Xenophobe's® Guides: Germans and clubs
'Clubbiness' is a typical German trait that combines their love of organising things with their dislike of doing things by themselves.
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The Germans love clubs. It is said that whenever three Germans come together they will find some reason to form one. Many clubs have deep historical roots, as with the rifle and hunting clubs. Some of these date from the Middle Ages, and are swathed in guild-like ritual and tradition.
Clubbiness reflects the German dislike of doing things by themselves. Part of this is that they love organising things. Every German's heart beats a little quicker at the thought of club business: committees, sub-committees, draft proposals, preliminary budget plans.
They love the opportunities for establishing status and doing a bit of social climbing. What nicer than being elected Club Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, Chairman. All this is done in a spirit of great seriousness, and with the utmost conscientiousness. And if once in a while you have to go on a country ramble or do rock climbing or whatever, well, it's a price worth paying.
Clubbiness begins at a tender age. Since few schools organize sports, most of the facilities and training are available only through clubs. The habit is acquired early and lasts through life. It is by no means unheard of for someone to be buried with the insignia of their bowling or angling club.
One of the chief functions of clubs is to exclude others and offer identity and coherence to a group of people who otherwise may have little in common. A club also serves to lend a measure of dignity to whatever the members get up to. A lone Morris dancer may encounter laughter and ridicule, a group of 20 will meet with more respect.
A characteristically clubby phrase has it that ‘hiersindwirunteruns' (here we are among ourselves), a signal that you may let your hair down and enjoy yourself.
For more, read The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans.
Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the German by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.
Photo credit: momentcaptured1
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