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Subject: soc.culture.german FAQ (posted monthly) part 1/6

This article was archived around: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 06:03:06 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: german-faq
All FAQs posted in: soc.culture.german
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Archive-name: german-faq/part1 Last modified: 2001-09-02 Posting-Frequency: monthly URL: http://www.watzmann.net/scg/ Version: 2001-09
______________________________________________________________________ ||~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FAQ for SOC.CULTURE.GERMAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|| || -- general remarks -- || || || || || || DOWN-LOADING the FAQ || || || || via WWW: (aka HTTP) || || The FAQ homepage is at http://www.watzmann.net/scg || || where you can also obtain tarballs and zip-archives || || for download. || || || || via EMAIL: || || The FAQ is no longer available via email. If you || || absolutely, positively can't get the FAQ either from || || the WWW or from USENET, send email to scg@watzmann.net || || and highly trained chipmunks will hand-pick a version || || for you and send it off (most probably to you) || || || || via FTP: || || The friendly people from news.answers archive the postings || || of this FAQ on their server. You can find it at || || ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/german-faq/ || || The website above also provides zip- and tar-archives of || || the ASCII and the HTML version of the FAQ. || || || || || || || || || || David Lutterkort Berkeley, Sun, 02 Sep 2001 || ||__________________________________________________________________|| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Table of parts ============== Part 1: Sections 1- 4 Part 2: Sections 5- 7 Part 3: Sections 8-12 Part 4: Sections 13-17 Part 5: Sections 18-22 Part 6: Sections 23-27 Table of Sections ================= 1. Introduction to the FAQ List 2. Traditions and Cultural Oddities 3. Soc.Culture.German 4. News 5. The Internet 6. Geography 7. Language 8. Electronic Language 9. Genealogy 10. Phone System 11. Political Life 12. History, Law -- Internet Resources 13. Books 14. Audio / Video 15. Foreign Affairs; Consulates / Embassies 16. Educational System 17. Economy; Industry; Working in Germany 18. Broadcasting Media 19. German zip codes (Postleitzahlen, PLZ) 20. (Public) Transportation in Germany 21. Cars and Driving in Germany 22. Tourism 23. Money Talk 24. Moving! 25. Urban Legends 26. Humor 27. Questions and Answers Table of Contents for Part 1 ============================= 1. Introduction to the FAQ List 1.1 Where can I get it ? 1.2 This thing is huge. Is there a way to search the FAQ ? 1.3 May I Copy the FAQ List? 1.4 Can I help, too? 1.5 Can I believe what's in here? 1.6 Who did it ? 1.7 What's new in the FAQ ? 1.7.1 Page comments 2. Traditions and Cultural Oddities 2.1 German Holidays and Festivals 2.1.1 Holiday Dates 2.1.2 Carnival 2.1.3 St. Martin 2.1.4 Advent, St. Nicholas and Christmas Advent St. Nicholas Christmas 2.2 Walpurgis Night 2.3 Wedding Traditions? 2.4 Card games -- Skat and Doppelkopf 2.5 Gluehwein Recipe 2.6 German Cooking 2.7 Flea Markets and such 2.8 Kneipen, Discos, ...and curfew time 2.9 Who are these freaks in black suits asking me for money ? 2.9.1 Richtfest 2.9.2 Page comments 3. Soc.Culture.German 3.1 What Language to use? 3.2 How to Type Umlauts? 3.2.1 Page comments 4. News 4.1 Newspapers and Magazines online 4.1.1 National newspapers and magazines 4.1.2 Regional and local publications 4.2 GermNews 4.2.1 Searching the GermNews Archive Notebooks 4.3 De-News (the English version) 4.4 Deutsche Welle News 4.5 Press Agencies 4.6 Magazines 4.7 Mail Ordering Newspapers and Magazines 4.7.1 Page comments @ ....CITY !_ __! __/ @ KOPENHAGEN \ ...river ! !_\~~~~! ! /~ # ....lake ! / `\_ ! `~\ \ o s t s e e !-! `! ~` ___;~'~- '. ! `, \__! ,-\ ._! KIEL@--._\ ,\__\_! n o r d `\_ ,-'_ ,-~-~ `~---___--~ .............. /~~~`\ HAMBURG~ ~ ! s e e ..',------.!~~~~~U\! `\@_ \ ,' / U !weser `~-_ elbe oder/ /\ !_ @\ `-_ /' AMSTER! ,' _! BREMEN! `\ BERLIN \_ DAM /'@`-' / HANNOVER ! @ ! /_ rhein |_ @ / \___ ~~~~~----_ ! \___ DUESSEL`, @@ RUHR ! elbe~`\ DORF @!@@@@ POTT ! @ `\ @ @@ LEIPZIG `\ BRUESSEL `@KOELN `@ DRESDEN BONN`@_ _! FRANKFURT PRAG _- `\___@_ _ _ @ mosel_- `\ ~!__! `\_! ~~ ! main NUERNBERG SAAR @ `, @ BRUECKEN ,' STUTTGART donau NANCY ,' @ ___--~~~~-_ @ / _-~~ ~~--__ rhein' __--~~ ~~@--_-_ ! ----~~ @ LINZ `\___,-----### boden MUENCHEN @ BASEL @ @ ### see SALZBURG ZUERICH @ INNSBRUCK 1. Introduction to the FAQ List This posting contains answers to frequently asked questions in soc.culture.german. Please check this posting first before you ask a question in soc.culture.german. 1.1. Where can I get it ? The FAQ is available on a website <http://www.watzmann.net/scg/index.html> from which you can also download it in various formats. It is posted to soc.culture.german on the first of every month. If neither of these methods works for you, send email to scg@watzmann.net and request a copy. 1.2. ? This thing is huge. Is there a way to search the FAQ The whole FAQ is indexed with htdig <http://www.htdig.org>. The search page <http://www.watzmann.net/scg/search.html> lets you find the stuff you're interested in. The FAQ used to contain long lists of postal addresses of various institutions. These are slowly going away since it is too hard to keep these lists up to date. Instead, the search engine <http://www.watzmann.net/scg/search.html> also indexes the pages where institutions like the Goethe Institut <http://www.goethe.de> publish postal addresses of their branch offices. To try it out, search for Lyon and marvel in amazement. 1.3. May I Copy the FAQ List? The FAQ is under the GNU Free Documentation License <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html>. The exact legal statent is: Copyright (c) 1999-2000 David Lutterkort. