German greetings etiquette, I don't get it!



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no hello

i am a youngish-looking 38 y/o black american who has been living in the same building for fifteen years and i still have neighbors who won't return my hello.

yomama more than 1 year ago

jinx. have to buy me a coke.

same, same, same and same. same age. same ethnicity and nationality. same amount of time in building. same shitty asshole neighbors.

yo mama's mama more than 1 year ago


This is actually helpful to read and think about. I just moved here, and I'm glad to know about this etiquette.

KC more than 1 year ago

What a stretch!

Let's stay a little honest here. Obviously the author was pissed bc someone confronted her about her behaviour. Perfectly normal to look for other people to blame at first, but then really do the adult thing here and at least ask urself how ur behaviour contributed to the situation, like the time the author was pissed some friend didnt show for her party, suddenly germans are flaky. To deduce from one experience to an entire people is racist. Blaming all Germans just so she can remain the morally superior person here, employing prejudice and blaming her personal inadequacy of dealing with criticism on others by making a thing out of something that is none, bravo! Also, don't pretend u wanna strike up a conversation, when the last thing u feel comfortable with is anything foreign. If u talk on the train, like u write here, no wonder people roll their eyes at you. And tada, of course u will always find people who gladly jump on that wagon of bullshit.

Daniel more than 1 year ago


The world is a better place with you judging and taking everything so seriously. I found the article interesting on another person’s take on living in Germany. And it was a laugh out loud moment when she observed that Germans find English speakers unintentionally rude. Though all cultures have their mores and standard behaviours so this makes perfect sense.

HarryR more than 1 year ago


The comments here...they don't like it up 'em, do they?

Also, grüßing unknown colleagues in the office toilets. Fucking weird. I physically recoiled the first time that happened, and a good few times afterwards.

Tom more than 1 year ago

Very true!!!

Hey there! I'm one of the very few have been here for a squillion years (love that phrase! Can i borrow it?) too, and i think the fact that peoole like u and i had to find this stuff out over time rather than just reading about it on a blog after getting off the plane the first time, makes our experiences a tad more real and emotional. Your rant made me laugh out loud and wish i'd written it myself. Well done!

Justine more than 1 year ago


This is very narrow minded. Reading it hurts. This article contains a lethal dose of Brexit.

Jason Taylor more than 1 year ago


How can someone live here for a SQUILLION years but not come up with the conventional wisdom to ask a German to lift her confusion. It sounds like typical colonial behaviour. Is there no quality control in ur online publishing?

Clara Berger more than 1 year ago


I don't think it rude to acknowledge the presence of other peole by Saying "Hallo" without forcing a conversation on them. They are, after all, strangers. I do however understand that it can be a bit difficult to get in contact with people, when living abroad, especially in big cities.
I don't think Germans bark like those caricatures in wartime anti-nazi propaganda movies do. To catch the subtext of a foreign language may also proof difficult? Maybe, if the author turned down the clichés a notch, she wouldn't have to turn herself into one.

Sarah Krueger more than 1 year ago

Well ...

if someone is actually coming to you and *asks* you why you don't greet them - well, then it's most likely because you've been ignoring their greetings before, and not only once!
And yes why not greet the parents of the children your child is playing with when you meet them in the cloakroom? Are you afraid you will catch a disease?
Believe it or not: not reeting ther is rude - in Germany.

By the way - I never had any problems starting some small talk or even full blown conversations at the doctor's, on a tram, in any kind of office or shop. Well, after greeting people first, that is. Even if it was only a nod - which you seem to strongly disapprove of, as it seems.

Sure, if you don't like it and don't want to ... it might just show and people might notice and *that* might be the reason why you're not having conversations afterwards. If you're actually greeting people the way you make it seem Germans talk to each other: no wonder nobody smiles or wants to have some small talk with you either, but that's only my interpretation of things.

But makes one wonder why someone calls the people in whose country they're living in the rudest people in the universe - why do they even bother if it's populated with such rude creatures like Germans. Why not simply live where everything is exactly as it is at home? Then you will never have to work on self reflection and understanding, and maybe even valuing, cultural differences.
Much easier for you and no need to call people you don't understand "rude".

Silke more than 1 year ago


Flat and uninspired.

Simon Morgan more than 1 year ago


honest question what? really? is there nothing the author has to complain or rant about that actually matters? in so many countries it is unspoken rule not to raise up the volume too much, not to talk on phone in the metro - maybe the author should wonder why this actually is. Because it is annoying to listen to other peoples stories without content when you cannot flee from it. It is called audio smog and US americans seem to never understand this simple concept of respect.

mifune more than 1 year ago

Maybe they did, just very subtle?

> if someone doesn't greet you, instead of getting offended, why wouldn't you just greet them first instead of confronting them about it?

Well … the prompting "Gruß" can be extremely subtle. Just nodding a head slightly into the coarse direction of other people, a general "nmoang" utterance slightly above the background noise … if this isn't answered on two or three consecutive days, then the responsibility of uttering the first "Gruß" switches over to the other person, because, maybe, theirs was drowned by your own, or they might consider themselves to be in the role where they should "grüßen" first … and there you are. "Grüßt nicht". Rude.


Anderer Gregor more than 1 year ago

Relax guys's just an article...and...she's right.

Scooby more than 1 year ago

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