German Social Norms pt. 2
There are a lot of things Germans have their special views of. Whether that’s lifestyle, drinks, food .. the list goes on. Sadly, some stereotypical opinions of us actually pretty much hit the heart. One that might be quite familiar is: the beer. Don’t mess with our beer. Seriously, somehow being proud of the German beer seems to be given down through our DNA. But beer and how fragile our feelings towards the Reinheitsgebot are, are a topic for another day. This time I want to talk about something that is probably more shocking to more conservatory countries.
And that is the normality of being naked or seeing somebody naked in Germany, more specifically the North of Germany. I know that in some countries even seeing someone flashing a boob makes parents break out in heaves. In German television and films nudity is often present. I basically grew up with it. On top of that, being born and raised in the northern part of Germany, I never saw it as nothing but normal. I only realise that it’s not the norm, when other people talk to me about it.
What I am trying to talk around is us being quite liberal with nakedness. Granted, I am not one of those people that parade themselves around on FKK – Parade your glorious bare bottom around as you like – beaches, because I feel uncomfortable, but I don’t even bat my eyes when I see anyone else walking around. I see it as normal and don’t blush or throw my hands in front of my eyes and scream in agony … except perhaps with in the case of that particular kind of naked dude with their beer bellies, jingling and janglling their junk here and there like a janitor dangling their keys, almost begging for someone to look at them. Sometimes I’m just watching the sea and enjoy the small waves crashing against the beach when an old geezer screeches at me to stop ogling them. Not that you would even want to look at them, but honestly, some of these people are so sensitive, you wonder why they’re even going there.As if you wanted to look at a shriveled shrimp voluntarily. They’re taking it way too personally. And you are left thinking …
Even on our regular beaches (those that do not allow a free body culture, meaning letting yourself parade around in all your glory) you will probably see a woman topless, roasting their top half in the sun until they’re red and sensitive. You probably didn’t want that imagery in your head. Well tough.
Back to the actual topic. There is a lot more nakedness here than you probably expect. I would also not recommend going to a sauna here if you have a problem with that. Germans will not care about showing themselves (in a sauna, on a beach etc. I mean, we still have specific places for that), but they do not like being stared at. I get that people often don’t intend to be rude, but you can’t stare. Not. At. All. Keep your eyes away. Or just stare really hard at their faces. Honestly, everywhere but the personal parts. Otherwise things might not turn out into your favour. So be cautious.
What they expect of you is to regard it as natural as much as they do. So decide for yourself whether you’re comfortable with it or not. That’s all this is about and act accordingly.