THE GERMAN ETIQUETTE
Germans are fortunate to have strong norms and manners in their everyday lives, and as an expatriate or long-term visitor, it is important to be aware of them. While Germans may appear reserved initially, they are generally friendly people. Punctuality is highly valued in Germany, as being late is considered rude and disrespectful. Even VIPs are expected to be on time, as it reflects poorly on their upbringing if they are not. If you cannot make it, it is courteous to call ahead and inform the person you are meeting.
Germans are environmentally conscious and take recycling seriously, separating their trash to minimize their carbon footprint. Germans appreciate order and respect rules and laws. It is important to respect law enforcement, and in turn, they will respect you. Privacy is also highly valued in Germany, and it is considered rude to intrude uninvited into someone's private space. If you are invited over, a small gift such as flowers or wine is a polite gesture.
When it comes to dining, wait until everyone has their food before starting to eat. Avoid slurping and opening your mouth while eating, and try to avoid controversial topics. It is always polite to offer your seat to senior citizens and disabled individuals on public transportation.
Above all, common sense is key to getting along with Germans. They value respect, honesty, and straightforwardness. Avoid making fun of others or using bad language, and try to pronounce names correctly. By following these norms and manners, you can enjoy a great country called Germany and avoid any cultural misunderstandings.