german-culture

i still think that the most german thing is not beer or brezeln, in my opinion its asparagus time because in which other country do you have like 80million people eating tons of aspargus nonstop, without ever taking a break for weeks on end. like we literally celebrate asparagus season with meeting up to eat our beloved Spargel and Spargel only.. and Idk but if thats not the most german thing than i dont know what it

Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda (1994)

I haven’t seen a post that really depicts the history of Rwanda yet. So here’s my little contribution. By the way, thanks for the posts you reblogged.

Before the colonization, Rwanda was made of three social classes : Tutsi (10-15%), Hutu (over 80%) and Twa (less than 1%). Tutsi (upper social class) were cattle breeders, Hutu were farmers and Twa (lower social class) were hunters. One could become Tutsi or Hutu by marriage for example. They all had the same language, same religion and same culture.

German settlers arrived in Rwanda in the end of 19th century. They thought that Tutsi were more intelligent and more beautiful (according to European beauty standards of course : tall, skinny, light-skinned, thin nose, thin lips etc.). They thought that Hutu were boor, stupid and ugly (again, according to European beauty standards : shorter, huge lips, large nose etc). Twa were very short and seen as a species between humans and monkeys. 
After losing WWI, Germany gave Rwanda (and Burundi, which is like the twin of Rwanda with same language, same social classes etc) to Belgium. Belgians thought the same as Germans and started to gather all Rwandans and measure their height, their nose, etc to see if they were from the superior race (aka Tutsi) or inferior race (aka Hutu (or Twa but Twa were a very small minority)). Because of that, some Hutu became Tutsi just because they “looked” Tutsi and vice versa. Belgians privileged Tutsi over Hutu. They said only Tutsi could rule the country because they were the only intelligent ones. Tutsi were privileged in administration, education etc. Eventually in the 50s, Tutsi Rwandans asked for independence and Belgians didn’t want to lose their colony so they started to talk to Hutu who’d been discriminated against for a few decades. They said : “Look how Tutsi despise you! They think only they can rule the country but this country is yours! They don’t even come from here, they stole your land (there’s a myth saying that Twa were the first inhabitants in Rwanda, Hutu came from West Africa and Tutsi were the last ones to arrive in Rwanda and forced Hutu to subject to them). You have to rebel against Tutsi supremacy!” So that’s what Hutu did in 1959. The Tutsi King fled. Hutu killed thousands of Tutsi with the support of Belgian settlers and Catholic church, and hundreds thousands of Tutsi had to flee to Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda became a Republic in 1961 and Rwandans elected a Hutu president named Kayibanda. Finally Rwanda became independent in 1962.

The president Kayibanda was an extremist and under his leadership, thousands of Tutsi were killed in 1963 and in 1972, just for being Tutsi. Their homes were burnt, they were stolen and beaten up. They were fired from their jobs, fired from schools. And hundreds thousands of them fled outside the country. In 1973, a Hutu man staged a coup d'état and became president. His name’s Habyiarimana He seemed a little bit more accepting of Tutsi but he still didn’t want the Tutsi exiles to come back. Because of that, the Tutsi exiles with the help of Hutu political opponents who had also fled created an army called PRF (Patriotic Rwandan Front) to come back to Rwanda by force, in 1987. The PRF declared war against the Rwandan government in 1990 and the war went on until 1994. During those 4 years, innocent Tutsi were killed or imprisonned by the government every time PRF tried to attack the government army. There was a huge propaganda against Tutsi (through the Radio for example) and that propaganda made Hutu think that Tutsi wanted to take back the power like under the Belgian colonization. Therefore, every Tutsi was an enemy.

On April 6, 1994, the president’s plane was shot down. Hutu extremists might be responisble for that. The day after, moderate Hutu were killed by extremist Hutu and the genocide of Tutsi started, which made about 1 million victims in 3 months. Rwanda’s population was about 7 millions at that time. The genocide was planned and organised by the Hutu extremist government (as I said, the moderate members were killed) and executed by militia who recruited Hutu civilians and gave them machetes, grenades, and guns.