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being Section 1 'Introduction to the FAQ List', with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be obtained from http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html If you downloaded the FAQ as a tar- or zip-archive, you can also find a copy of the license in the file COPYING. 1.4. Can I help, too? This FAQ list was prepared by collecting different postings and email messages. Input is always welcome. Maybe you would like to volunteer for writing a paragraph or two? <twinkle> <peering over shoulder> <wink> <wink> So, please, please, send any comments, corrections, enhancements, new questions etc. to scg@watzmann.net. If you want to speed up the process of incorporating your material into the FAQ, try to submit something that I can (almost) cut and paste into the FAQ. 1.5. Can I believe what's in here? Even though I strive for accuracy and I try to verify all I can, the information contained in this FAQ list is nevertheless provided as is. The good news is that it's free. 1.6. Who did it ? Over the long, long history of the USENET, this FAQ has had various maintainers, who under the greatest personal sacrifices and hardships faithfully puttered over this list, turning it into what it is today. They are: Ralf Vogelgesang: maintainer from 19xx to 1999 Who else ? 1.7. What's new in the FAQ ? Recently, I changed these sections: 2000-04 Completely rewrote the section on ``humor''. Some blurb on the ``Green-Card'' added. Many changes throughout. Special thanks and kudos to Paul Schmitz-Josten for his detailed suggestions. Added a comment system to the website. See this page <http://watzmann.net/comments/about.html> for some information about it. 2000-03 Moved the FAQ to a new website <http://www.watzmann.net/scg>. New section on ``minimum wage'', thanks to Peter Haefner and Stefan Huebel. Added an explanation of ``St. Martin'', thanks to Karl-Hendrik Kueper. Minor changes in ``Money Talk'' and ``Broadcast Media''. 2000-02 Revised the section on ``public transportation'' and added links to online resources. Thanks to Karl-Hendrik Kueper. Added long list of links to ``newspapers and magazines online''. Thanks to Joerg Ulrich Chlistalla. 1999-12 New section on ``immigration''. Many people in soc.culture.german contributed to this, most notably Wayne Brown and Dirk Brink. Some more ``Tongue Twisters''. Thanks to Georg Umlauf. 1999-11 Changed the sections on ``the phone system'', ``government resources'', ``elections'', ``history'', ``card games''. Smaller changes throughout. First stab at updating dead links. Still too many left. 1999-08 Reworked the ``section on the internet'', in particular the subsections on ``email in Germany'' and ``getting Internet access''. Cleaned up and updated the section on ``Zip codes/Postleitzahlen'' Started this What's new section. Older entries are retrofitted and pretty spotty. 1999-06 Updated some information on the ``German railway system'' in ``Section 21: Public transportation''. Thanks to Mark Obrembalski. 1999-05 Added a full-text search capability <http://www.watzmann.net/scg/search.html>. 1999-04 Took over as maintainer of the FAQ. Converted the FAQ to SGML and discovered why many people dislike the Linuxdoc DTD. 1.7.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=5> 2. Traditions and Cultural Oddities 2.1. German Holidays and Festivals 2.1.1. Holiday Dates The German Information Center <http://www.germany-info.org/> maintains a well hidden list of German holidays <http://schiller.dartmouth.edu/~gicnyc/tindex/holidyit.htm> with information on their origins. Date German Name English Name Observance Variable Jan 1 Neujahr New Year Jan 6 Heilige Drei Koenige Epiphany ``BW'',``BY'',``SN'' Feb 19 Rosenmontag no official holiday, but free day inmost parts of the Rhineland 7 weeks before Easter Monday Apr 5 Karfreitag Good Friday Friday before Easter Monday Apr 8 Ostermontag Easter Monday First Sunday after the first newmoon in spring May 1 Tag der Arbeit Labour Day May 16 Christi Himmelfahrt Ascension Day 11 days before Whitsuntide, a Thursday May 27 Pfingstmontag Whitsuntide 7 weeks after Easter Monday Jun 6 Fronleichnam Corpus Christi ``BW'',``HE'',``NW'',``RP'',``SL''.In ``SN'' and ``TH'' only towns and villageswhich are mostly Roman Catholic 10 days after Whitsuntide, a Thursday Aug 15 Mariae Himmelfahrt in ``SN'', in``BY'' in towns and village which aremostly catholic Oct 3 Tag der deutschen Einheit National holiday Oct 31 Reformationstag Reformation Day ``BB'',``MV'',``SN'',``ST'',In ``TH'' only towns/villages with mostlyprotestant population Nov 1 Allerheiligen All Saint's Day ``BW'',``BY'',``NW'',``RP'',``SL''.In ``TH'' only towns and villages which aremostly Roman Catholic Dec 24 Heilig Abend Christmas Eve Half a holiday, after noon Dec 25 Erster Weihnachtsfeiertag Christmas Day Dec 26 Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag Boxing Day Dec 31 Silvester New Year's Eve Half a holiday, after noon German Holidays; dates are given for 1996. Abbreviation Federal State BY Bayern NI Niedersachsen BW Baden-Wuerttemberg NW Nordrhein-Westfalen BE Berlin RP Rheinland-Pfalz BB Brandenburg SN Sachsen HB Hansestadt Bremen ST Sachsen-Anhalt HE Hessen SL Saarland HH Hansestadt Hamburg SH Schleswig-Holstein MV Mecklenburg-Vorpommern TH Thueringen ISO 3166 Abbreviations for the Federal States 1996-02 Year Easter 1997 Mar/30 1998 Apr/12 1999 Apr/4 Some of the upcoming dates of variable holidays. 