My almost 14-year old son Dylan recently asked me to give him a brief interview about German culture (it was a school project). I thought you might be interested, and it might make a good Sunday Brilliance Nugget.
Dylan: What in Germany pushed you to come to America? Or what in America pulled you to America?
Dr. Stephie (Mom): Oh, that’s a great question. Well, actually I came to America as an exchange student, and it was not driven by what you asked. It was driven by my curiosity about culture. I wanted to go to another country and find out what it was like to be actually live there for a while. So, I went on this nine-month student exchange program. I picked the United States because I thought it would be good to improve my knowledge of the English language. After all, it’s a world language. I thought England was too close to Germany, Australia too far away. And that left basically the U. S. and Canada. I ended up picking the U.S.
Dylan: Have you spread your German culture around here, and how did people take that? What did they think of you?
Dr. Stephie (Mom) That’s cool. I think, inevitably, one spreads once culture. I absorbed American culture. I’ve been here for 30 years now. I spread the American culture when I come back to Germany to visit my family, who still live there. But, yes, I’m sure I spread German culture. That goes from maybe the food I like – when I think of childhood food. Occasionally that comes out. You know that I like Haribos. I like chocolates. And I like bratwurst, I like beer, you know, things like that. That’s almost a bit stereotypical but true. (By the way, I do NOT like sauerkraut unless it is homemade).
Dylan: Also, on a side note, I go to Germany, too, sometimes. – What did people think of your food and all that? Because I know that Germans are in part responsible for beer and whatnot. So what did they think of your brats and all that?
Dr. Stephie: They love them, of course. Actually, one of the things that’s kind of funny is that in the U.S., there are a lot of October Fest celebrations. People often ask me whether I’ve been to the actual German Oktoberfest in Munich? And (whispers) I have not. One of these days maybe I will. But you know, there are a lot of different types of beers; a lot of local beers, too. There is just a huge spectrum of beers in Germany. Most of these beers you cannot get here. A few you can.
Dylan: On a scale of one to 10, how much did you like German culture? And if it’s above five, very quickly explain why, because we’re almost out of time.
Dr. Stephie: There are a lot of good things about the German culture, and there are a lot of really good things about the American culture. They overlap certainly in parts. And there are differences in other parts. One thing that I really love about the United States is the entrepreneurial spirit. Also, the vast expanses of natural beauty that we have here, the national forests and parks, and so forth.
But regarding Germans, they are sincere people. They’re hardworking and have good ethics – there are a lot of really positive things there. They have brought forth some of the top advances in science and produced great poets like Schiller and Goethe. There are a lot of good things about German culture. I give it a rating of nine. Thank you.
How curious are you about other cultures?
P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this Brilliance Nugget with others. Thank you!