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  • How does it feel to be German in 2016?
  • How does it feel to be German in 2016?
    João Ramos, Creative Commons (2014) ©

A Cultural Snapshot of Germany

Why are Germans angry about censorship? What are the long-term effects of the refugee crisis? And what can BurnOut – The Musical reveal about how they spend their downtime? This Cultural Snapshot uses local stats and case studies to explore behavioural norms shared by Germans in 2016.

Location Germany

Culture is notoriously difficult to define. You might know culture when you see it, but could you describe it? For us, culture means the behavioural norms shared by a group of people – the things that are learned socially, rather than inherited genetically. So culture doesn’t drive the desire to eat, but it plays a big part in determining what food you choose.

It’s also constantly on the move. Some aspects of it faster than others. Anthropologist Grant McCracken divides it into ‘fast’ and ‘slow’. Slow culture shifts over centuries, while fast culture can change in just a few ...



  • Article image Why do Berliners love the corner shop?

    Berlin’s beloved spätkaufs – late night shops that can be found on every street corner – are an essential part of community culture, but stricter regulations may see them close on Sundays and bank holidays. How are Germans fighting back? And why do they hold such a dear place in people's hearts?

  • Das Burnout is a public health issue in Germany Das Burnout is a public health issue in Germany

    To many, Germans epitomise a Protestant work ethic with a reputation for not letting anything get in the way of efficiency. But the modern German may actually be less stoic, with 'das Burnout' – which has become the country's latest buzzword – sparking a public health debate.

  • Germans struggle with Islamophobia Germans struggle with Islamophobia

    Germany welcomed 1.1 million refugees in 2015  over 20 times the number admitted in 2012. But while the government has been vehemently defending its open door policy, new research finds that many citizens feel uneasy about the perceived rising presence of Islam.

  • Berlin non-profit trains refugees as coders Berlin non-profit trains refugees as coders

    Refugees don’t have it easy at the best of times. With the ongoing migrant crisis, hostility against them has been growing in Europe and they’re seen by many as a burden on society. A new non-profit school in Berlin gives new arrivals a chance at integration by training them as programmers.

  • Europeans are turning away from VW Europeans are turning away from VW

    The European car market has posted strong growth figures for 31 consecutive months now. But the same cannot be said for Volkswagen. Though the manufacturer still remains in the top spot by unit sales, customers have been turning away in the wake of the emissions scandal.

  • Article image Lasea: stopping stress with flower power

    Roughly 14% of Europeans suffer from anxiety, and while diazepam works for some, herbal remedy-loving Germans are turning to the power of flowers. Lasea contains lavender oil, is safe to take while driving, and leaves your breath fragrantly fresh. But why do Germans put their trust in nature?

  • Article image How German food goes beyond bratwurst

    Did you know that the doner kebab was invented in Berlin? Or that Germans had cottoned on to kale way before it was cool? Canvas8 sat down with Ursula Heinzelmann – former chef and author of Beyond Bratwurstto get a flavour of what German foodies really serve up for dinner.

  • Article image How much does Germany care about web privacy?

    The German media is still seething over allegations that the US and UK governments spied on Germans’ phone calls and internet usage. Will the emotion around spying lead Germans to abandon the likes of Google and Facebook for the sake of privacy?