2.1.2. Carnival In Germany the season of Carnival is referred to as Karneval or Fastnacht or Fasching depending on the region. It's very different from e.g. Brazilian or Venecian (Venice/Italy) Carnival. In general, Carnival is a Catholic festival. In predominantly protestant areas you'll find little Carnival activities. It is the period before Ash Wednesday, before the Lent, the fasting-days, begin. People take it as the last opportunity to drink, eat and frolic to their hearts content. Until Easter things will be going to some extremes. A common trait throughout Germany is people's liking for costumes and disguises, may they be traditional (e.g. in Baden or in Venice/Italy) or leaning towards the bizarre side as in the Rheinische Karneval, (i.e. between Mainz and the Dutch border along the river Rhine) Naturally, children like to dress up but adults do so, as well. The Alemannische Fasnet, celebrated mainly in Southwestern Germany and northern Switzerland, has its roots in pagan beliefs and is preoccupied with chasing ghosts and demons by intimidating them with very elaborate scary wooden masks, fire and the terrible noise of pipes and drums. One of the most impressive displays of the alemannische Fasnet can be watched in Basel, Switzerland at the Narrensprung (run of the fools). For the Narrensprung, which starts early in the morning between 4am and 5am, all the lights in the city of Basel are turned off and men disguised in traditional costumes parade through the streets, accompanied by marching bands playing traditional songs. The Rheinische Karneval has its roots in the French occupation of the Rhineland following Napoleaon in the early 1800s, mocking the occupiers. Traditional Karneval costumes are modeled on the military uniforms of that time. The season begins on 11/11 at 11:11 a.m. at which time people on market places of every major Rhineland town celebrate Hoppeditz Erwachen (The awaking of Hoppeditz, a figure in the Carnival). Typical music is played, disguised people drink beer, wine, champagne... and Hoppeditz rises from his bed (or grave). This beginning mark is not really a big event, however, very quickly normal day-to-day life takes over again; Christmas passes..., Silvester passes... but eventually Carnival gets going! Some Sitzungen start being held here and there; people commence at halls for a show that starts precisely at 7:11 (or 8:11) p.m. On the stage a panel of eleven (the Elferrat) presides the Sitzung and some artists (who can be ordinary people) come on stage. Music groups perform and dance groups and especially Buettenredner -- men and women who make mocking speeches about everyday life, politics (local, national, international) and so on. The most important of the evening are, however, the Prince and Princess of Carnival. Every town has their own royal couple. The Prince and Princess' guards bear wooden rifles and wear uniforms resembling those of Napoleons armies which occupied the Rhineland from about 1800 to 1815. Their manner of conducting serves to ridicule military in general. The hot phase of Karneval starts on 11:11am of the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, the so-called Weiberfastnacht (Carnival of women), the day women take control. (Wearers of ties beware! Women might carry scissors to trim your manly accessories -- and you won't even be allowed to complain!-) 1997-01 From Saturday to Tuesday parades take place in many towns; the most important ones are on Rosenmontag ... starting at (you guess!) 11:11am. The three big ones are in Duesseldorf, Cologne and Mainz. In the parades you see some brass bands, a lot of disguised people, a few guests from abroad (US brass bands, Brazilian groups; only in the big parades) and many Motivwagen. Those are tractors with a trailor displaying a motive, some paper dolls representing celebraties or politicians to mock about... other Wagen carry the Prince and Princess, or their guards or the children prince and princess. All parading groups throw sweets or other goodies into the watching crowd. Spectators along the way shout Helau or Alaaf (depending on the area.) There are different traditions to end up Carnival. On Ash Wednesday 0:00, Carnival is over. The Hoppeditz goes back to his grave, or the nubbel has to be burnt... 2.1.3. St. Martin According to legend, St. Martin was a knight in Roman times who charitably cut his cloak into two with his sword and shared it with a beggar who was about to freeze to death. This memorable event is celebrated to this day in November, mainly in Southern and Western Germany. St. Martinstag is the 11th of November. The celebrations involve little kids walking around town at dusk on November 10th, carrying home-made lanterns. The lanterns used to be made from hollowed out beets with a face carved in, similar to what Americans do to pumpkins around Halloween. The kids parade threw town singing traditional songs, sometimes accompanied by a St. Martin on a horse. In some regions the kids also go gripschen (grabbing) by singing songs in front of houses, and being rewarded with candies, apples and nuts. After the parade, kids traditionally get a Weckmann and a cup of hot chocolate, while the adults devour a Martinsgans (goose). The Weckmann is a sweet breadroll, 25-30 cm long, in the shape of a man with raisins for the eyes and often a white clay pipe in his mouth. 2.1.4. Advent, St. Nicholas and Christmas Of course, the usual disclaimer applies: regional variations are to be expected! Advent Advent is very similar to the way it is celebrated in the US, except for the wreath displayed with four candles on a table instead of being hung on the door. The Adventszeit are the four weeks (each concluded with an Adventssonntag) before Christmas. It is customary to light only the number of candles on the wreath that correspond with the count of the Advent Sundays having passed. Consider the old nursery rhyme: Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt. Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier -- und dann steht das Christkind vor der Tuer. Instead of the last line, you may find the rather sarcastic variation: und wenn das fuenfte Lichtlein brennt, dann hast du Weihnachten verpennt. St. Nicholas St. Nicholas is based on a bishop of Myra (in what is today Turkey) who lived in the 4th century AD. He is said to have provided charities to people, in particular children. He is usually portrayed in a bishop's habit with a Mitra and a red coat. In the catholic tradition, on the eve before December 6th St. Nicholaus comes to the children's houses, accompanied by his servant, Knecht Ruprecht (sometimes called Krampus). He reads out of the golden book all good and bad attributes of the kids and the generaly well- behaved children will get small presents (traditionally fruit, nuts, and cookies) But the bad ones receive a birching from Krampus...and the really bad apples are taken away in Krampus's big sack. In protestant regions, children will put a pair of shoes, well cleaned, or a dish in front of the house's front door for Nikolaus to fill small presents in, on the evening of December 5th. The next morning, they find some chocolate, oranges, nuts or similar there. Christmas Christmas is celebrated on the evening of December 24th -- the Heiligabend. As a child, you will be told to remain in your room from late afternoon on, because the christ-child (das Christkind) will come tonight. Without you knowing (or something like that), your parents prepare the Christmas tree (Weihnachtsbaum). Choice of ornaments varies dramatically from household to household, ranging from all- natural and home-made with wax candles to the plastic tree with flickering electric lights. 1997-01 After sunset (maybe 6pm) you are asked to join your parents. This is typically done with a special little Gloeckchen that serves only this one moment in the year. After the Bescherung (when the gifts are unwrapped) the special Christmas dinner is served. 1997-01 In a varition, dinner may be served before the Bescherung in the room different from where the Weihnachtsbaum is. When the family has almost finished dinner one of the parents will sneak out and ring the little bell. The other parent exclaims: "Oh, das Christkind was just here!" which is your cue to open the door and for the first time you see the Weihnachtsbaum -- and all the presents underneath. Then everyone wishes everybody else a "Froehliche Weihnachten"; you open your presents and play until you fall asleep under the tree. This is the one night in a year, when you do not have to go to bed early. 1996-03 2.2. Walpurgis Night On April 30th, in the Harz Mountains, near Hahnenklee and Bad Grund some odd things happen. At Blocksberg and Brocken you will see some of the few last real witches leaping over camp fires...and (if you are really lucky) taking off on their broom stick into the air for their annual journey to where no one knows... 1996-04 2.3. Wedding Traditions? Of course, there is no single accepted tradition. You'll find lots of peculiar behavior surrounding this event...some of them: I remember being surprised at seeing in Idar Oberstein, Rheinland Pfalz, people carrying dishes out to the street and smashing them, and a young couple, turned out bride and groom (to be?) trying to keep them swept up. Apparently the custom is that all old dishes should be broken before the wedding, and the marriage will be excellent if the couple can keep up with the sweeping. During the reception the bride is kidnapped by the wedding witnesses (best man etc.) to a local bar or restaurant, the groom has to go rescue her and pay the bill at the local bar. German receptions last very long into the night - at midnight the bride's veil comes off and is given to the next girl/woman who is going to get married. The first dance is danced by the bride and the groom, it is traditionally a waltz! The next dance is only for bride with father and groom with mother, while bride's mother dances with groom's father. The day/night before the wedding there is the tradition of the Polterabend, where everybody who knows of this wedding is coming to the bride's house and brings old dishes (ceramics - NO glass - bad luck) and breaks them in the front yard (drive way), this is done for good luck! And the bride's parents generally provide refreshments - beer (very German). The bride and the groom have to clean up everything that same evening with a broom, and they have to do it each time somebody breaks something. This is to demonstrate that the bride and groom will cooperate in good as in bad times. Germans wear wedding rings on the right hand! And the groom and bride have identical rings (wedding bands - no diamonds). In Northern Germany they like to play a trick on the wedded couple, while they are in church, getting married. As they come back they will find all their furniture on the roof of the house where they are going to live, and all the doors locked, i.e. barricaded, no way to get in the normal way. The first obstacle for the couple to take then is to somehow get into the house and the furniture off the roof, beds, chest drawers and everything, usually through a hole in the roof. No outside help, but everybody will be watching ... 1996-04 What I thought was quite romantic about their weddings was how they decorate the hood of the bride/grooms wedding car with lots of flowers (compared to the junk they put on and tie to Americans cars) They form a procession after the wed- ding and drive through town honking their horns. Friendly Germans always honk back wishing the couple "Good Luck". I've witnessed this in a few parts of Germany, and think it is a nice tradition! 1996-04 2.4. Card games -- Skat and Doppelkopf The card games homepage <http://www.pagat.com/> has a list of the most popular German card games <http://www.pagat.com/national.html#germany>. Skat is the German cardgame, it is played everywhere, from bars to after Christmas dinner at home, recreationally with a case of beer next to the table, with small or large money stakes, and competitively at official Skat tournaments. If you see people play cards in Germany, chances are they are playing Skat. Unfortunately, the rules are somewhat complicated to learn, but it is well worth the effort. A very rough description of the rules can be found here <skat.html>. The International Skat Homepage <http://jwsell.wooster.edu/Skat/Skatdflt.html> is dedicated to Skat. It contains an extensive explanation of the rules <http://jwsell.wooster.edu/Skat/Skatdflt.html>, and some links to proprietary Skat software <http://jwsell.wooster.edu/skat/Skatdflt1.html#Software> and Skat shareware <http://jwsell.wooster.edu/Skat/Skatpages/Shareware.html> , among other things. If you don't feel like Skat, and if you have big hands, try Doppelkopf <http://www.pagat.com/schafk/doko.html#other> or Schafkopf <http://www.mattina.com/bavaria/sk.htm>. They both have their origins in southern Germany, mainly Bavaria, where they still are very popular. 