1. Our education system
It’s free. German public universities don’t charge tuition fees — no matter where you’re from. Because high-quality education should be accessible to everyone.
2. Being straightforward
Germans don’t like to beat around the bush or try to make small talk before getting to the point. If you ask your German friends for their opinion on your new haircut, you better be prepared for an honest answer.
Of course, beer couldn’t be missing from this list! Beer with your lunch? Sure! Beer with dinner? How is that even a question? In summer, find us at the beer garden, drinking our favorite local brew. Prost!
4. Our recycling system
Because climate change is real. At German supermarkets, you will find people lining up in front of odd-looking machines. This is because we get a small amount of money back for bottles or cans we bring back. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up some free color-coded trash bags for the color-coded bins.
We are not just obsessed with sausages and beer, but also with bread. Ask Germans abroad what they miss the most and they will most likely answer, “Schwarzbrot” (black or dark bread). Southern Germans even dedicated an entire mealtime to it and called it “bread time.”
6. End of work
Germans may be known as efficient people, but we do love our time off. Feierabend (literally: “celebration evening”) is what we call the moment you finish work and any time after that. We tell all our colleagues to enjoy their Feierabend, then often go out to have a beer with friends (Feierabendbier).
7. Our public transport system
You can go just about anywhere by train or bus — and usually expect it to be on time. Except in winter, because apparently German railway companies still haven’t understood that snow and ice are a common occurrence here.
8. Curing headaches
The next time you grab a bottle of aspirin, thank Felix Hoffman for having invented this helpful pill by accident.
9. Gummy bears
Nothing tastes like the true originals by Haribo.
10. A functioning welfare system
Patriotism doesn’t necessarily mean hoisting up your flag in the front yard. It can be as simple as contributing towards a more equitable society with your tax money.
11. Our national soccer team
Winning games is fun — and a very good excuse for drinking some more beer.
12. Dealing with our past
Germany has, without a doubt, quite a dark and violent history that no one should be proud of. But we don’t hide from it. Take a quick walkthrough of Berlin or any other German city, and you will see more than one reminder of our mistakes. Education is key, and children are educated about the Holocaust and world wars from a young age.
Surely, working through our past will be a continuous effort and these events should never be forgotten. This is why the words “national pride” and “patriotism” have an ambiguous connotation in Germany.