Germany: Almost Like Home

I’m almost sure that James M. Barrie would have noticed some undoubted family resemblance between Germany and Russia the same way he noticed it about Neverland Islands: «if they stood still in a row you could say of them that they have each other’s nose, and so forth». As for me three weeks spent in Bavaria brought me a lot of proves. Let me introduce a top-list of things Russians and Germans have in common.

 1. BIRCH TREES
It was a pleasant surprise to see so many birch trees on the south of Germany. Russian people consider a birch tree as one of the non-official state symbols. Even John Apdayk wrote:

«Russia is so Russian — flat, gentle, innocent birch country».

 2. ANCIENT CULTURE
Some people admit a common ancestry that Slavic people and ancient Germans had; some people say that it is a fake. I prefer stay neutral – just enjoying things I saw in Fränkisches Freilandmuseum, which are so similar to our Russian folk items. For instance, wattle fence.
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3. PATHOS WITH A «-»
For many different reasons feeling national pride is not popular neither in Russia nor in Germany. A vlogger Rewboss will explain you better, why it is so in Germany.

But it definitely doesn’t prevent us from admiring each other achievements. Leave politics to politicians, let’s appreciate culture and technique, walking in Deutsches Museum or in the open-air All-Russia Exhibition Centre called VDNKh.

811-0SK893L._SL1500_4. BOOZE
«When you say that you want to drink in Bavaria it means a beer, not water», — and there is nothing bad here. One German told me that people here appreciate very much a poem called «Die Reise nach Petuschki» by Russian writer Venedikt Erofeev because German know a lot about booze. I wonder how they adapted the names of all the alcoholic cocktails mentioned in a book for the European mentality. These names are really complicated and intertextual:

«Sleza komsomolki» literally means a tear dropped by All-Union Leninist Young Communist League female member, in fact it is a mix of lavender, lemonade, verbena, nail and tooth elixir; or «Poceluj teti Klavy» literary: a kiss given by an women named Klava, in fact: just a vodka mixed with a vine (warning: not to repeat at home!).

5. AESTHETICS

It is noticeable how close our cultures are thanks to the language most of all. German and Russian languages are both synthetic that means the common way of word building and some grammar forms similarity. Music is an important part too. Russian students still spend seven years to learn Bach and Haydn pieces of music. That was so pleasant to see Munich full of posters (posted only where it is allowed to post something, of course) with Russian folk instrument – balalaika – because there will be a big concert in July here. Shall I be back?..

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 Do you remember something else? Feel free to leave a comment.
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Author: Polina Morozova

 

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