2.5. Gluehwein Recipe 3 cups red wine 1 cup water 1/2 cinnamon stick 3 cloves 1/2 lemon's juice some lemon peel Ingredients for Gluehwein (Lechner's Kochbuch). Mix and heat up everything (don't let it boil, though); serve hot. 1996-02 And a variation: Take a huge pot or kettle. Place in it 1/2 cup of water. Add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon and 1 tbsp ground cloves and juice of 1 lemon. Bring to a boil. Add a 4-liter jug of burgundy (or other cheap red wine). Heat, but make sure the temperature stays below 170 degrees Fahrenheit (boiling point of ethyl alcohol). Add sugar to taste and brandy for additional wal- lop if the outside temperature drops below 0. Walk, don't drive home! 1996-02 And one more: 3 cups red wine 150 ml water 1 cinnamon stick 10 cloves 2 small pieces of ginger root 75 g sugar 700 ml red wine 1 orange for taste Another list of ingredients for Gluehwein. Cook a thick syrup from the water, the spices and the sugar. Add the red wine and mix with the syrup. Reheat, but don't let it boil. Take out the spices (e. g. pass the Gluehwein through a sieve) and serve immediately. 1997-01 What is it used for? Well, you drink Gluehwein during the cold times of the year. Imagine, you are strolling over the Christkindl's Markt on a weekend before Christmas. Or it's one of those really cold winters again, when the Steinhuder Meer freezes over and you can go skating for hours -- what nicer thing to warm up right on the ice at one of those booths set up for the season! 1996-10 2.6. German Cooking You can find over 11,000 German recipes at the Kochbuch <http://kochbuch.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/> of the Unix AG <http://www.unix- ag.uni-kl.de/> in Kaiserslautern. 2.7. Flea Markets and such In many of the majors cities there is a tradition to have a regular official place for haggling. All the odd stuff that you might have accumulated on the attic you can sell at any price you want (or get.) Rather than celebrating individually scattered yard sales, all those with an interest in such free micro-marketing come together on, say, every first Saturday of the month or (in a sufficiently large city) every weekend. The conventional ways of placing classifieds in the newspapers are also quite popular. Der Heisse Draht is one of more well-known papers which are entirely devoted to direct private ads of stuff. You now even find it on the net. 1996-10 2.8. Kneipen, Discos, ...and curfew time In most German towns and cities, businesses that sell alcoholic beverages have to close at some curfew time (which is under the ordinance of the local government) ...unless they apply for a special permit (for which they pay quite a bit; discos are a typical candidate to purchase such a permit.) In some areas, such as Berlin and Hamburg, there is no curfew at all -- hence the saying Berlin is open all day long. Exceptions will also be granted for particular festivities (see, for instance, `Fastnacht') 1997-06 2.9. Who are these freaks in black suits asking me for money ? Sometimes when you sit in a German bar enjoying a beer, one or a few guys in black corduroy suits with fancy hats will approach your table, knock with their knuckles on it and recite a poem, the gist of which is that they are traveling and asking you to give them some money for food and accomodation. Since the Middle Ages, when crafts where organized in guilds, traveling has been an integral part of the education of any craftsman. Before one can become a Meister (master craftsman), one has to be a Lehrling (apprentice) with a Meister for usually three years. Upon completion of the Lehre (apprenticeship) one becomes a Geselle. The guilds for most crafts, in particular the ones for carpenters, masons etc., mandated that every Geselle had to travel for a certain number of years without returning to their hometown, except in case of family emergencies. During these years, Gesellen would travel from town to town seeking temporary employment with various Meister. These travels are called Walz and are to be done in traditional dresses, which for carpenters and masons consists of a black corduroy suit, their traditional work clothes, a top hat or a bowler, depending on the trade, a bandana, used to wrap and carry all belongings on the road, and often a fancy walking stick. Traditionally, the Walz had to last three years and one day, during which time the journeyman walked from town to town. The perks of these journeys included one free meal at the local restaurant and sometimes a close encounter with the current employers wife, the Frau Meisterin. In modern times, the Walz is no more a requirement for becoming a Meister, since we now have more effective ways of disseminating the skills and knowledge for a particular trade. In recent years, it has become more and more popular again with Gesellen in the traditional trades, and the people bothering you in your favorite bar are most likely legit and on the Walz (those corduroy suits aren't exactly cheap). Apart from the now optional Walz other bits of the medieval guilds that have survived the centuries are the requirement that you have to be a Meister to be allowed to have your own shop and take apprentices, the Meisterstueck (master piece), a piece of work of high quality and demand that you have to produce in rder to become a Meister and the Richtfest. 