经济和社会

"Sunday"en

Have economic concerns put Sunday in question? In the opinion of most Germans this day has a special quality and the increased leisure time has fundamentally changed it. The film clearly shows that all attempts to make Sunday into a normal working day have been roundly rejected by the general public.

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Author: Ines Jacob
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The Jewish Sabbath is the model for Sunday. In the early Christian church the Sabbath was transferred to the first day of the week in memory of the Easter resurrection of Christ. In 321 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine declared Sunday to be a day of rest and no work was allowed other than tilling in the fields.

Centuries later Sunday was given a constitutional status in Germany in the Constitution of the Weimar Republic. In 1919 the Weimar Republic declared Sunday to be a day of rest and spiritual reflection. After the second World War this status was incorporated in Article 140 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic.

Economic growth and reduced working hours, above the gradual implementation of a work free Saturday from 1956 onwards, gave Germans more leisure time. But Sunday continued to be a special day. Today at least 77% of Germans would not do without it.

Having a lie in or watching television is how most people spend it. 50% of Germans gather for Sunday dinner, three quarters of them go off for a walk but not so many follow the ritual of wearing Sunday best. The demands of the Church and traditional service attendance have been in decline since the middle of the 60’s. Church attendance is a ritual for only one German in six these days.

For all that Sunday is still dear and sacred fort he Germans. More than half of the Germans have no interest in shopping or having access to government offices or work on Sundays. Under all circumstances the day of rest should be maintained. Despite current discussions on the economic crisis, flexible working time and extending shop hours Sunday remains for most Germans the most important day for relaxation and social contact.
Goethe-Institut e. V. 2003
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