If you haven’t read any of my previous posts then let me repeat it again, I am an Indian and have been living in Germany for 6 years (at the time of writing this post). India and Germany have totally different cultures and hence you can imagine the level of cultural shocks that I got. BTW don’t get offended with any of the stuff mentioned in this India vs Germany post…because I understand that there are some exceptions and you might be different from the herd 😉
I am not going to mention the old cliché examples like punctuality (IST, Indian Standard Time), head nodding, always saying yes attitude and some other such behavior of Indians. After all, I have not just travelled but lived here so, you can expect a little more.
India vs Germany
Where we Indians start our search from the cheapest available product, the Germans start with the top quality and are very conscious of brands. oh! rich Indians, I am not talking about you…I will update the post if I ever become rich 😉
But quality is not the only thing these Germans think about, it goes far beyond it. A few days back, I was talking to one of my colleagues and he does not want to travel with Ryanair (a budget airline) because he thinks that the Ryanair treats its employees as slaves…hmm, no comment! We Indians are still thinking whether or not to buy Chinese Ganesh Ji on Diwali 😉
But it doesn’t stop here, some Germans want to buy eggs only from those poultry farms where the birds are kept free and in a happy environment. If any Indian who is reading this post has ever thought about this before buying eggs…please comment!
Do not assume that I am going to appreciate Germans here for their extra efforts to maintain this blue planet…read next para! In Germany, there are different types of garbage bins for better segregation of waste material. There are bins for organic waste, non-organic waste, plastic, paper, glass, and whatnot. I think, there should be a mandatory waste segregation class at the airport itself for every newcomer to Germany.
The above para may give an impression that Germans are doing their best for the environment. But a little research told me that Germany sends its electronic-waste to get dumped into poor nations (Sources: phys.org, the guardian). On the other hand, we Indians have been trapped in the vicious cycle of polluting and cleaning rivers. So for this point, I find the German people hypocrite (considering sources correct) and Indians stupid…what a balanced equation!
Population (or Figures in General)
This one I find quite funny. If you are going to meet any German for the first time, make sure you know the population of your country and your city/state. Also, make sure that you know it right because they may immediately verify it on the internet.
Happened to me on several occasions and on one particular occasion I said that our country’s population is 1.25 billion. Not my mistake! I was trusting my prime minister Mr. Modi, who keeps saying “savaso crore Bhartiyon (1.25 billion countrymen)“. My colleague checked it on the internet immediately, which showed a figure of 1.32 billion and said that I should be precise…what, who cares??
Indias are well-known to offer their food to strangers even during train journeys and an invitation for a dinner at home also doesn’t take too long. But in Germany, the friendship is a long process which passes through the alleys of attaining trust first. Most of the Germans believe in long-term friendship and that’s why they take time to decide whether or not to open the doors of their houses for you.
CEOs on Bicycle:
I didn’t realize since when I start thinking like Germans (or Europeans in General) and stopped considering the car as a status symbol. A few days back while talking to one of my relatives, I told that I go to office by bicycle. After that, there was a silence of at least 15 seconds. Probably, she got confused if she needs to show some sympathy that I couldn’t do very well in my career. BTW I do have a car and doing fine in my career as well.
On the other hand, the scenario in Germany is completely different. In big cities, you can easily find people wearing suits, carrying a leather bag and riding on a bicycle. Many of my colleagues come on a bicycle and even change clothes in the office itself. As a matter of fact, a car has to stop if a cyclist wants to cross the road, a car has to follow a cyclist till the overtake can’t be done by keeping a distance of at least 1.5meters. These things kinda make me feel superior while riding a bicycle…haha!
Last time when I visited India, I said “hello” and “thank you“ to a local taxi driver. I swear, he had mixed expressions on his face, which I can only comprehend as:
- Abey kisko bol rahi hai thank you (who the hell is she saying “thanks” to?)
- Lagta hai madam set ho gayi (perhaps she has fallen in love with me)
In Germany, you greet nearly everyone. You say “hello” to waiters, to bus drivers, taxi drivers, small shops, big supermarkets and everyone else you could think of.
This just goes above my head. Most of the Germans don’t use Whatsapp…yes, you read it right! I understand that some countries either have other popular instant messenger apps or Whatsapp is blocked (like in China). But this is not the case in Germany.
I heard different stories from different persons about how Whatsapp ruined something. One person said that his uncle shared an image of shoes to his wife on Whatsapp, but then that image was sold to an Ad company by Whatsapp and finally his uncle had to pay a fine of 4000€ to the shoe manufacturer. All in all, they are afraid of data privacy.
On the other hand, we Indians are happy to share Good Morning, Good Night, Happy Holi, Happy Diwali etc etc etc pics and messages on family groups…again with the same attitude, who cares!!!
Disclaimer: The opinions mentioned in this post are my personal and are mainly intended for humor (par wo eggs waali baat sahi hai 😉 ).