France had been an ally of Rwanda since its independence. France helped Rwanda fight back against the PRF during the war until end of 1993. France also trained Rwandan soliders (the army was made of 5,000 men in 1990 and 35,000 men in 1994 because of France). France gave arms and ammunition to Rwanda even after the genocide started. France never asked President Habyirimana to stop discrimination and killings of Tutsi. Actually the French President and Habyirimana were good friends. In June 1994, France decided to take action in Rwanda, officially to save Tutsi but its intention is very contested today and we think their main goal was to not let the PRF win the war, because if they did, Rwanda would become English-speaking (PRF was made of people who grew up in Uganda and Tanzania so they spoke English) instead of French-speaking and France still wanted Rwanda to be French-speaking so that they could have an influence on it. The thing is the PRF was actually liberating Tutsi by chasing the Hutu extremist killers so fighting against them meant letting more Tutsi being killed. France or French politicians have never been sentenced for that.

Belgium also was an ally of Rwanda until 1991 when they stopped supporting Rwanda because of the murders of Tutsi.

While the genocide was happening, even though everyone knew it was a genocide, the UN didn’t want to admit it was, because otherwise they would have had to take action and almost no country wanted to send their soldiers to Rwanda.

I really, really, wanted to emphasize some things:
1. Colonization played a big role in Rwanda self-destruction
2. Tutsi were discriminated against and killed for years before the genocide of 1994 happened
3. The genocide didn’t happen because the president’s plane was shot down. Extermination plans were already known by France and UN for months/years. It is important to remember that, because in the West, people like to think that Hutu turned crazy just because their president was killed and it doesn’t really surprise anyone because “Africans are savage and violent and uncivilised anyways”. 
4. The genocide could have been avoided or at least there could have been way less victims if the UN and the rest of the world had cared about the 1 million innocent people who were being slaughtered (mostly Tutsi but also Hutu who tried to protect Tutsi)

If anyone wants to ask questions I’ll be glad to answer.

Btw, I am Belgian and Rwandan.

Tbh I have to laugh everytime people try to tell me because I’m white I of course have no idea about cultural appropriation.

Did you know there’s a “traditional German restaurant” in Japan run by non-Germans? Do you know how many “traditional German restaurants” and how much “traditional German food” are in the USA, run and made by non-Germans?

Have you ever been in Europe around the time of Oktoberfest? Or even the USA? How many non-Germans wear our traditional garment at that time, running around making fun of the stereotype of the German as a fat, Lederhosen wearing beer drinker? Btw, it’s a LOT.

Do you know how often us Germans are a punchline in comedies? As the Nazi, (again) the fat, Lederhosen wearing beer drinker? Or how people make fun of our language because apparently we sound so aggressive, which shows most people haven’t heard our language besides listening to a speech of Adolf Hitler?

Non-Germans see us mostly in stereotypes. Funnily, most of these stereotypes are from one specific state in Germany, Bavaria. We’re either Hitler worshippers or alcoholics. Can’t count how often I was asked on the Internet if we still wear Swastikas here or to say something in German just to prove how “aggressive” we sound. We’re making fun of all the time.

Does that make me angry? Sometimes. Do I care enough to freak out about it? Do other people in Germany care enough to freak out about it? No. Because we know most people only know Germany through media and we have a certain image. Hell, we’re making money out of it.

I am glad our image shifts thanks to the internet. But hey, people are INTERESTED in my culture and my country. And if they ask me dumb questions, I educate them calmly and friendly because that’s how we are. Because I know calling them racists, xenophobics and whatever buzzword you can think of won’t help or change their minds. Why be an asshole about something people don’t know much about?

Planning a trip to Germany soon? We are sure you have done some research on where to go and what to eat. Now that you know where you’re going and how you’re getting there– time to confront the vague subject of cultural norms. Just like in the United States, Germany has its own quarks and standards that take some time to get used to. Look like a local by following some basic cultural norms such as avoiding the bike lane or arriving on time. Bon voyage!

