Don’t be scared of empty streets, especially on Sundays. It will be quiet for sure. Almost all the shops are closed on Sundays and people prefer to stay inside, BBQ in their garden or go on a day trip with family or friends. How about a Sunday stroll?
Walking around you will see many churches. When you look further you see mosques and synagogues. Germany is religiously diverse. Not everyone is an atheist. Whatever your belief is, it is likely you find like-minded people
You picture the typical German as punctual and efficient? Trains and busses are never delayed? This is relative. There are delays and cancellations over here, as well. However, it is true that schedules are very important. It is rather offensive to let someone wait for more than 15 minutes without previous notice.
Excited about the Octoberfest? Important infomation: It is not celebrated in October but at the end of September and it is only based in Bavaria. Yet, there are ways to experience it even without travelling to Munich. Cities all over the country have started to annually celebrate the event as well. Probably, the city you will be studying in will also have its own beer fest.
What connects Indian and German cultures is the inventive spirit. What jugaad is in India, is the so-called Erfindungsgeist in Germany! Ideas and inventions are highly welcomed.
Many people in Germany do volunteer work (Ehrenamt) in their free time. Everyone can make a voluntary contribution to society. According to the individual’s skills and interests he or she might join a club, a citizens’ initiative or group with religious inclinations.
Some things might disappoint or irritate you when coming to Germany for the first time. No need to worry. The same happens to someone who has travelled from Germany to India and back.
Indian Buddy tips:
- Look out for carnival festivals in February/March. Don’t be surprised to see adults dressed up as clowns, pirates and elephants. Join the crowd!
- If you are in Germany for more than a few weeks, do join a students’ club or a local initiative. Whether you are interested in environmentally friendly mobility, human rights, or support for refugees, you find a group that is concerned with it. People will welcome you with open arms! I have joined a food bank (Tafel). We collect and arrange food that has been donated to our organisation by supermarkets and bakeries. Two times a week we distribute these items to those in need. I enjoy being part of this project and getting to know many different people!