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SC GERM 109 - German Culture

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Hunter HartnettGerman 10912/3/13German Wiki PaperThroughout this semester of German, I have learned a lot about the cultural aspects of Germany. While in some areas they are very different than us, they also have many characteristics similar to the United States. Politics are an integral part of German culture. They have “left” and “right” political parties in Germany, which is very similar to the U.S. Just like in the U.S., where you live greatly determines what political party you vote for. However, unlike in the U.S., there are multiple parties for the right and multiple parties for the left, very different from having one “Democrat” and one “Republican” party. These parties in Germany are competing against other parties with the same beliefs (but subtle underlying differences) for votes, often throwing the system in to gridlock. The voting process in Germany isn’t too different from ours. Their voting age, 18, is the same as ours, however they vote on a Sunday instead of on a Tuesday. German voters are also allowed to vote twice, once for a political party, and once for a candidate, as opposed to the American system of voting once.Dating and relationships are another significant part of German culture. Speed dating has become very popular in Germany, and even the Catholic Church has started a program in the hopes of growing church attendance by allowing youth to meet new people. Flirting is a lot less forward in Germany, and the men there aren’t as out going towards women as they are in the U.S. In Germany, often it will bethe woman who makes the move after noticing that she has received attention from a man. Conversations between interested men and women often involve politics and sports, and are less flirtatious than those between Americans.Early learning, especially for kids under the age of seven or eight, is very important in the German education system. There is a German preschool, which, although it is very expensive, lets children interact with English teachers at a very young age with hopes that they will become fluent and bilingual. The private school system in German is key in giving children a way to learn languages at a very young age when their minds are more adaptive to verbal change. The system also provides children with extra help in subjects they might struggle in later, such as mathematicsand science. These schools create community bonding that is instrumental in the youth’s development later in life.Classical music has been and continues to be a large part of German culture today. Germany is well known for their wide array of famous classical composers such as Mozart, Haydn, and Bach. Bach was known well known for his voice, which brought him into the spotlight and set him on a successful path even after he lost his voice. He is better known for his organ skills rather than his composing, but had a significant impact on German culture through both. Haydn was an Austrian composer and is often known as the “Father of the Symphony” and the “Father of the String Quartet” and wrote over 100 symphonies in total. Mozart was a childprodigy on the keyboard and started composing at the age of five. He composed many of the best-known symphonies, some of which went unfinished.Classical music isn’t the only style of music that comes out of Germany, however. Just like in the United States, rap and hip hop have come to play a big part in German culture. Similar to the U.S., rap has had more influence on speech than classical literature. Rap in general has evolved from complex rhymes in the early 1990’s to more simplified expressions today. In Germany, the rap lyric are significantly less harsh due to less poverty stricken areas which many American rappers call home. Rap is still, however, very predominate in both countries.Many of these cultural characteristics are only apparent in Germany, even though they may be slightly similar to the U.S. and other


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