German food list

Frühstück/Breakfast:

  • Brot/Toast mit Butter, Marmelade, Honig, Wurst oder Käse (Bred/toast with butter, jam, honey, sausage or cheese)
  • Müsli/Müesli (cereals) mit Obst (fruits), Joghurt (yoghurt) oder Milch (milk)
  • Frühstücksei (breakfast egg)
  • Kaffee, Tee, Saft, Kakao oder Milch (coffee, tea, juice, cocoa or milk)

Gerichte/Dishes:

  • Blutwurst (blood sausage)
  • Brathering (fried herring)
  • Bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes)
  • Bratwurst (bratwurst, sausage)
  • Brezel (pretzel)
  • Currywurst 
  • Dampfnudeln (yeast dumplings)
  • Eierkuchen (pancake)
  • Eintopf
  • Frikadellen (meatballs)
  • Kartoffelpuffer (potato “pancakes”)
  • Kartoffelpüree (mashed potatoes)
  • Kartoffelsalat (potato salad)
  • Knödel (dumplings)
  • Leipziger Allerlei
  • Maultaschen (German ravioli)
  • Königsberger Klopse (meatballs in caper sauce)
  • Salzkartoffeln (boiled potatoes)
  • Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast)
  • Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage)
  • Schnitzel
  • Spätzle 
  • Weißwürste (Bavarian veal sausage)

Desserts:

  • Apfelmus (apple sauce)
  • Apfelstrudel
  • Baumkuchen
  • Bienenstich (bee sting cake)
  • Berliner (jelly donut)
  • Donauwelle (chocolate-covered cake with vanilla pudding & sour cherries)
  • Franzbrötchen (cinnamon-flavoured pastry)
  • Krapfen (Bavarian donut)
  • Lebkuchen (gingerbread)
  • Marzipan 
  • Pfeffernüsse (gingerbread biscuits)
  • Pudding (pudding)
  • Rote Grütze (red berry compote)
  • Schokoküsse (chocolate marshmallows)
  • Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake)
  • Spaghettieis
  • Speiseeis (ice cream)

Getränke/Beverage

  • Altbier (top-fermented dark beer)
  • Fanta
  • Helles (lager)
  • Kölsch 
  • Märzenbier 
  • Pilsner Bier (Pilsner)
  • Radler (beer with lemonade)
  • Schorle
  • Schwarzbier
  • Spezi (coke & lemonade)
  • Sprudelwasser
  • Weizenbier (wheat beer)

This list is not complete! If you want to, you can add your favorite German dishes when you reblog it :)

Dirndl Dress Dilemas (A cultural overview)

I had doubts about wearing my dirndl in America because even though I grew up in Germany where a lot of people still wear dirndls to festivals and stuff, I know how sexualized my cultural dress has become in America (and how just plain ignorant people can be). This is messed up guys. Just think about it–if I wore a Sari (traditional Indian dress), no one would give a care. I’ve seen men wearing kilts without a care and women wearing kimonos for special occasions. They’re accepted and respected here. But I show up in my dirndl and these are just a few of the reactions I’ve gotten: 

“Wow, showing some cleavage?" 

"Are you dressed as some kind of bar wench?" 

"You’re being embarrassing.”

“I like your medieval costume." 

"Hey look it’s Snow White!" 

That’s because the American vision of a dirndl is this: 

We even had a similar version stuck to the door of my German classroom in American high school, perpetuating the ignorance. This stuff is why when I say, "I’m going to wear my traditional German dress for halloween,” this is what they picture. 

So let’s raise some awareness folks. 
THIS is a traditional german dress. A dirndl.

And it might look old fashioned and a bit sexy, but that’s not an excuse to call me ‘wench.' 

Someday I want to be able to wear my dirndl in America without embarrassing my friends. 

Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately

I’m currently working on a project set in a secondary world, but with nations that roughly correspond to major cultures in our world. 

By that I mean I’m trying to create amalgamations of cultural groups. For example, one country corresponds to Germanic cultures, one to Celtic, one to Mediterranean. There are, so far, also countries that correspond to Eastern Asia - a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Korean, mainly - South America, “Arab countries” and so on. My first question, in that regard, would be whether or not this concept - creating a “vibe” that reads Eastern Asian, for example, but is not one specific culture - is offensive and if it is, what I can do to solve it. 

The project I’m working on makes use of so called FaceClaims, which means that, for example, actors are used to represent fictional characters. If I based the country on China alone, then I could only use Chinese FCs and would thus greatly limit the representation. A solution I thought of was to have each country be inofficially split up in itself, so the “East Asian” country would have a “Chinese” region, a “Korean” region and so on.
Secondly, I have a desert region that I thought would be nice for an “African” (I am very much aware that there is no such thing as an “African culture”, so bear with me) cultural group. For this “country”, I thought of a loose union between different nations of people. There, I’m stuck - should I choose one region in Africa, let’s say West Africa, and base each nation on one specific peoples there? Or should I create my own “African-inspired” cultures? Or should I choose cultures from all around Africa and base a nation on each?

