Culture, Customs & Traditions in Bamberg, Germany by Jeremy Gallego

While so far I have not attended any festivals or events in Germany in the traditional sense, Germans have a weekly tradition called Stammtisch, during which friends will meet for beers and food at the same place every week. Some of my new friends and I love to visit a bar called Ahörnla for our weekly meeting. I am trying to learn German during my time here, however Bamberg is apparently a big city for expats and internationals, so while you can get around with German, English is the default language for many here.

Probably the biggest moment of culture shock I have experienced was the first time I walked down one of the streets here and noticed that there were absolutely no cars on the road. The vast majority of people here prefer to either use a bike or take the bus around town, so seeing a car feels like somewhat of an oddity. Seeing how freely and efficiently traffic flows here has made me think a lot about the extent to which Americans value the automobile and wonder why we have been so slow to adopt public transportation.

The best way I can describe my attempts to adjust to the culture has been “When in Germany, do as the Germans do”. I’ve been paying attention to the way locals act when out in public or when conversing with one another so that I can better understand the subtle nuances in German culture, and then trying to fit my observations into my daily life.

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