Typically German?

Cabaret artist Emmanuel Peterfalvi alias Alfons Photo: Pasquale D'Angiolillo © SR

Alfons: “I’m going to stay until I’ve understood the Germans”

An orange tracksuit jacket and a microphone covered with a huge deadcat windmuff – you can recognise Emmanuel Peterfalvi from afar. The Frenchman has made a name for himself in Germany as the reporter “Alfons”.More ...
The association “Typisch Deutsch” isn’t split along the lines of Germans and immigrants. Photo: © Typisch Deutsch e. V.

We are the new Germans

Their parents come from Turkey, Ghana or Korea and they are not fans of being labeled as people with “immigrant backgrounds”. The members of “Typisch Deutsch” (lit. typically German) prefer to be called “new Germans” and are out to redefine what it is to be German.More ...
© Pixelio

German Stars – Innovations, made in Germany

German inventions continue to change the world today. How the ideas were born, which creative minds were behind them and what significance the innovation has had to date.More ...
The Oktoberfest hits some sort of intercultural sweet spot. Photo: dazdraperma © 123RF

Oktoberfest – German Halloween?

It doesn’t seem right to compare the folksy Oktoberfest with the rather newfangled revelries of Halloween. Yet there are a number of similarities that speak surprisingly positively for both of the events. An apostil.More ...
German bread has a very good chance of being recognized as an intangible cultural heritage. Photo: eyewave © iStockphoto

Sourdough and more – German bread as cultural heritage

Germans love bread, and they don’t like to go without it when they are abroad. If things go as planned, this centuries-old tradition will soon be accepted into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list – and the chances are looking good.More ...
„Grand“, Copyright:www.pixelio.de/Foto: Christine Braun

18, 20 … weg – the Card Game Skat celebrates its 200th anniversary

Germany is really unthinkable without Skat. An apostil by Roger BoyesMore ...
Table at the Bundeskanzerlamt, Copyright: Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung /Fotograf: Guido Bergmann

No more Saumagen Experiments – German Culinary Diplomacy

A foreign leader is always in for a treat when he or she visits Germany.  An apostil by Roger BoyesMore ...
Nostalgic museum lines have become more popular than ever. Photo: Mark Ogle © iStockphoto

Jim Knopf’s steamy friendships

The past has a number: 52 8038. Polished to a high sheen, freight locomotive 52 8038 is chugging its way through the plains of northern Germany. On many of the routes these old steam trains are actually making a huge comeback for fans of nostalgic journeys.More ...
Still from „Goethe!“, Alexander Fehling as Goethe, Copyright: 2010 Warner Bros. Ent.

“Goethe!” – Germany’s National Poet Seen Through a Fresh Lens

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is a hero in Germany, the most important writer in the German language. But was he a rock star? An apostil by Roger BoyesMore ...
Wartburg in Eisenach; Copyright: www.pixelio.de/Foto: Werner Neunherz

The Burg – A Symbol of Power and Permanence

Examining the history of the Burg is a way of probing into the German character. The Burg has re-invented itself over the centuries, like Germany too.An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Rotes Kliff, Kampen; Copyright: Sylt Marketing GmbH

Sylt – A Meeting Place of The Rich, The Famous, The Naked and The Powerful

France has its côte d’azur, Italy has its Tuscan coast, Spain has the non-touristy parts of Mallorca – and Germany? Germany has Sylt, a 99 square kilometers North Sea island that is shaped like the sole of a foot. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
German players Mesut Özil (left) und Sami Khedira during a training session of the German national football team. Copyright: picture alliance / dpa

Two Germans called Özil and Khedira – Football is just the Beginning …

Generation M gave a kick-start to this year’s World Cup in South Africa and, at a stroke, changed Germany’s image. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: www.colourbox.com

Goalkeeping – A Great German Talent

In English schools it is the fat boy who gets to be goalkeeper: the assumption is that his sheer bulk will block the ball. In Germany, the position goes to one of the fittest, the best jumper, the brightest mind, the strongest kicker. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: picture-alliance/ dpa

Natural Born Bargain Hunters – The German Obsession with Price

Spring is a strange season in Germany: it is the only time of year when there is no major sale in the shops. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: www.colourbox.com

The Love of the Currywurst

I always try to be positive about German food. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
19.10.2007: first test run after its reconstruction: the copy of the “Adler” in the DB steam engine plant in Meiningen. Copyright: DB AG/Photo: Maximilian Meyer

Deutsche Bahn – An Institution Comes Under Fire

Germany’s railways used to be a source of pride for the nation. True, Germany was not the first to introduce the steam locomotive – that was England in 1804. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
The legend of the Germans as sauerkraut eaters persists Photo: Rolf Weschke © iStockphoto

The Legend of the “Krauts”

“Krauts” was used by English and American soldiers to refer to their German war-time enemies. And when contemporary caricaturists across the channel attack the Germans, sauerkraut is sure to feature once again.More ...
Copyright: picture-alliance / dpa