My third question goes along a similar line: The “cultures” I have chosen for the countries are by far not all there are in the world. There is no country for Native Americans, for example, none for South-Eastern Asians (unless I integrate them with my “India”), no Central Asian, etc. I know it is impossible to include all cultures there are in the world, but how do I choose which ones to represent in a concept like mine? I don’t want to exclude them, but I simply cannot create as many countries as there are cultural groups.

One possible solution I thought of specifically refers to Jewish people, since I feel it is important to represent them more in fantasy writing. My current idea was to have their story go similar to that of our world: Exile, long travels, and a split into groups, one of which would be the Ashkenazim, living somewhere near the Germanic country, and the other would be the Sephardim, which I imagined to live in between the “Arab” and “African” country, in a semi-autonomous city-state. But is it offensive to adapt what happened to the Jewish people in a secondary world or should I make it so that they have a more positive past and life, no exile like there was in our world? As far as I know, the exile is an important part of Jewish identity and cultural understanding, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

I’m going to preface this that some of this wording might sound very harsh, but I recognize you are genuinely asking out of a place of respect but you just aren’t sure what the best way to respect the world’s diversity is. The problem is it’s still not quite respectful enough, and shows sometimes glaring ignorance of nuances in the region.

I would also like to remind people that just because your exact question hasn’t been answered to the full scope you’re looking at, doesn’t mean you can’t get an answer as a whole. For example, we’ve discussed the concept of how and when to mix different cultures in the East Asian tag. Shira will cover your questions regarding Jewish representation below. 

However, I’m going to specifically tackle this from a research and worldbuilding perspective, primarily talking about a history of forced homogenization and how to avoid recreating colonialism/imperialism.

Notes on Language and False Equivalences

For starters, basically all of these groups are too broad. By a long shot. Either they flatten sometimes dozens to thousands of cultures (“Native American country” is in the thousands, “West Africa” is in the hundreds, “China, Japan, Korea” is in the dozens, if not hundreds, same deal with India). This language use makes people pretty uncomfortable, because it implies that the basis is stereotypes. It implies you haven’t done research, or, at least, haven’t done enough. When discussing nuance, it’s best to imply you understand there is nuance— like you did with Africa and Jewish culture, but neglected to do everywhere else.

You also go very broad with all non-European cultures, but narrow down a general homogeneous part for your European analogues, by picking Germanic and Celtic.

This double standard is something that is exactly what we try to draw attention to at WWC: to our ears, it sounds like “I’m taking Germanic peoples for Europe, but I’m going to mix three East Asian countries because those two regions have the equivalent amount of sameness that I can pass it off.”

While that sounds specific to just you, it’s not. We’ve received this type of question dozens of times in the past and it’s a general cultural attitude we’ve faced lots and lots and lots of times. Western society makes you think the equivalence is equal, because they’ve flattened all non-European countries with the single broadest brush, but it’s not.

I would also caution you on relying on media images for face claims, because media images only represent the idealized version of beauty. We’ve written multiple description guides that point out how much variety exists within all ethnic groups and how people seeing us as all the same is a microaggression.

You are right that you can’t tackle all of the world’s diversity into your worldbuilding, because, well, there is so much. The core of your question is basically how to narrow it down, which is what I’m going to tackle.

My suggestion is twofold: 

  1. Research big, top level things, over a few centuries— namely, keep track of empires that have tried to take over places and look at what groups Western society lumps together when it spreads multiple regions.
  2. Build small with a focus on a very specific place and group— namely, pick the smallest possible region you can and see what you have to build from there.

Researching Big

Researching big helps you catch what not to flatten, or at least, where flattening might be reinforcing situations that a government perpetuated. I’m going to focus on East Asia since that’s the bulk of your question, and it’s also where I’ve spent some time worldbuilding. The principles apply to all groups you’re trying to research.

East Asia— namely Japan, Korea, and China, although that is an oversimplification itself— is composed of two empires: China and Japan. This makes homogenization extremely risky because you’re touching two nerves of countries trying to take over in very recent history.