2.9.1. Richtfest The Richtfest (topping out) is a traditional part of any building construction in Germany. As soon as the Rohbau, the shell of the house including the roof structure, is finished, it is decorated with a fir wreath or fir tree and everybody involved with the building gets together for a celebration with drinks (beer, not cocktails) and some food. This tradition goes back to the traveling Gesellen on the Walz: for the traveling carpenters the Richtfest was the time to move on, their work on this building had been done and they were supposed to go and find work somewhere else. So apart from celebrating a milestone in the construction of the building, it was also a goodbye party for some of the people working on it. 2.9.2. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=6> 3. Soc.Culture.German This USENET newsgroup <news:soc.culture.german> was created to be an international forum for discussion of German culture, history, etc. 3.1. What Language to use? I'd have never imagined, I'd write this paragraph...but hey!, after all, it seems to be an FAQ, doesn't it? (If I may add a personal note: <sigh>) Picking up the previous, it should be noted that while a fresh discussion of a nation's culture certainly is about its language, too, this does not at all imply the sole use thereof. S.c.g is arguably a unique newsgroup in the soc.culture.* hierarchy, featuring two main languages (German and English) as widely accepted modi operandi. The vast majority of s.c.g readers do read/write both German and English -- on varying levels of mastery, of course -- and for posting to the newsgroup they use either language at will. Now, this ambiguity of s.c.g frequently has lead someone to wondering about two questions, for which ultimate answers have been found only the other day: o How did it come to be that way? -- Who knows? o Will it stay that way? -- We'll see... The third question, Should it be that way?, is mostly a matter of taste, since this is anarch..., pardon me, USENET! Looking up the netiquette <ftp://ftp.sunet.se/pub/Internet- documents/doc/netiquette/netiquette.txt> we find: a great big nothing in this case. My best answer would be the old McCartney song: Let it be! As a suggestion about what language to use, please take the following into consideration: o When starting a new thread, use whatever is more comfortable to you, or what feels more appropriate. o As a courtesy to original posters post followups in the same language.1995-5 o And as a courtesy to all readers, don't make a fuss if someone decides to answer in a different language, or to mix languages in a followup. o In general, avoid meta-discussions about soc.culture.german. 3.2. How to Type Umlauts? As you may have noticed, there are various ways to write umlauts. Alas, there is no generally accepted way to do this in soc.culture.german. Periodically, therefore, you will observe hard- fought battles on this topic in this group. Here are the two methods most often used: o common Version ae oe ue Ae Oe Ue ss or sz o TeX Version "a "o "u "A "O "U "s Please! if you have a German-style keyboard with umlauts, and if you're using it to post something in soc.culture.german, don't use the umlauts. They probably won't get displayed correctly on terminals in, say, North America. Call'em poor user's of ancient equipment or victims of lousy 7-bit administration -- many people simply don't get the vital 8th bit...it's a fact, ey! For much more in-depth description of how to handle 8-bit characters (not only German umlauts) look at the FAQ-ISO-8859-1 <ftp://ftp.vlsivie.tuwien.ac.at/pub/8bit/FAQ-ISO-8859-1> 3.2.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=7> 4. News Sources of news from/about Germany. One particularly well-done collection of pointers to German news sources is Carl Butler's listing, <http://www.duke.edu/~cgv/library/> containing (I bet) all of the pointers mentioned here and more. 1996-04 The alpha complete news index <http://www.select-ware.com/news/> has a very extensive selection of German print and broadcast news media <http://www.select-ware.com/news/eur.html#Ger>. 4.1. Newspapers and Magazines online All the major German newspapers and magazines and many of the local ones are available on the web. Some put their whole edition online, some only excerpts and the really stingy ones will only give you contact information. A news site to end all newspaper websites is provided by paperball <http://www.paperball.de/>. The site compiles news from various newspapers and magazines and offers them in one overview. Very slick. 4.1.1. National newspapers and magazines o Der Spiegel <http://www.spiegel.de>. The German news magazine. Its site is frequently updated and similar to online news services like CNN <http://www.cnn.com>. o Focus <http://www.focus.de> The big competitor of Der Spiegel <http://www.spiegel.de>. o Die Zeit <http://www.zeit.de> The weekly newspaper of Germany's intelligentsia. o Stern <http://www.stern.de> o Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung <http://www.faz.de> o Die Welt <http://www.welt.de> o Rheinische Post <http://www.rp-online.de> o Sueddeutsche Zeitung <http://www.sueddeutsche.de/> o Monde Diplomatique <http://monde-diplomatique.de/mtpl/.home> o TAZ <http://www.taz.de/tpl/.nf/home> o Frankfurter Rundschau <http://www.frankfurter-rundschau.de/> o Handelsblatt <http://www.handelsblatt.de> o Prinz <http://www.prinz.de/> o Das Sonntagsblatt <http://www.sonntagsblatt.de/> o Die Wochenpost <http://www.wochenpost.de/> Der Standard <http://www.derstandard.net/> and Tages Anzeiger <http://www.tages-anzeiger.ch/portal/tagi/portal.htm> are some offerings from Austria and Switzerland. 