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Bavarian school bars 'impolite' greetings

The Local · 5 Feb 2012, 11:02

Published: 05 Feb 2012 11:02 GMT+01:00

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Principal Petra Seibert has declared the St. Nikola school a "'Hallo' and 'Tschüss'-free zone."

If students slip up, teachers are instructed to politely remind them to use the more polite Bavarian variants for hello and goodbye, "'Grüß Gott" and "Auf Wiedersehen."

The word "Tschüss," which is heard everywhere in cities like Berlin when people part ways, apparently has few fans in southern Germany.

"'Tschüss' really hurts your ears," Seibert said.

A sign posted inside her school reads: "We are trying to get by without both of these greetings in our school. However, we welcome a 'Grüß Gott' or friendly 'Auf Wiedersehen' any time."

A spokesman for the Bavarian education ministry, Ludwig Unger, praised the action, saying young people must learn to behave differently when interacting with authority figures versus their peers.

"It' is a positive sign of appreciation, but it should not be turned into dogma," he said.

Story continues below…

But the head of the Bavarian students' association, 17-year-old Martin Zelenka, said the action has been a point of controversy. "The measure is a further step toward alienating teachers and students," he said.

The Local/DPA/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:29 February 5, 2012 by Navigator_B
"Grüß Gott" is disrespectful to atheists. Compulsary use of that expression must have been ordered by the Bavarian Pope.
11:29 February 5, 2012 by Shiny Flu
So I'm guessing saying "Shove it up ya arse" is out of the question?
11:40 February 5, 2012 by Shiny Flu
I'd like to invite Petra Seibert & Ludwig Unger to come visit Berlin and try and let them see what happens when they say Grueß Gott in Kreuzberg/Neu Koelln/Friedrichshain :)
12:17 February 5, 2012 by Navigator_B
Some people are so inward-looking that they can't even tolerate words from other parts of Germany! Just to annoy those red-necks, they should be forced to use words from Turkish or Arabic as well. That would really hurt their ears.
13:02 February 5, 2012 by bswarrior

I don't believe in Thor.

Perhaps we should stop calling it "Thursday/Donnerstag"?

It hurts my ears.
14:23 February 5, 2012 by BavarianBella
Likewise, schools in the US should discourage use of "what's up".
14:34 February 5, 2012 by guineveref
What about "Servus" and "Ciao", also widely use in Bavaria too, are they going to ban these as well?
16:07 February 5, 2012 by Johnne
I greet you all people! Grüß Gott to everybody here! :-D

We welcome all of you in Bavaria-the most beautiful state in the world! And don´t forget, Munich is unique;-)
18:45 February 5, 2012 by Heidemarie Heath
I agree with Johnne above. What's wrong with "Gruess Gott"? That's our bavarian heritage and we are proud of it...Just think of what is printed on american money: "In God we trust" and no one seems to get upset about this, in a country where church and state are supposed to be separate.
18:47 February 5, 2012 by thequeen09@att.net
Why such a big deal over etiquette? What is wrong with being polite and sounding it as well? So you may not like the sound of certian words, but in life I found there are many things I do not like, just learn to live with the differences. Too much slang actually does not make a good impression, and in life as you grow up, you will find that proper etiquette will only help you and not make you look foolish. Proper etiquette should be taught, most parents are lacking in this skill so what is wrong with teaching it in school?

The queen
19:08 February 5, 2012 by Grumpy Old Man
@ NavigatorB Are you insinuating that Bavaria is a part of Germany? Think again! Better still, go there and experience it.
19:34 February 5, 2012 by moiin
'Grüß Gott' sounds 'Grüß Goat' ... and "Tschüss" is one of the sweetest sounds (just try to listen again when someone says that, Tschuuuuuuss :-)
19:50 February 5, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Some people need to have more sex...
20:55 February 5, 2012 by bridgette
Johnne, Heidemarie, Qeen, well, the problem begins when you make a rule out of it, when you impose it.

Dear Germans, I know that you love to make rools for everything, just don't overdo it... And please, stop inventing excuses for everything that Deutschland does... You are not perfect, and it's normal. Progress means to accept criticism and learn from it.
21:06 February 5, 2012 by Englishted
@Chango Mutney

Where does it say socialist in the report ?,

Just learn to read before you comment,trying to drag the E.U. into it as well.

Look under your bed for a red if you must but Free State Bavaria is C.S.U land and this was a Catholic School .
22:27 February 5, 2012 by kan-san
Grüß Gott is generally what I say to someone just before I shoot them!

Raises Gun < 'Grüß Gott' < Fire < 'Have A Nice. ... Day!'

Granted I say it Terminator style, but it still feels odd to say in a friendly greeting situation.
22:55 February 5, 2012 by thequeen09@att.net
The problem might be rules, but guess what? The world if filled with them. Speak slang with your peers, speak properly with every one else. It is not the end of the world to speak so all can understand you. I am sure there are rules that yoyu follow and have no issue with, just as there are rules you don't care for. Get over it., etiquette should not be lost because it will be needed in life.

23:48 February 5, 2012 by braindeadamerican
Language policing does NOT work. I live in Montreal, which is a bilingual city. One can walk down the high streets on a busy weekend and hear English and French being spoken by alternate groups of people, with each group using snippets of the other language frequently. The Quebec government tried years ago to "stamp out" English with language laws. It's impossible to prevent the swapping of loanwords and phrases. Dialects and languages which are artificially governed by laws become dead languages.

