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

From the return of some Christmas markets to eating habits of Germans, we take a look at what's happening around Germany on Wednesday November 25th.

Today in Germany: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
A woman walks past a Christmas market stand in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

Christmas markets make a comeback

As soon as Germany’s partial lockdown was announced, the country's arguably earliest Christmas market at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz – slated to open on Monday, November 2nd – was deconstructed, and others across the capital were cancelled.

But not all hope is lost for those looking to get a taste of the holiday spirit with a Glühwein and other traditional treats. 

On Wednesday, a Christmas market in the western district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf announced it would be opening on Monday – but with its 25 booths typically squeezed tightly together now spread out throughout the area.

READ ALSO: What can we expect from Germany's meeting on holiday rules?

It’s expected that several other markets will following suit in the coming week – both in Berlin and around Germany. A Christmas market will still be taking place in the centre of Stuttgart, for example, from Thursday November 26th to January 9th, with the stands spread out throughout the area.

Tweet of the day

Wednesday, November 25th marks the International Day of Violence Against Women. This is an issue that unfortunately affects both poor and rich countries, including Germany.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass of the Social Democrats (SPD) in this tweet points out the shocking fact that every day in Germany a man tries to kill his partner or ex-partner, and that every third day he succeeds. 

Violence against women has been rising during the pandemic, he added, which is why it’s especially important to be vigilant of the subject. 

What do Germans eat and drink?

Every four years the German Society for Nutrition publishes a survey on the eating habits of the population. This time around the study showed both healthy and not-so-healthy habits.

On a healthier note, total alcohol consumption has continued to fall, especially for beer: per capita and year it fell by 900 millilitres.

READ ALSO: Why beer means so much to the Germans

The consumption of fresh potatoes, cereal products and fruit has decreased significantly, however. 

“On average, people eat 20 kilograms of apples per capita and year,” said Kurt Gedrich from the Institute for Food & Health at the Technical University of Munich. “Ten years ago it was 1.5 kilograms more.”

Beer: A very German habit that Germans are partaking in less than before. Photo: DPA

Various accident attempts in Karlsruhe

A 48-year-old man armed with a knife caused several accidents on Tuesday evening in the Karlsruhe area and in southern Baden within a short time using various vehicles. 

Two occupants of a car near Herbolzheim were seriously injured, and a cyclist in Karlsruhe got away with minor injuries. The motive and background of the man were initially unclear. 

“We are still at the very beginning of the investigation,” said a police spokesman on Wednesday.

Due to the man's behaviour during his arrest, the investigators consider it “as quite possible” that the man suffers from psychological issues.

More stroke fatalities during lockdown

More people than usual died from strokes during Germany's spring coronavirus lockdown, a study by health insurer AOK showed Wednesday, blaming fears about going to hospital.

A total of 740 AOK patients died from a brain haemorrhage or bleeding on the brain in spring 2020 — 26 more than in spring 2019, the insurer said.

The figures are not just a blip because they also show an increase compared with 2018, AOK said, despite better efficiency in hospitals.

Hospitals saw fewer stroke patients during the lockdown but the death rate rose from 12 to 15 percent — presumably because some patients received treatment too late, the insurer said.

With reporting from AFP.

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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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