4.1.2. Regional and local publications Here are some links to local papers: Berliner Morgenpost <http://www.berliner-morgenpost.de/> | Berliner Zeitung <http://www.BerlinOnline.de/aktuelles/berliner_zeitung/> | Durlacher Blatt <http://www.durlacherblatt.de/> | Express <http://express.de/> | Frankenpost <http://www.frankenpost.de/> | Haidhauser Nachrichten <http://hn.munich-info.de/> | Hamburger Abendblatt <http://www.abendblatt.de/> | Hamburger Morgenpost <http://www.mopo.de/seiten/seite1-uebersicht.html> | Hannoversche Allgemeine <http://www.niedersachsen.com/MOL/HAZ/> | Heilbronner Stimme <http://www.stimme.de/> | Hellweger Anzeiger <http://www.hellwegeranzeiger.de/> | HollsteinischerCourier <http://www.courier.de/> | Kevelaerer Blatt <http://www.kevelaer.de/kevelaerer-blatt/> | Kieler Nachrichten <http://www.kn-online.de/> | Koelner Stadtanzeiger <http://www.ksta.de/> | Koelnische Rundschau <http://www.rundschau- online.de/> | Landeszeitung Lueneburg <http://www.landeszeitung.de/> | Lausitzer Rundschau <http://www.lr-online.de/> | Lippische Landes- Zeitung <http://www.lz-online.de/> | Main Echo <http://www.main- echo.de/> | Mainpost <http://www.mainpost.de/> | Mannheimer Morgen <http://www.mamo.de/> | Marktspiegel <http://www.marktspiegel.de/> | Mindener Tageblatt <http://www.mt-online.de/> | Mittelbadische Presse <http://www.baden-online.de/> | Maerker <http://home.t- online.de/home/Maerker-OPR/> | Muenstersche Zeitung <http://www.mz- online.de/> | Neue Presse <http://www.niedersachsen.com/MOL/NP/> | Nordbayrischer Kurier <http://www.bayreuth-online.de/> | Nordwest Zeitung <http://www.nwz-online.de/> | Nuernberger Nachrichten <http://www.nn-online.de> | Nuernberger Zeitung <http://www.nz- online.de/> | Nuertinger Zeitung <http://www.ntz.de/> | Passauer Neue Presse <http://www.vgp.de/> | Pirmasenser Zeitung <http://www.pz.pirmasens.de/> | Rems Zeitung <http://www.rems- zeitung.de/> | Remscheider General-Anzeiger <http://www.rga- online.de/home.htm> | Rhein-Zeitung <http://rhein-zeitung.de/> | Rheingau Echo <http://rhein-zeitung.de/> | Rheinische Post <http://www.rp-online.de/> | Rheinischer Merkur <http://www.merkur.de/> | Rostocker Nachrichten <http://www.nnn.de/> | Ruhr Nachrichten <http://www.westline.de/rn/> | Das Zeitfenster <http://www.is-bremen.de/zeitfenster/> | Der Tagesspiegel <http://www.tagesspiegel-berlin.de/> | Neue Westfaelische Zeitung <http://www.nw-news.de/> | Saarbruecker Zeitung <http://www.sz-sb.de/> | Schaumburger Nachrichten <http://www.niedersachsen.com/MOL/SN/> | Schwarzwaelder Bote <http://www.swol.de/> | Schweriner Volkszeitung <http://www.svz.de> | Schwaebische Zeitung <http://www.bvd.de/> | Siegener Zeitung <http://www.Siegener-Zeitung.de/> | Singener Wochenblatt <http://www.wochenblatt.net/> | Stuttgarter Zeitung <http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/> | Saechsische Zeitung <http://www.sz-online.de/> | Suedkurier <http://www.skol.de/> | Trierischer Volksfreund <http://www.intrinet.de/> | Weser Kurier <http://www.weser-kurier.de> | Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung <http://www.cww.de/> | Westfaelische Nachrichten <http://www.wnonline.de/> | Wochenspiegel <http://www.ws-online.de/> 4.2. GermNews Since December 1993, GermNews <http://www.mathematik.uni- ulm.de/germnews/> broadcasts a daily summary of events as reported by major German news sources. The paragraphs are manual transcripts from radio etc. by a number of volunteers around Rainer Mallon. The German compiled text is made available daily in several ways: It is posted in soc.culture.german. It posted on the world wide web <http://www.mathematik.uni- ulm.de/germnews/ThisYear/ThisMonth/Today.html>. An overview of the current year <http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/germnews/ThisYear/> of the current year is also available. 1999-02 It is emailed to the subscribers of a mailing list. To subscribe to the mailing list, send email to listserv@listserv.gmd.de. The body of the message should only contain the line SUB GERMNEWS. To unsubscribe, send mail to the above address <mailto:listserv@listserv.gmd.de> with the line UNSUB GERMNEWS 1999-2 OK 4.2.1. Searching the GermNews Archive Notebooks Glossary A glossary <http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/gn/glossar/> 1996-02 containing English explanations of words and phrases often used in German news can be obtained by sending an email: To: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.GMD.DE with body GET DE-NEWS GLOSSARY (Don't use any signature lines!) 1996-05 Keyword Search All messages to germnews are archived in units called notebooks or logs each month. You can search these notebooks for references using the powerful database searching function of listserv to get the information you want. There are two steps to searching the archives. First put your search together and send it to listserv@listserv.gmd.de which will return as mail an index or list of the messages that meet your search criteria, each with a unique item number. Using this item number, you then send another request for the specific messages you want, which will be returned as a longer database output file. To find out more about this process send the following email: To: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.GMD.DE // Database search DD=Rules //Rules DD * Search * in GERMNEWS Print 112 /* ok: 6/94 4.3. De-News (the English version) The de-news <http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/de-news/> mailing list is the English edition of GermNews -- the English translation of yesterday's issue of GermNews. To subscribe to de-news 1996-05 send email To: LISTSERV@listserv.gmd.de with body SUBSCRIBE DE-NEWS first name last name 1996-5 4.4. Deutsche Welle News The Deutsche Welle <http://www.dwelle.de/> also has a news service, available in various flavors: o As WWW version <http://www.dwelle.de/today/nrdeu.htm> 1997-12 o and as a mailing list: to subscribe send email To: majordomo@dwelle.de Subject: subscribe nachrichten 1997-12 o In addition, they provide a market news mailing list: to subscribe send email To: majordomo@dwelle.de Subject: subscribe market 1998-04 4.5. Press Agencies Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) The Kurznachrichtendienst features articles from Germany's premier news agency. The articles, transmitted and displayed in German, are categorized into Headline News Summaries (Schlagzeilen), Politics (Politik), Business (Wirtschaft), Sports (Sport), Culture (Kultur) and Miscellaneous (Vermischtes). The news service delivers more than 60 news stories a day, 24 hours a day. 1994-05 Compuserve offers DPA News Headline Services as part of its basic services; Compuserve members access the service with the command go DPANEWS. A warning from CompuServe: The information contained in the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise redistributed without the prior written authority of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 1995-3 Austrian Press Agency (APA) The Austrian Press Agency, APA, <http://www.apa.co.at/> is also on-line. 4.6. Magazines o Oldenburger STACHEL <http://www.informatik.uni- oldenburg.de/~muh/Stachel/> 1995-3 o InDOpendent (U Dortmund) <http://www.fb15.uni- dortmund.de/ifj/indonet/> 1999-04 o jetzt <http://www.jetzt.de/> (Jugendmagazin der Sueddeutschen Zeitung <http://www.sueddeutsche.de/>) o Ruprecht (U Heidelberg) <http://ruprecht.fsk.uni-heidelberg.de/> o Spektrum der Wissenschaft <http://www.spektrum.de/> Computer-related... o Computer-Zeitung <http://www.computer-zeitung.de/> o iX-Leitseite <http://www.heise.de/ix/> o C'T-Redaktion <http://www.heise.de/ct/> o Gateway <http://www.gateway.de/> 4.7. Mail Ordering Newspapers and Magazines GLP International (German Language Publications) <http://www.glp- news.com/> 153 S. Dean Street Englewood NJ 07631 tel +1 201-871-1010 fax +1 201-871-0870 info@glpnews.com 1999-02 You can subscribe to many German publications, daily and weekly papers, as well as monthly magazines (altogether more than 150.) Ask for their catalog. They offer sample copies for most of the titles (for a price). Deutschland Nachrichten / The Week in Germany The German Information Center (GIC) 950 Third Ave. New York, NY 10022 tel +1(212)888-9840 Deutschland Nachrichten <ftp://langlab.uta.edu/pub/GIC/DN/> or its English version The Week in Germany <http://www.germany- info.org/newcontent/np/index_week.html> is a free 8 page flyer. It features selected articles from various German newspapers, soccer results, and the US$/DM exchange rate. The German Information Center <http://www.germany-info.org> also distributes lots of other information (books, maps, ...) for free. They are a particularly helpful resource for those who may have to prepare a school presentation about Germany. Check out the official web site <http://www.germany- info.org> of TWIG. 1996-03 The GIC archive <ftp://langlab.uta.edu/pub/GIC/> can now be reached on the net, too. Compuserve users may try GO EURFOR, GO FLEFO, GO GERLINE or GO INFOGERMANY. 1995-03 Der Spiegel (see GLP International above) Published weekly, subscription price for the USA is US$280 p.a. Partly available on WWW <http://www.spiegel.de/>. Die Zeit <http://www.zeit.de>" Die Zeit 29 Coldwater Road Toronto, ON M3B 1Y8 Canada Die Zeit PO Box 9868 Englewood, NJ 07631-1123 USA Costs: US$54 for 1 year (52 issues) international edition via surface mail from Canada. The international edition is much cheaper but contains less pages. The German Tribune does not exist any more ... Die Nordamerikanische Wochenpost Die Nordamerikanische Wochenpost 1120 E. Long Lake Road Troy, MI 48098 3 month trial subscription: US$15, one year US$42.95. This is a general interest newspaper. The front page generally features news from/about Germany. There are special pages for regional, domestic American news of interest to German speakers (e.g. Florida, New York, Chicago/Milwaukee, and Detroit). Additionally, there's a special page for news from/about Austria. All the major sections that you would expect in any newspaper are represented: politics, sports, the economy, fashion, cartoons, features, editorials, etc. There are also several short-stories and a serialized novel. There's a list of German-language radio broadcasts for North America (US and Ontario, Canada). It also contains a list of German-American associations. Tages-Anzeiger Tages-Anzeiger Abonnentendienst Postfach CH-8021 Zuerich fax +41-1-248-5055 http://www.tages-anzeiger.ch/ Prices (Sfr) for all countries, first four issues free. air mail surface mail 3 months 41.74 33.75 6 months 78.50 66.50 1 year 135.00 111.00 Tages-Anzeiger is one of the major Swiss daily newspapers (besides Neue Zuericher Zeitung). Their international edition is published weekly. German Life Zeitgeist Publishing 1 Corporate Drive Grantsville, MD 21536 tel +1(301)895-3859, +1(800)314-6843 fax +1(301)895-5029 Their introductory subscription is 6 issues for US$17.95 It seems commercial but with beautiful slick paper and some interesting articles. An old map of North America all in German (Virginien, Pennsylvanien, Kanada, Chikago, ObererSee, etc...) articles about Berlin after WW II (e.g. die Truemmerfrauen,) Berlin in the 20's, etc. 1996-03 Washington Journal (est. 1859) 1113 National Press Building Washington, DC 20045-1853 tel +1(202)628-0404 fax +1(703)938-2251 http://www.mindspring.com/~kainz/wj/ 1997-01 German language weekly with European news, features, sports, ads of German clubs etc., targeted at the audience of Germans in the US. Yearly subscription cost US$32 to US$34 in US; US$40 in Canada email 74127.25@compuserve.com for more information. 1995-9 California Staats-Zeitung PO Box 26308 1201 N. Alvarado Street Los Angeles, CA 90026 tel +1(213)413-5500 A one year subscription to this weekly paper is US$25. It has all the local German events as well as all the Bundesliga action. 1995-3 Sueddeutsche Zeitung Sueddeutscher Verlag GmbH Sendlinger Strasse 8 D-80331 Muenchen tel +49(89)21830 1995-4 Neue Presse (from California) Neue Presse - Vertrieb 9001 Oso Avenue, Suite F Chatsworth, CA 91311, USA tel +1(818)700-0666 www.neuepresse.com Koelner Volksblatt Alternative newspaper from Cologne; covering topics from the region and beyond. WWW <http://home.t- online.de/home/achim.scheve/blatt.htm> Others: Stern, Hamburg 100125.1305@compuserve.com Focus 100335.3131@compuserve.com 4.7.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=8>