Cultural differences between to Germany and New Zealand
In this blog, I will be exploring the cultural differences between Germany and New Zealand from a New Zealander perspective. Understanding cultural differences can be a fascinating and enriching experience, as it allows us to gain insight into different ways of life and perspectives.
Both Germany and New Zealand are unique and culturally diverse countries, with their own rich histories, traditions, and values. In this blog, I will delve into the various ways in which the cultures of these two countries differ, including geography and history, social norms and values, food and drink, education and work, and leisure and recreation.
By comparing and contrasting these aspects of German and New Zealand culture, we can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of each country.
II. Geography and history
Germany is a country located in central Europe, bordered by Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west. With a population of over 83 million, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union and the seventh most populous country in the world.
New Zealand, on the other hand, is an island nation located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. With a population of just under 5 million, New Zealand is much smaller and less densely populated than Germany.
Both Germany and New Zealand have a rich and varied history, with each country having its own unique cultural traditions and values. For example, Germany has a long history of political and economic influence in Europe, with a strong emphasis on education and innovation.
New Zealand, on the other hand, has a more recent history as a British colony, and has a strong Maori culture that has played a significant role in shaping the country's identity. The geography and history of each country has had a significant impact on its culture and way of life.
III. Social norms and values
One of the most noticeable differences between German and New Zealand culture is in the social norms and values of each country. In Germany, it is common to greet people with a firm handshake and to maintain eye contact during conversations. Personal space is also valued in Germany, with people generally maintaining a distance of about an arm's length when interacting with others. Communication style in Germany tends to be direct and to the point, with little emphasis on small talk.
In contrast, New Zealanders tend to be more laid-back and informal in their social interactions. Greetings in New Zealand often involve a hug or a pat on the back, and personal space is generally not as important as it is in Germany. Communication style in New Zealand is more casual and relaxed, with small talk being an important part of social interactions.
Germany and New Zealand also have their own unique cultural traditions and customs. For example, Oktoberfest is a popular annual event in Germany that involves drinking large quantities of beer and eating traditional Bavarian food. In New Zealand, the haka is a traditional Maori dance that is performed to show respect, welcome guests, or express determination.
IV. Food and drink
Another area where the cultures of Germany and New Zealand differ is in their cuisine and dining customs. German cuisine is known for its hearty and filling dishes, such as sausages, pretzels, and roast pork with dumplings. Some popular German dishes include schnitzel, a thin cut of breaded and fried meat, and spaetzle, a type of soft egg noodle. Germany is also home to a variety of delicious pastries and baked goods, such as black forest cake and strudel. Beer is an integral part of German culture, with the country being home to a number of well-known breweries that produce a wide range of beers, including lagers, pilsners, and stouts. German dining customs often involve eating a large and leisurely meal at lunchtime, with dinner being a lighter and more informal affair.
In contrast, New Zealand cuisine tends to be more diverse and influenced by a range of different cultures, including Maori, British, and Asian. Traditional Maori dishes include hangi, a method of cooking food in an underground pit, and kumara, a type of sweet potato. New Zealand is also known for its delicious seafood, such as crayfish and oysters, as well as its lamb and venison. New Zealanders tend to eat a variety of foods and have a more flexible approach to meal times, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner all being popular times to eat. When it comes to drinks, New Zealand is known for its wine, with the country producing a range of high-quality white and red wines. New Zealanders also enjoy a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, including coffee, tea, and fruit juices.
V. Education and work
The education systems and work cultures of Germany and New Zealand also differ in a number of ways. Germany has a strong focus on education and values the importance of academic achievement. The country has a comprehensive and rigorous education system, with students generally starting school at the age of six and continuing through to high school. Higher education is highly valued in Germany, with many students choosing to pursue further studies at university or technical colleges. The German work culture is generally formal and structured, with a strong emphasis on punctuality and efficiency.
In contrast, the education system in New Zealand is more flexible and relaxed, with students generally starting school at the age of five and finishing at the age of 18. Higher education is also valued in New Zealand, with many students choosing to attend university or polytechnic institutes. The work culture in New Zealand is more laid-back and informal, with a greater emphasis on work-life balance. Both Germany and New Zealand have strong economies and are known for their innovation and productivity.
VI. Leisure and recreation
The ways in which people in Germany and New Zealand spend their leisure time and participate in recreational activities also differ. In Germany, popular hobbies include sports, such as soccer and cycling, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. Many Germans also enjoy participating in team sports, such as basketball, handball, and volleyball. Germany is home to a number of well-known sporting events, including the Bundesliga, the country's top professional soccer league.
Germans also enjoy a variety of cultural pursuits, such as visiting museums and attending concerts. The country has a rich cultural heritage and is home to a number of world-renowned cultural institutions, such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian State Opera.
In New Zealand, outdoor activities are also popular, with many people enjoying activities such as hiking, surfing, and skiing. The country's natural beauty and varied landscape make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. New Zealanders also enjoy a range of cultural pursuits, such as attending live music events and visiting galleries and museums. The country has a thriving arts and culture scene, with a range of events and festivals being held throughout the year.
Both Germany and New Zealand have vibrant entertainment scenes, with a range of film, television, and music productions being produced in each country.
Germany is known for its classical music, with a number of world-renowned orchestras and opera houses located in the country. New Zealand has a strong reputation for its indie music scene, with a number of successful bands and musicians hailing from the country.
In this blog, I have explored the cultural differences between Germany and New Zealand from a New Zealander perspective. I have looked at various aspects of each country's culture, including geography and history, social norms and values, food and drink, education and work, and leisure and recreation.
Through this comparison, we have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the unique cultural characteristics of each country. It is important to remember that cultural differences should be celebrated and respected, as they provide a rich tapestry of diversity that enriches our world.
I hope that this blog has inspired you to continue learning about and exploring cultural differences, and that it has given you a greater appreciation for the many ways in which cultures can differ and yet still coexist peacefully.