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Germany Customs & Etiquettes
 
 
 

SOCIAL CUSTOMS & ETIQUETTES IN GERMANY

General

In many respects, Germans can be considered the masters of planning. This is a culture that prizes forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day. Careful planning, in one's business and personal life, provides a sense of security. Rules and regulations allow people to know what is expected and plan their life accordingly.

Once the proper way to perform a task is discovered, there is no need to think of doing it any other way. Germans believe that maintaining clear lines of demarcation between people, places, and things is the surest way to lead a structured and ordered life. Work and personal lives are rigidly divided.

Germans take great pride in their homes. They are kept neat and tidy at all times, with everything in its appointed place. In a culture where most communication is rather formal, the home is the place where one can relax and allow your individualism to shine. Only close friends and relatives are invited into the sanctity of the house, so it is the one place where more informal communication may occur.

There are many unwritten rules surrounding the outward maintenance of one's home. It is imperative that common areas such as sidewalks, pavements, corridors (in apartments), and steps be kept clean at all times.

Meeting & Greeting

Greetings are formal.

A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.

Titles are very important and denote respect. Use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name. You should say Herr or Frau and the person's title and their surname.

In general, wait for your host or hostess to introduce you to a group.

When entering a room, shake hands with everyone individually, including children.


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