, be prepared to allocate months.

Germany is Teeming with Bakeries, Sausages, and Yes, Beer

 

 

 

Food lovers will love moving to Germany. You can get freshly baked breads and pastries everywhere, be overwhelmed by the variety of sausages, and yes, learn to drink beer with every meal. You will also learn that beer is on the same league as water, its just that you don’t bathe in it.

High Heels Are Out in Germany

If you love your high heels or if you love seeing women in high heels, then you might have to sacrifice that when you move to Germany. You see, the place is riddled with cobblestones, stairs, and other things which makes wearing high heels an accident risk and a health hazard.

Recycling in Germany is a National Sport that Requires a PhD

Everyone is concerned about recycling and takes it really seriously. When you move to Germany, you will basically get a PhD in recycling and get very fit while at it, considering the amount of mental muscles you need to exercise just to keep up with all the recycling. Maybe recycling is the training ground Germans use that’s why so many of them are super smart. Don’t you think so?

Buying Furniture Can Be Quite an Ordeal in Germany

Because of the paperwork and the taxes, and because everything else is simply different when you move to Germany, buying furniture takes a very long time. We are talking months of sleeping on the floor while waiting for your bed, and yes, this really happens.

German Stores Don’t Have Baggers, It’s a Bag Your Own Purchase Zone

Oh such a culture shock for most expats! You see, when you move to Germany, you will become an expert bagger with the ability to bag your purchases at the speed of light. If you are anything slower, you will get the stare of death from the cashier and from all the other people next in the grocery line to you.

There is No Such Thing as One Stop Shopping in Germany

When you move to Germany, expect to visit a few stores just to get ingredients for your dinner. There is a certain store for almost every category of item and often times a store will only carry certain brands or certain items. Not only that, but they are all usually closed on Sundays.

Germany Will Make You Fall In-Love with Asparagus

And you have no choice in this matter. Once a year, there is a period where asparagus invades Germany just like Beer for Oktoberfest. If you absolutely hate asparagus, you will be at risk of starvation around May when Spargel Season arrives, so you see, you have to fall in love with it.

Water is taken on a Whole New Level in Germany

Germans love sparkling water. Drinking tap water is considered a sin, and if you ask your hostess for water, don’t be surprised when it served to you fancy style!

You Need James Bond Level Driving Skills to Drive Around in Germany

Driving becomes a sport when you move to Germany. You need to learn how to have uncanny alertness to whiz around all the parked cars in narrow roads and to be constantly aware of the cyclists which can come from all directions. You will surely develop a sixth sense becoming an expert driver around here!

Being an expat is really fun, especially with a country like this Teutonic powerhouse to explore. Now that you’ve read all of this, you are now on your way to be very prepared to move to Germany! Who knows, you might even come up with your own list of must-knows for anyone wanting to explore this land.[...]

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15 Awesome Facts You Did Not Know About Germany

There are so many awesome facts that any foreigner, expat or not needs to know about Germany before visiting or moving into this Teutonic territory. Ranging from funny trivia to really awesome facts, arming yourself with knowledge about this German must-knows would surely make your stay or visit in Germany more meaningful. So read on and dig in the list of the 5 Awesome Facts You Did Not Know About Germany:

Fact # - Premature Birthday Wishes is Bad Luck in Germany

When in Germany, you have to do as the Germans do, and that means not greeting someone a happy birthday unless the clock has at least striked midnight on the day of their birth. When done early, don’t be surprised to get a snarl or a frown instead of a smile from your German friend, as greeting too early is akin to wishing them bad luck.

Fact # 2 - In Germany, When a Family Moves, Their Kitchen Moves Too

Yes, one of the facts about Germany is that the kitchen is part of the family belongings, not a part of the house. Germans are known to strip the whole kitchen (including the sink!) when moving houses.

Fact # 3: FKK Started in Germany

There are no prudes in Germany, only weird prudish foreigners (that’s you!). This means by going to the beach, you should at least be prepared to go naked (or receive weird stares when you remain clothed).

Fact # 4: Stores are Closed on Sundays in Germany

Sundays are usually the days when stores everywhere else in the world gets the most sales, but not in Germany. So if you are a tourist or an expat, one of the first lessons you’ll face about Germany is that there are no shopping to be done on a Sunday, and yes, that can include groceries.

Fact # 5: People Tell Time Differently in Germany

This is something which can be a predicament for first time visitors, as they may think that the Germans are misleading them when telling the time. The fact is, Germans tell time differently. When a German says Half One, the actual time is 2:30, not :30. Germans usually say the minutes before the hour, so ‘half one’ actually means ‘half an hour to one’ or 2:30.

Fact # 6: In Germany, Oktoberfest Starts in September

This is one of the facts about Germany which you might want to keep in mind when you want to enjoy all the best beers in the world. Be there in September and follow the feast to October. Would be a great trivia to impress your buddies with too.

Fact # 7: There are More Than 300 Types of Bread in Germany

 

Although known as the land of beers and sausages, one of the facts about Germany is that it has a lot of selection for the bread connoisseur as well. This only seems logical, since a good sausage needs a good bread plus some beer to wash it all down.

Fact # 8 - There are More Than ,000 Types of Sausages in Germany

No wonder the Germans are known for their sausages (pun intended).

Fact # 9 - There are Food Museums in Germany

If you want to know more about German food, visiting a food museum should be on your list of must see while in Germany. You will get to know all the German gastronomic delights in an intellectual and yummy manner in just one place, it’s a win-win!

Fact # 0 - Germany is the First Country to Adapt Daylight Saving Time

Germans are always on time! They are even the first to be on time! No wonder they are so precise.

Fact # : You have to Raise One Thumb to Order One Beer in Germany

Instead of the index finger, it is actually the thumb you need to raise if you want to get more beer. So practice raising your thumb before you head for Oktoberfest!

Fact # 2 - The Largest Train Station in Europe is in Berlin Germany

Which means that if you have the paperwork part already done, you can visit many countries in Europe via train from the Berlin station. Cheap and fun travel the old fashioned way.

Fact # 3 - Denial of the Holocaust is a Crime in Germany

The holocaust no doubt is a heart-breaking event, but if you are up to committing ‘a crime’ for the sake of bragging rights, just deny it ever happened when you are in Germany. Make sure to not do this in public though, as this is a very serious matter.

Fact # 4 - In Germany, Most Taxis are Mercedez

The great thing about Germany is that, when roaming around as a tourist or an expat, you’ll often find yourself riding a Mercedez cab, something you can brag about at home and tell everyone that you were always riding a Mercedez when you were in Germany. Just make sure to leave out the fact that it is just a cab.

Fact # 5 - Germany has the Most Number of Soccer Fan Clubs

Well, Germans do have the psychic soccer octopus, so it is not a surprise that Germany also have the most number of soccer fan clubs than any other country in the world.

Now that you know 5 of the most awesome facts about Germany, you may want to add to this list by discovering for yourself the other fun trivia and facts about Germany. Enjoy your German adventures![...]

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