#6: "Wassup" isn't formal, but if anyone anywhere in Germany (or that case the world) wants to use wassup casually, why not? I use it a lot.
00:01 February 6, 2012 by HHayrider
Living in California, I use "wassup" as an informal greeting with my peers at work. I do NOT walk up to my boss and say "wassup", even if we are on first name basis.

You dont refer to Mother Superior at a Catholic School as the "Head Broad"...

There is nothing wrong with learning proper etiquette, ever. Just adapt and use it accordingly later in life.

Having learned German in Hamburg (where I thought "Tschuss" was a North of the Elbe thing) I am sure you dont walk into a business meeting, or even court or something, and address everybody with MoinMoin...

@Heidemarie Heath.

"Just think of what is printed on american money: "In God we trust" and no one seems to get upset about this, in a country where church and state are supposed to be separate"

In God we Trust. Everyone else pays cash... :D
00:18 February 6, 2012 by bugger
Tschüs is Northern German, but to ban speaking a local form of German which is not even a dialect, is discrimination. Auf Wiedersehen is the polite and all-Germany accepted term. Grüß Gott is local Bavarian and is the opposite of the secular Federal Republic and a slap in the face of all atheists.

Kick them out of the Federal Republic, let them finally have their Free State so they can join Tyrolia or whatever and yodel until their mountains collapse.
04:17 February 6, 2012 by wood artist
@ Heidemarie Heath

Not that it's terribly relevant in a discussion of German words, but there are, in fact, a number of people who are upset about "In God we Trust" being on US currency. Much of that group also cries about the words "under God" in the US pledge of allegiance. That they haven't been able to muster a majority doesn't mean they don't exist, and don't rail about it.

10:53 February 6, 2012 by szukalski
It's all irrelevant, in a few years the common parting message will be "smell you later".
12:45 February 6, 2012 by LancashireLad
Hopefully this woman will allow "Guten Morgen" or "Guten Tag". That is most definitely not slang. If she doesn't then she is actually promoting a non-high German form of greeting over a high-German one which in my mind would demand her immediate dismissal as a school should promote high-German which the Christian greeting is not. My son will be starting this level of education in 3 years so I hope this rank studipidty does not catch on.
17:08 February 6, 2012 by Navigator_B
Grumpy Old Man,

I haven't been to Bavaria for many years but I remember that the people there saw themselves as being separate (they even have their own political party, the CSU).

It must be the Alpine air because I found Nuernberg (in the north) to be more "German" than Munich. Other places, like Berlin, see themselves as unique but they don't feel as cut off from Germany.


According to Der Spiegel, "Guten Morgen" and "Guten Tag" are not banned in the school. I know that "Hallo" is considered informal like "Hi", but I've always thought that "Tschüs" is neutral, so the only reason it can be banned is because it is north-German.
17:31 February 6, 2012 by antrodemus
Moin moin!
19:50 February 6, 2012 by Gretl
If they are going to insist on Bayrisch, then Hawediaere should be allowed. It is like Aloha, good for coming and going! Gruess Gott is mainly used on strangers. Ah, I miss Bavaria....
22:02 February 6, 2012 by getreal
What about Heil Schicklgruber! That could work?
07:44 February 7, 2012 by Jim the good Guy
Grüß Gott to bugger, so a slap in the face of all atheists.
13:32 February 7, 2012 by LancashireLad

I hadn't read the Spiegel article, only this one, so thanks for adding that. I agree that she is basically railing against anything non-Bavarian. "Grüß Gott" is not universal and not high-German so she is basically promoting Bavaria. I doubt you will find any sane person that would find "Hello/Hallo" as informal or rude - *however* Germany does mark formality much more with language than say, the UK, so there are some who would be upset to be addressed with "Hallo" from a stranger. This isn't someone I would want to have anything to do with and they are generally over the age of 50.
19:04 February 7, 2012 by Gretl
There's nothing wrong with promoting Bayrisch in Bayern. It is a kingdom in it's own right, it never signed the German constitution, and would gain much with independence. Germany would lose it's cash cow.
08:48 February 8, 2012 by dackelpoop
How silly- in a post-Marxist world lingers the Marxian obsession of Political COrrectness. Germans should re-read their Orwell Nineteeen eighty-four: "Newspeak, lovespeak and doublespeak".

I would find it extremely touching that any religious person would bother to bless me with a "Shalom", "Salam" or "God be with you"- and I'd respond as best I could to convey the same lovely sentiment shown to me.

We Atheists may often come across as conceited drunk on our self-professed intellectual superiority, but truth be told: religion has lessons for us all to be a bit more compassionate- or at least tolerant of others.

"Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself" is some wisdom every human, be they Jew, Christian, Atheist and Muslim could practice- and the world would a better place for us all
21:40 February 10, 2012 by willowsdad
Nothing makes something quite so popular as banning by small-minded officialdom.
07:00 February 11, 2012 by dinerouk
When in Rome..............
18:55 February 11, 2012 by Burio
Did you know that the word "tschuess" comes from polish "czesc" (read: tsch.e.sch.tch)?

Other words we imported from our eastern neighbours are: graenze (pol. granica), guerken (pol. ogurki).

Of course they imported a lot more of our words over the years.
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