Customs and Traditions (7/4/22) by Andrew Bartholomey

I have been in Munich for one month and it has been a great experience. I am on the CIE Summer Internship apart program in Germany which consists of one month of language school and a two-month internship upon completion of the school I am currently working for the state of Virginia’s European international trade office. After completion of intensive language course, moved from Berlin to Munich. Even though I moved from one city to another within the same country I have experienced some forms of culture shock. It first started as I attended one of Munich’s local festivals called Tollwood.┬áThis is a month-long festival that is celebrated from June to July. I attended this festival within the first week of moving to Munich and I started to pick up on the differences between Berlin and Munich. The main difference was the language. The Bavarian dialogue is different from the rest of Germany. As a novice German speaker, it was tough to pick up on it and to understand what it means. But as time went on, I was able to develop a list of words to use and to understand in day-to-day conversion like the word Servus which means goodbye. The Tollwood festival was my first true taste of what Bavarian culture truly is. I can feel myself adopting and adjusting to the culture the more I live here. Whether it is my usual German bread I eat for breakfast all the way too knowing how to get around town on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn. I have noticed cultural differences when it comes to food. Germans love to use more natural ingredients and keep food costs to a minimum. In the United States, most of the food is more expensive and tends to be less fresh. I was also fortunate to attend a July fourth celebration at a local biergarten.

This gave me an inside look of how Germans perceive Americans and their customs and traditions. I was also able to connect with some ex-pacts who had moved to the Munich area. This event featured a football and baseball toss, a bull ride, and square dance lessons for the duration of the event. This gave me a look from a different angle on what American culture is and how we are perceived as from another country. Attending multiple customs and traditions within the Munich community has given me a chance too see different perspectives of multiple customs and traditions.

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