As a tourist in Munich or Bavaria, especially when you’re not from Germany, Austria or Switzerland, you will see and feel a different culture and many different customs compared to your culture. We Munich Greeters meet people from all over the world. From the USA to Australia and Japan to South Africa. And we love to show the city, and its customs, culture and tradition. And we did never meet somebody who disrespcted the bavarian culture. But if you walk through the city during summer, you’ll see a lot of people doing things which you can subsume more or less as makeing fun of Bavarians and their culture. Often the tourists don’t even know that they act disrespectful. So we present you 5 things that tourists often get accidentally wrong:
5. German article “das”
Of course this sounds really German. This article is one of in my opinion stereotypical words, tourists try to use, but way too often and in a wrong way. The article is for non German speakers pronounced in a hard or harsh way, but that’s the way to say it. “Das” is the article for neuter nouns but sometimes people completely mess up by using “das” for every noun like the English “the”, because “das sounds so Deutsch”…
4. German language
You may feel that German sounds harsh for you, but if you mock about that or try to imitate… this is where disrespect begins. Every language evolved its own specific sound, which should be respected. Famous actor George Takei (known as “Mr. Sulu” from the TV series Star Trek) once posted this on his social network sites:
“Tell someone you love them today, because life is short. But shout it at them in German, because life is also terrifying and confusing.”. This opened a huge discussion…
3. Availability of alcohol
Of course is the Bavarian culture also connected to beer, wine and hard liquor. Especially for the beer thousands of tourists come every year. But that doesn’t mean that Bavarians are all silly drinkers who always look for their next beer. As it is part of the tradition, drinking beer, wine and spirits is accepted. So please tolerate that, even in your culture alcohol is a bad thing. And yes, in Germany, the legal age of drinking beer and wine is 16, spirits with the age of 18. Please respect that. Don’t get me wrong… but I’ve seen tourists, complaining that their kids, aged 20, could buy a beer in Germany.
2. Bavarian dialect
This is one point directed especially at northern Germans. Please don’t try to imitate Bavarian dialect. You’ll get it wrong. And even if you have good intentions, many Bavarians will consider this as mocking about their dialect.
Better try to use only single Bavarian words, which are easy to pronounce, like “Servus” (“Hello”), “freilich” (“of course”) “mia” (“we”) and so on.
1. Traditional clothes
Dear tourists, please have in mind, that traditional Bavarian clothes (Lederhosen, Dirndl) aren’t costumes!
Costumes you wear during carnival.
If you run around like this guy, the only proper reaction of bavarians is:
Some words to this video:
– These are normal white socks… Why don’t they use traditional ones?
– What’s that kind of shirt? Is he going to a mediaval costume party???
– The Lederhose isn’t even made of leather…
– And what about this hat… is he going fishing?
Have a look at this youtube video, if you want to see the variety of REAL traditional clothes…