China has taken over a very large swath of land over centuries, and still has independence fights to this day from their recent history. As a result, they have both a roughly overreaching culture because the empire is so old, and a very fractured culture with over 50 recognized ethnic groups. When you think of “Chinese” you usually think of the dominant Han Chinese, but because of its old empire roots you can get a giant variety. In modern day, some provinces have kept their individual culture, while others have been part of China for so long there is a general “sameness” to them that can capture the flare you want.

Japan’s imperialism is similarly recent, only ending in 1947, and it left wounds across the Pacific (including Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia). Many of their actions are classified as war crimes. They’ve also erased their own Indigenous population by insisting only one ethnicity lived in the country. Both of these factors make mixing Japan into an “East Asian” mix tricky. Japan’s culture, while heavily impacted by China and Korea, is pretty distinct because of its island status.

Big research also lets you see the neighbouring areas at a time borders might not have been the same. For example, in the 1600s, China was much smaller because the Manchu External Expansion hadn’t happened yet. As a result, places we now think of as “Chinese” actually weren’t, and you’ll have to account for these differences in your worldbuilding. You can determine this by looking up historical maps/empires, which might require book research (libraries are wonderful).

This does not mean you can ignore recent history, however. Because the story is set in modern day, people will be viewing it through a modern lens. You need to research both the modern and the historical context in order to understand how to go about crafting a respectful world.

So that’s stuff you would’ve discovered by big research. By tracking empire movements, you can see where old wounds are and what historical contexts exist within whatever region you’re pulling from. If you take North America, you can see how each individual tribe is cast aside in favour of settler stories; in Africa, you can see how multiple empires wanted to plunder the land and didn’t care who it was; in the Middle East, you can see both the recent military involvement, the historical Ottomans, and the historical Persians.

Build Small

You can also see what empires influenced their regions for long enough to create a similar-ish culture throughout multiple regions, which can help you extract the essence you’re looking for. I would add a very large caution to only do this for historical empires where those who suffered under the regime are not fighting in present day/ have living memory of it (such as incorporating too much of England, France, or Spain in the Americas, along with the two examples above).

Now you can build small. If you wanted to give a sense of, say, coastal China with a heavy amount of trade, you can pick a major port city in China and figure out the pluralism in relation to that city. What parts identify it as Chinese (architecture, governance, food, general religious practices— folklore changes by region, but the general gist of practices can remain similar enough to get a vibe), and what parts are borrowed from a distinct enough culture they’re noticeably different?

By going from a city level, you can imply pluralism by throwing in asides of differences “out there” that shows you’ve thought about it, without cramming your world full of cultures you can’t fit in the plot. You can then also narrow down what to include based on map proximity: if there’s an easy sea or land path to an Egyptian analogue, you’re probably going to at least hint at it. This is a known historical trade, btw. Egyptian blue and Han purple are made of similar substances, pointing to an ancient cultural link.

You can research this by simply googling the country and looking under its history in Wikipedia. If you look up “China”, you can see “Imperial Unification” as one of its history points. “Japan” similarly gets you the Meiji period. Turkey shows the Ottoman empire. You can also look up “empires in [region]” that will give you a similar overview. This even works for places you don’t think have historical empires, such as North America (the pre-colonization section notes several).

This also is a starting place for what the borders would’ve been during any given time period, and gives you places to potentially factor in military involvement and recent strife. This is where modern research comes in handy, because you can get an idea of what that strife looked like.

Hope this gives you an idea how to go about worldbuilding a diverse population, and how to avoid paralleling recent wounds. 

~ Mod Lesya

Regarding Your Jewish Characters

I think it’s valid to reflect our real history in fantasy although if you dwell too much on the suffering aspects and not the “richly varied cultural traditions” aspects you’ll probably lose some of us because suffering-porn written from the outside gets old fast (if you’re Jewish yourself you 200% have the right to write this, of course.) Human Jewish characters living in pockets in fake-northern-Europe and fake-Mediterranea and fake-North-Africa (or even Fake China and Fake India; we’re there, too) is actually injecting some well-needed historical accuracy back into a genre that’s been badly whitewashed, gentilewashed, etc by imagining a Europe where nobody but white gentiles existed until they conveniently popped into existence during whatever era the writer thinks is appropriate.

