And now comes the difficult part… Below you can see a list with ‘typical’ Greek and German characteristics I found while browsing the Internet. I would like you to comment on those characteristics and say which of those proved right or wrong for the Greeks and Germans you met and stayed with during those three years of exchange visits between our schools. Considering the fact that this is a sensitive issue, please be objective! My aim in doing this is to disperse some myths about the Greeks and Germans that have recently come to the forefront due to the ongoing European financial crisis. Is there any truth in those views? Looking forward to posts from both countries!! Please feel free to comment on each others’ posts but be nice!!
Well, first about the Greeks:
Greeks are hard to categorize but often Greek people have dark curly hair and light colored eyes and may be emotionally expressive and friendly.
Almost all Greeks are kind, lovable, friendly, passionate and are loud. These are just a few things that are common among Greeks. Greeks also dress very well and presented for any event. They love to cook and eat, which is why a lot of them are a bit overweight.
Show-offs, overbearing, over-passionate, not very discreet, ready to criticize, and sometimes jealous and pushy! Loud (not so much the new generation), lazy (lots of them but not all) and they just want to have fun all the time not focusing on the serious things. There is more, but I don’t want to get into it. Ah yes, bad tempered too!
Now, the Germans:
Over the years, I’ve come to agree….there are are seven obvious and traditional personality traits of a typical German. I realize….that I will take heat for this. But in some ways, I consider these to be positive in certain ways. And no, not all Germans are this way….but these are the obvious ones that you will notice.
First, stubbornness. A German simply holds to one ideal, and continues on. They don’t change their opinion often….and when they do….it’s a necessity that they approach in a mental sense and just do it.
Second, holding to traditions. If a German starts a tradition….they rarely fail to accomplish this. I would put Oktoberfest as the prime example….but there are millions of these in German society. It could be the start of fall clean-up in your neighborhood and the accepted date for that. It could be the summer fest week that has gone on for sixty years in your local town. Unless a flood occurs, folks don’t shift from the traditions.
Third, thriftiness. Normally, I’d just call this cheapness….but I have to be fair here. You could walk up to most Germans and tell them they have $300 for an entire 10-day summer vacation….and somehow, they’d figure a way to enjoy their 10 days off….with such a modest amount of money.
Fourth, argumentative. Germans can find a thousand things to argue about. It could be one guy planting shrubs of a disliked nature that the neighbor can’t stand. It could be the act of cranking your car for two minutes in winter to warm it up. One minute of such a cranking would be tolerated, but not two, and thus inviting an argument sooner or later.
Fifth, a bit of humor that is different. It is a cynical sort of humor that most Germans tend to appreciate.
Germans love office humor if it’s compared to their actual environment. They laugh over the stories at a butcher shop or government bureaucracy…..because they face this each and every day.
Sixth, coldness. It could take a decade to really know your neighbor after you move in. In fact, you might never know your neighbor beyond a beer you share together once a month when mowing the grass.
A German keeps this coldness…..as a defending tactic. It protects their inner circle and makes them feel secure.
Seventh and final…..creative. The little sensor that detects rainwater on the windshield of your car and automatically turns the wiper on? It’s from a German. ABS? It’s from a German. There are dozens of car devices which relate back to a German who just kept thinking about how things work.
Please, take all the above with a pinch of salt and tell me in which ways your experience proved some (or all?) of these characteristics to be true or false. I’m sure it will be an interesting discussion!