Prepared For The Worst Case Scenario – The German Aversion To Risk

Heavy snowfall, howling blizzards, frozen roads: the white terror of winter has a way of exposing national weaknesses and hidden strengths. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: www.pixelio.de

The Creation of Light – The Advent Weeks in Germany

This is the Season of goodwill in Germany – and of cultural clashes. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: www.colourbox.com

The German Shepherd – Dog With An Ambiguous Public Image

There are few animals that polarise the human world more than the German Shepherd Dog. Is he friend or foe? Dr Jackal or Mr Hound? An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Training for Golfers, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa

Be it Golf or Mushroom-Picking – Germany’s obsession with training for leisure

There is a theory that golf is the sternest test of integrity. You are standing alone with a short putt left to play. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Heart with rose petals and decoration, Categories: ornament mania and waste of decoration, abnormal forms, decoration in the wrong place, decoration crudeness, waste of ressources, Copyright: Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge/Photo: Armin Herrmann

Kitsch – A Serious Subject in Germany

What do the following have in common: a pink fluffy toilet seat cover patterned with carnations; a pair of slippers embroidered with the image of Barack Obama; an oil painting of a stag rising out of a lake? An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Beetle, colour TV and washing wachine: how the everday life has changed in Germany Copyright: iStockphoto - Stefan Klein

Sixty years of the Federal Republic of Germany – a retrospective of everyday life

After World War II, people in Germany had neither pens to write with nor machines to wash their clothes. No, at the time, “The Miracle in Bern” and “Sissy” were what moved the hearts of Germans.More ...
Copyright: www.pixelio.de

The “Strandkorb” – A Cult Object

If ever there was a time to discover the German seaside, it is in this summer of economic recession and global warming. Why travel half way across the world for sun, sea and sand when the same elements are available on your doorstep? An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Winnetou (Pierre Brice) and his sister Ntscho-tschi (Marie Versini).
Copyright: picture-alliance/ obs/ARD DEGETO

Winnetou has Arrived once again: The German Fascination with the Works of Karl May

From June to September every year Germans flock to Bad Segeberg in Schleswig-Holstein and to Radebeul in Saxony to celebrate the works of Karl May. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Opening of the Berlin wall,
Copyright: Bundesbildstelle

The Nervousness about Facing the Positive Aspects of German History

It is a big anniversary year for Germany. Sixty years since the Berlin airlift and the signing of the constitution, the Grundgesetz. And of course 20 years since the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism and the reunification of the country. So Germany should be celebrating a party all year long, right? Wrong. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Coypright: www.colourbox.com

German bread: one institution that has not crumbled

The global crisis has been eating away at popular confidence in bankers, in managers, estate agents, politicians and even journalists. But not bakers, oh no, not bakers. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Do we Germans really fit into the pigeonholes we are put into? Copyright: iStockphoto - Gianluca Fabrizio

Antlers or Feng Shui – How Typically German Are the Germans?

Sausages or Asian food? Antlers or feng shui? As the world grows together, it is becoming increasingly difficult to pigeonhole individual countries.More ...
Sign „Youth Hostel“,
Copyright: DJH

Encouraging the Community Spirit: the 100th Anniversary of the “Jugendherberge” Idea

Across Europe, there is a debate about education, discipline and values. In Germany there seems to be a conviction that everything started to go wrong in its schools as soon as the 1968 student-rebel generation became teachers. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Frankfurt Book Fair, 
Copyright: Alexander Heimann / Frankfurter Buchmesse

Still Alive and Well: the German “Bildungsbürger”

There is nothing comparable to the German “Bildungsbürger”. You can find him, or her, everywhere.
An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Television Show ‚Lafer! Lichter! Lecker‘ with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his colleague from Luxemburg Jean Asselborn.
Cop: picture-alliance/dpa

Germany’s Cooking Revolution

There is a special club of nations famous for their bad cooking. Jacques Chirac earned the eternal disapproval of the Finns when he described their cuisine as the worst in Europe. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Christmas market, Cologne Cathedral © picture-alliance / Bildagentur Huber

The Weihnachtsmarkt – Intelligent Balance between Public and Private Celebration

Christmas is the time when people retreat into the family bunker, emerging dazed, over-fed and half-crazed with boredom, at the end of the holiday. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: www.colourbox.com

The New Frugality

The financial crisis is driving Germans back to traditional values, and that’s no bad thing. The New Frugality, the Neue Sparsamkeit, is not the same as Geiz (stinginess).More ...
Dr. Joseph Roth (Joe Bausch) examines a female corpse at the bank of the Rhine; Copyright: WDR/Uwe Stratmann

The “Tatort” Phenomenon

One of the rituals of Sunday night in Germany is corpse-watching. Thanks to state television, the Germans are treated to the sight of murdered bodies in some of their most picturesque cities.More ...
Lederhose; Copyright: pixelio.de

Bavaria - Germany made flesh

For decades Bavaria has been the embodiment of Germany for foreigners – Germany made flesh. And what flesh! It was – how shall we say this? – typisch deutsch. An apostil from Roger Boyes.More ...