In other words, if your fake Germany has a Jewish neighborhood in its largest city, that’s a way of making pseudo-European fantasy more realistic and less -washy, and is overall a good move, despite the fact that the destruction of the temple is the reason we were in Germany in the first place. (I mean… it’s not like you’re planning on sitting there writing about Tisha b'Av itself, right? You don’t have to say “And the reason there are Jews here is because a bazillion years ago, we wound up getting scattered” just to have Jews.)

By the way, having myself written secondary-world fantasy where entire countries, plural, get to be majority-Jewish, and 100% free of on-screen antisemitism, I think both ways are valid.

–Shira

Differences between America and Germany

Am I the only one who obsesses about differences between countries? On occasion of my return from the annual America trip, here are some:

  • Everything in America is further apart. And I don’t so much mean distance between towns, which are roughly the same in MA vs. Hesse. But there’s more space to distribute in America. Houses always are divided by at least a couple of meters with a yard between. Streets are way broader, particularly inside of towns. There’s way more unused land, while here, almost everything is urbanized, with a sense that every meadow, field, forest belongs to somebody and is used for something. I gained new appreciation for serial killer movies in America, where it is much easier to be kidnapped while hitchhiking without witnesses, or to dispose of a dead body in a forest.
  • Everybody in America drives very slowly, but nobody is very good at it, and half the cars wouldn’t survive the next TÜV (annual mandatory car check up), never mind the streets are in constant repairs due to big holes left by the last winter, so you actually end up feeling safer speeding across the Autobahn with 200 km/h while the occasional Mercedes rushes past. 
  • As a woman, you quickly develop an instinct to not start random conversations with random men, “might be construed as flirting, this could be unsafe, let’s get the hell out.” In Germany, I talk to absolutely everybody. It’s usually fun, and nobody ever has a gun. I feel like German men should know this. Women on the Internet are not complaining about you guys. They’re complaining about the other guys. I’m sorry you’re getting accused of things you never did wrong.
  • American food is not ideal. It’s something about how it’s processed. I eat twice as much in America as I do in Germany, with a distinct sense that my body can only make use of half of it. Can’t live off American Fruit Loops, it’s not possible. Funny enough, this also concerns vegetables and fruits, which are bigger in America but apparently don’t contain more vitamins. On the upside, you guys have strawberries in March. 
  • Which brings me to diners. (America has them) And cafés. (Germany has them) And bakeries. (America thinks it has them, just like it thinks it has candy, but no. Fudge doesn’t count. On the upside, though, America has seafood! And cupcakes.)
  • Even the white-washed town of Northampton, MA has more diversity than a major German city, it’s much less boring to look at people’s faces.
  • There is absolutely no difference between the Bruins / Habs rivalry and the rivalry between any two German soccer clubs. None. 
  • American waiters are scared people. Very scared people. You can see in their faces when they first approach your table how they’re checking you out for potential threats. Even in upscale restaurants, you can observe them easing up throughout the night upon realizing that you’re not gonna get them fired for a minor lapse of judgment. Forced, desperate cheer hangs in the air of every food establishment so thickly that you can almost smell it. They panic if you tell them to choose the salad dressing / side dish for you. (I’ve learned that “get me what most people order” works pretty well in that way) German waiters barely bother to make eye contact or to fake a good mood. However, if you make to many changes to the dish as proposed on the menu, the chef might appear and quiz you if you’re really sure that you want fries with that, because nobody has ever wanted fries with that, and that’s just not how that dish is properly eaten, and they cannot guarantee the quality of that dish if it is served with fries, and they really think you’re getting it wrong. 
  • Sometimes there are news reports about storms and tornadoes destroying half of an American town. That is very shocking until you realize that most of American cables (electricity, phone) run above ground, traffic lights are fastened to the poles by threats of wire, and almost all houses are built without stone, so if, say, a truck loses a wheel and it crashes against your wall, there’s gonna be a fucking hole in it. I’m gonna go on a hunch and say the fairytale about the three pigs who built houses out of straw, wood and stone, the stone house pig being the only survivor, isn’t very popular in America. It’s not hard to destroy half of an American town, is what I’m saying. Who’d have guessed?
Favorite German Words

Der Klartext = literally “clear text”. The very, very German concept of (what others may cosider brutal) honesty and straight-forwardness being a virtue. Uncoded text, text in clear, uncensored speech, the opposite of the (very Anglo) concepts of vagueness and beating around the bush in order to be “polite”. Mit jemandem Klartext reden is when it gets serious and to the point, when things are spelled out clearly so actual solutions can be found. Culturewise, you will notice that Germans on average are solution-based. A Klartext conversation may be required in conflict, when someone has been avoidant or when things are getting urgent and a problem must be faced head-on. It may lead to a breakup, a compromise, an ending, a solution or a new beginning. If you find yourself thinking Germans are “rude”, consider that “Klartext reden” and NOT being vague and avoidant is generally considered a good thing in Germany as, sometimes, it is necessary to get things out of the way to move ahead.

