Multicoolty: Best quotes on German experience

Multicoolty: Best quotes on German experience

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Multicoolty interviews Germany's international community to get their views on life in Germany as expats, including integration, discrimination and German formalities.

If you missed some of our great expat stories, enjoy this funny, inspiring and beautiful collection of quotes from the international community in Germany whom we have interviewed. Here we have chosen just some of the interesting perspectives on what life is like in Germany as a foreigner.

 
A pretext for a party
It was a very pleasant surprise to find out that everything can be a pretext for a festival or a party, from asparagus to Flammkuchen and from music to wine! This sense of fun is regrettably not mentioned in clichés about the Germans.
A labour of love in Germany  

A labour of love in Germany
There is too much negative coverage of migrants, either as criminals or people who only depend on the social system. With this kind of perception, it is hard to find people who take you seriously.

 
The worst German experience
For me, Germans are like computers. They set up and they do it all over again based on the previous experience.
 
A typical feature of Berlin
Maybe it is a typical feature of Berlin, but everybody finds their place here, everybody can follow their own path. Over here people do not place value on how they look like, what people around them do for living or where they live. I don’t know if it is because the people are more open or because they simply do not care.
 
More than one home
I like the trust between people over here. The longer I stay in Germany, the more naive I become, and the more I trust people.
 
A world citizen with roots in Turkey, UK and Germany
Germans are very cautious about new trends, which is protective on the one hand and on the other hand this attitude can slow down business and entrepreneurship. -------------------------------
 
Dreaming of a pair of jeans
It’s nonsense that multiculturalism has failed. Germany should consider itself lucky that so many people want to come to Germany, which also shows that Germany is an attractive place to live. The borders are open, nobody is holding you here. I appreciate that freedom... despite all the difficulties that there might be. And anyway: is there a place without difficulties?
 
The businessman
What is allowed for a German isn't necessarily allowed for a foreigner. ---------------
 
From a corporate Somebody to an unemployed Nobody
One thing, which I found bizarre, is the fact that this is the only nation, I am aware of, which constantly watches its historic downfall on TV... I mean each country has made historic blunders, but they have moved on.
 
Taking the long road of integration
Learning German is already one heck of a trouble, but that is just one tiny step in these millions of miles ahead that you have to take to integrate in Germany.
A funny thing is that [Germans] don’t take risks at all. They don’t just jump into things. They plan it.
 
Jazzing in a free world
You can be a genius but the chances that you remain unnoticed in Germany are high.
 
How things are done
What strikes me here is the formality in so many things. The language has a formal address that is very common. You stay on last name basis with people so much longer. Even outside of the social formality, there is so much formal ritual wrapped up in 'how things are done'.
 
Afraid to open my mailbox
I find hard to deal with the way Germans separate their private life from their work life. I remember having to call the music school director at her home because of a real emergency. She later told me she was really surprised – to be understood as unpleasantly surprised – that I called her home.
 
Close to perfect
Germany is pretty close to the perfect country. If you could just work on the sunshine issue, then it would really be great.
 
Happy to live here
German people tend to be direct. They mean what they say, and say what they mean. It is not necessarily a bad thing. I don't usually find stereotypes helpful, though there is sometimes some truth in them. Some people here have certainly been direct in an unhelpful way, but most people that I have met are lovely.
 
We moved over to the land of curry sausages and beer
They really do drink a lot of beer and love techno music, but as with every stereotype, there are all kinds of people here. It’s hard to make German friends, but when you do, they are amazing and will go out of their way to help you.
 
Jobs are hard to get
The job situation is difficult for foreigners. The job places are there, but it’s hard to get them.. ------------------------------------------
 
We are all human beings
I think it is great to live in a country where so many nationalities come together, without fear of war among certain ethnic groups. And I am impressed by how some areas in Germany have made foreigners part of their culture.
 
American who loves to live abroad
As an American, I find it hard to understand why German institutions are not so open to have more foreigners. My country is built on people coming from all parts of the world and I’m learning more about German culture through this lens.
 
Colourful cultural identities
Learn the language. It’s the key to success and happiness if you want to stay in any foreign country.
 
Window to the world
Let’s say one of the main discoveries was to realise that in Germany the word 'Integration' is often used, almost as if it is their strongest point, but actually I think it is much easier to integrate into other places. Germans are very closed in their 'culture'. They try to impose on you in every way. So rather than to integrate (to add), they want to shape you to their way of being, eliminating your own.
 
Hey, why should you expect everybody to act the way you do?
I stopped taking everything too personal, and accepted the fact that: hey, why should you expect everybody to act the way you do? Your way of thinking and behaving isn’t necessarily the best one to adopt in some situations!
 
The other identity
I guess everybody who looks different has at one point had experienced a bit of racism. But Germany depends on being multicultural, because that’s the only way we can maintain our standard of living.
 
Not always a victim
People are afraid of others who are different. Also many people in Germany tend to speak about people and countries they don't know anything about.
 
The grocery bag
The Germans are in reality easy to please; they are overwhelmed and proud if you try to speak German, even if it's broken German.
 
You will never fit in
Advice for a newcomer is to learn German before you come over, have a specialised skill that the German economy requires. Germany does not need another person who thinks that they can teach English!
 
Entrepreneur whose measure of profit is not money
If you do something that comes from the heart, you’ll not feel like you are working. We are reaching out to people and changing minds. You cannot buy that with money.
 
A world citizen
I will never feel part of Germany because I am not born here, but that does not mean I am not integrated. I am as distant from German society as I am distant from Indian society. I am floating in between. I take the best from any country I have been to and leave the worst.
 
Blinding stereotypes
Any stereotype can be dismantled simply through getting to know the people as individuals. And they will tell you how typically Russian, Italian or German they are, but if we are not careful enough, stereotypes can very quickly become a negative thing. And it blinds us rather than opens our eyes.

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Multicoolty.

Multicoolty: One country, hundreds of nations, thousands of stories is a journalistic project that combines a photo blog with short stories and longer articles about fascinating people with migrant backgrounds. It aims to provide a fresh look at Germany as a multicultural society and attempts to break stereotypes about both Germany and migrants.

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