Every Year: Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit! A Visit to Munich’s Oktoberfest

If you see ten thousand people standing in line in Munich at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning, what is going on is neither a new game console hitting the market nor the start of ticket sales for a hot band. The reason is much, much more important: The Oktoberfest has begun.More ...
Copyright: picture-alliance/ dpa

Toy Train Enthusiasts

Germans love machines. There is no European male who gets more pleasure out of dismantling and repairing and inventing new ways of refrigerating cheese or reducing exhaust fumes or making rockets fly more quietly. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: TU Dresden

A Chronic Doctor-Overload

Nobody is quite sure when it began but Germany has an obsession with the Doktortitel. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Angela Merkel und George Bush beim gemeinsamen Barbecue in Trinwillershagen 2006; Foto: REGIERUNGonline / Bergmann

Serial Grillers

The fact is, there is nothing quite like a German barbecue. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Poster Exhibition `Melodies for Millions´ – The Century of the Schlager; Copyright: Thomas Jahn

The Schlager is here to stay

Germany has always been a breeding ground for musical talent. There is one musical area though where Germany lags behind: the hit pop song, known in Germany as the Schlager. An apostil by Roger BoyesMore ...
Copyright: picture-alliance/Picture Press/Westermann, Klaus

There is no English word for Rabenmutter

Are German mothers very different from English or French or American mothers? An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Old Fritz with his wind chime on the terraces of Sanssouci. Collotype from gouache, 1900, by Georg Schoebel (born 1860), later colouration. Copyright: picture-alliance / akg-images

Sexy Prussia

Every now and again, Prussia becomes fashionable. This time though it is serious. An apostil from Roger BoyesMore ...
Nudisten; Copyright: www.colourbox.com

The Ideology of Nudism in Germany

Britons find nudity hilarious. Germans take it very seriously. An apostil by Roger Boyes More ...
Mitglieder der Burschenschaft Teutonia während der feierlichen Eröffnung des Akademischen Jahres der Universität Freiburg; Copyright: picture-alliance / dpa

The Forgotten World of Student Fraternities

This is a world with its own rules: all that the outside world knows about student fraternities is often a mixture of half-truths and hearsay, yet such associations are to be found in almost every university town in Germany.More ...
`Max and Moritz´; Copyright: Wilhelm-Busch-Museum Hannover

German Humour

2008 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Max-and-Moritz inventor Wilhelm Busch. It is being used as an excuse to investigate whether the Germans have a sense of humour at all. An apostil by Roger BoyesMore ...
Germany´s typical living room; Copyright: JVM

Germans on the Couch – An Insight into the German Living Room

Wicked tongues claim that German living rooms are still a bastion of “Gelsenkirchen Baroque” – with its weighty wall units, a cumbersome though comfortable three-piece suite and a coffee table in dark oak veneer. Not true, say the advertising experts. And they should know – for they look into people's hearts and minds, and that leads them through their living rooms.More ...
Pet pass; Copyright: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb

Dog Handler Licence or: Grannies to Give Away!

In Germany it is easier to borrow a granny than a dog. A satire by Osman Engin.More ...
Wladimir Kaminer; Copyright: picture-alliance/ ZB

The Germans and Disorder

The Germans’ Achilles heel is their fear of disorder. A commentary by Wladimir Kaminer. More ...
Smoking Ban; Copyright: Colourbox

Smoking Ban in Germany

Between autumn 2007 and the beginning of 2008, smoking bans will be coming into force in all of Germany's federal states. Smokers may at times find themselves facing somewhat confusing regulations – while uniform laws will apply in stations and official buildings, this will not be the case in pubs, restaurants and cafes, as these will be subject to state laws. A commentary by Roger Boyes.More ...
Die Sensibilität der Deutschen für die Klimaproblematik wächst. 'Ich finde es gut, wenn die Autofahrer langsamer fahren, aber bitteschön nicht auf dem Überholstreifen'; Copyright: Greser&Lenz

The Germans and their Cars

In Germany the car has become so much part of national identity. An apostil by Roger. BoyesMore ...

Dossier: Lifestyles in Germany and Poland

Statistics alone are not enough. Therefore, we went into it and report every month, how life is like in Poland and in Germany.

10 questions for ... Germans and Czechs engaged in culture

David Stecher © Pavel Winkler
Musician, caricaturist or writer – German and Czech artists and intellectuals share their point of view on both countries.

The Germany List

What does Europe think about Germany? Answers from 18 countries.

Va bene?!

La Germania in italiano. Italien auf Deutsch. A two-year initiative to break-down prejudices and stereotypes that shape collective opinions in both countries

Meet the Germans

What is typical about them? Read portraits and interviews of people worth knowing and Rory MacLean’s blog from Berlin.

Far Away So Close

Explore German life and history in Australia and tell your own German-Australian story.


News from Germany’s culture and society