I’m so excited for today’s piece!!! I’ve been searching for an alternate way to represent Thor for a long time. So often he’s depicted as a muscle bound red bearded warrior, and that’s totally valid, but Thor is a GOD, a spirit of nature, of the wild storm. I wanted to capture that, and with this drawing I think I’ve started to scratch the surface of what’s possible!

-In Germany an Oak Tree is called Donar’s Oak (Donar is Thor)
-In part’s of Europe a common house leek was grown into thatched roofs to protect against lighting. In the North this plant was called Thor’s Beard.
-Thor’s goats propel him through the sky
-At the base of Thor’s hammer is an oath ring. In many germanic cultures Thor was the keeper of oaths.

I know it’s a departure from the norm, but I hope you all dig it!

Welcome to the first ever GerFra Week, which will be a weeklong event from June 12th to June 18th celebrating the Elysée Pair! All forms of art are permitted, like fanart, fanfiction, cosplay, edits and more! The only rule is that it has to involve APH Germany and France! Everyone can participate! Be sure to tag your entries with #gerfra week 2017 so I can see them! They will be reblogged to @gerfraweek

These are the days for the prompts, as decided by you!


Day 1- Cultural/Food- Pretty self-explanatory, this day would involve an exchange of French and German culture (think traditional costumes, dishes, etc.)

Day 2- First *Noun*- This essentially means things like the first date, the first meeting, and other things along that line!

Day 3- Historical- As you know, Ludwig and Francis have had a long and turbulent history. This prompt involves their historical interactions, whether it’s the World Wars or the signing of the Elysée Treaty.

Day 4- Mythology/ Fantasy- One or both of them is a mythical creature of your choice, the possibilities are endless!

Day 5- Royalty/ Cardverse- Is one a king and the other a servant? Are they princes who fall in love but are destined to marry someone else? Or maybe it takes place within the Cardverse AU, it’s all up to you!

Day 6- Fluff- Nothing much to say about this, except be as cheesy and fluffy as you possibly can!

Day 7- Date Night- What kind of date? All of them, whether it’s a fancy dinner out or a cozy movie night!


Got questions about the prompts or anything else? Shoot me an ask or message me directly at this url or at @gerfraweek!

Also, please reblog this post if you can, I would really appreciate it!

9. They are very good bike riders – nay, they are exceptional bike riders. They manage to look elegant while free-wheeling down cobbled streets, pashminas blowing out behind them. They are also highly adept at riding with umbrellas.

11. Germans can eat. And drink. A lot. They have excellent constitutions.

32. Germans lose their shit when the sun comes out and act in a manner I can only describe as suspicious. They flock to outdoor cafes and tip their faces to the sun … but remain in boots and jeans with a pashmina close by. Even when it’s 25 degrees. Even when it’s obvious the weather isn’t going to turn. Because …

33. Germans are always prepared for the rain.

39. As a general bread rule, Germans seem to enjoy a darker or seeded bread. Or at least bread with a long name that nods to exciting contents.

42. Germans don’t jay-walk. And they judge those who do with a piercing, back-burning gaze.

47. Germans love doing Kaffe und Kuchen for all sorts of occasions.

54. Germans struggle enormously with the concept of ‘naked feet’. It is better feet be clothed at all times.

95. Germans of a certain age really enjoy Jack Wolfskin jackets. Come Winter, Germany turns into a sea of identical jackets, people’s age distinguishable only by the brand they’re wearing.

101. Germans can open a beer bottle with anything. The couch, a coffee mug, a banana. Body parts. It’s like they all secretly take a class at school when they’re eleven, in preparation for a life time of beer consumption.

106. Generally speaking, Germans simply love celebrating.

—  What I Know About Germans - Liv Hambrett