- Family and Parenting
My Life in Germany
Emigrating to another country very far from where you were born is not an easy thing to do. Far from the parents and siblings you love and of course from your friends you are very fond of. Far from the environment you are used to. You will never think of leaving those people you love. Thinking of it is so sad. But when love comes your way, you will never think of those negative things that might happen. Everything will be in colors. All you think is positive. You will never think about homesickness because you have not experienced it. You don't even know that word before.
Your friends envy you because you will be having a good life. You will be seeing beautiful places your friends will not be able to see. Neighbours and friends talk about you and the financial support you will be sending to your parents for their foods and the educations of your siblings. These are the positive things everybody is thinking of besides you and your husband to be. Your coming husband who does not know much about the family responsibilities of becoming a husband of a Filipina.
Book About Germany
Reading about the culture and tradition of Germany is one way of making life easier when we know something about a country we are travelling to or living in. It is a must-have book. It has helped me a lot.
When I first arrived in Germany, it was May the beginning of summer. The weather was over 20 degree Celsius but it was freezing cold to me. The Germans were already wearing their summer clothes and bikinis for it was so hot for them. The children were roaming around their gardens while their parents were sunbathing. Me on my part was freezing under the heat of the sun. I was wearing winter clothes like the thick stockings, sweatshirt and pullover.
It was my first German winter when I scratched off the snow out of our window when my parents-in-law saw me scratching. I was funny to them and they told me with a smile not to do it because the snow just melt alone when the temperature gets low. How would I know? Never thought of that at that time. I did not bother for a week to go out of the house. My clothes were even tripled in layers compaired to what I wore during summer time. It was the hardest year in my life.
The second life changes was eating only one warm meal a day. I was used to three warm meals ( it was usually cold when we started eating) a day in the Philippines. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always warm food with rice, fish and vegetables and snacks in between.
In Germany I learned to eat Broetchen (German bread rolls). Dark brown bread made of full corn and rye with marmalade, jam, ham, cheese, salami at breakfast and dinner time. Lunch time was the only warm meal of the day which was potatoes, meat, sausages, vegetables and of course the brown gravy. It was hard going to bed craving for Filipino food. There was no Asian shop at that time in Germany. That was in the 80's. Rice was difficult to find until I came to know that there was an Indonesian shop in Arnheim, The Netherlands where I was able to buy rice and other Asian food. Arnheim was 1 hour drive from where I have lived in Germany. It was like Christmas day for me. I never thought I would missed rice in my life.
My first impression about the Germans was that they are very clean and they love everything in order which I later found out to be true. Of course, there are exceptions. They are big people. Some are friendly while others are rude. They are punctual and are hard working people. Everything has each own rules and regulations to be followed. They love to work even on their free days. They talk about work even on their free times such as weekends. Work is always the best topic to talk about. I heard about a saying: " Germans live to work, not work to live." When a German does not like you, he or she will directly tell you to get off where the pepper grows.
German Customs and Traditions
- They greet you with shaking your hands. Shaking hands when meeting or visiting a German and shaking hands when you say goodbye.
- They clean their nose while they are at the table enjoying their meals. They love hearty food like Schweinebraten (roast pork), Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast), Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle)and sausages with potatoes and gravy.
- They are fond of coffee time at 3 in the afternoon and mostly make their own delicious cakes.
- They love football, beer and Oktoberfest.
- Christmas time is baking time as they make a lot of different kinds of cookies and gingerbread houses. They start decorating their houses on the first advent which is the last Sunday of November. On the first advent, one candle from the Advent Wreath will be lighten. On the second, third and fourth advents the candles are lighted respectively.
- There are a lot of Christmas markets in Germany where everything for Christmas is sold. Food and drinks are sold as well.
Germany is a beautiful country. Green fields and cultivated lands. The Rhine river flows from the Swiss Alps through the North Sea of Holland (Netherland). From where I live, the surroundings are green, clean and is well taken care of the people. The Germans are very conscious about the cleanliness of the environment and are separating different kinds of garbage from paper to plastic and glasses.
My Second Home Country
Thinking about my early years in Germany makes me wise and considering how I struggled to be accepted by the Germans. Germany is now my second home. When I'm in the Philippines, I say " I want to go home". Just the same like I want to go home to the Philippines when I am in Germany.
Christmas Market in Germany
Map of Europe
© 2011 Thelma Alberts