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Today in Germany: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on in Germany today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

Today in Germany: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Frozen pizza being prepared in Wittenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: DPA

Packing more in 

You might have seen (or used yourself) one of the bright yellow “package stations” set up to collect incoming parcels. 

In fact, 50 percent of households in Germany have one of Germany’s 6,000 Packstationen nearby. Due to a high demand, the Deutsche Post DHL is planning to double the number of these stations by 2023 to 12,000.

German vocabulary word: double – verdoppeln 

A pack station advertising the goal of 6,000 to come by 2023. Photo: DPA

Weather report

Following autumn-like weather on Sunday, temperatures around Germany have been dipping on a daily basis. Make sure to layer up, as Tuesday and Wednesday will see temperatures between 10 and 13C. 

By the weekend, the mercury will drop between 2 and 6C on Saturday, and 3 and 8C on Sunday.

A weather front which is travelling over Scotland and the North Sea is responsible for the temperature drop, reported the German Weather Service (DWD) on Tuesday.

Germany vocabulary word: cyclone – (der) Sturmtief

Berlin coronavirus demonstration cancelled – by its organisers

A Berlin demo against current coronavirus measures, planned to take place Wednesday in front of the Bundestag, was cancelled by its organisers.

The reason is “the risk of violent clashes following a massive mobilisation of left and right-wing extremist groups,” according to a message from the organiser in the messaging app Telegram. 

Yet it’s still unclear if the demonstration with 500 registered participants will take place anyway, according to police.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus protesters attack police in Leipzig

Recent demos against coronavirus measures have turned violent. On Sunday November 8th over 20,000 people gathered in the eastern city of Leipzig to protest mask-wearing measures. 

But when police asked them to leave, the demonstrators instead set off on a march down one of the city's major streets, attacking police and journalists and throwing objects including fireworks

German vocabulary word: cancelled – abgesagt

Praying it safe

In Hanover, a Catholic priest has already rented a football stadium to celebrate Christmas mass together despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

But many in the religious community are questioning if it’s a good idea to celebrate in person following a recent incident: Despite all the precautions taken, 27 out of 28 participants on a trip to Italy from the diocese of Mainz were infected with coronavirus.

Therefore, those who want to play it safe and celebrate at home should not go without divine assistance. This year the German Bishops' Conference wants to publish a special “house liturgy” for this purpose, after which the faithful can celebrate Christmas at home.

Germany vocabulary word: the priest – (der) Pfarrer

Frozen food sales spike

Such frozen pizzas, now spiking in popularity, have been available in Germany for over 50 years. Photo: DPA

Cabbage out of a can and frozen pizza? In the past these foods might have seemed like a last ditch measure when we didn’t have time to cook.

But that all changed for many people during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Germany’s Statistical Office just published buying habits for the first quarter of 2020 for pre-made meals, bas. Data are already available for the first two quarters – including the time of an intense Hamsterkauf (panic buying) in March and April. 

And there is a clear increase in the quantity produced compared to the first half of 2019: or 740,963 tonnes in 2020, up from 693,789 in the same two quarters in 2019. 

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Der Hamsterkauf

The German Frozen Food Institute recently announced a boom in deep-frozen pizza – sales had grown by seven percent in the first half of the year, attributing it partially to people stockpiling food amid the crisis.

In addition, according to a study by the market research company Nielsen, German bought 168 million packs of frozen French fries, roasted potatoes, croquettes and co. in the first half of the year – an increase of around 18 percent over the same period last year.

German vocabulary word: prepared dishes/ready-made meals – (die) Fertiggerichte

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts or questions about life in Germany, you are always welcome to email our editorial team at [email protected].

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LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. Germany is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with being strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, come with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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