The German Federal Minister Dr. Maiziere has in the face of a well published influx of foreigners into Germany in the last 2 years (the refugee crisis), who may or may not stay, explained that ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans’. Who are we as a people, what bonds us together? What do we expect from non-Germans to accept?
Here are his 10 points:
1. Social habits, such as shaking hands, including women. We show all of our faces, we don’t do burkas.
2. Education does include subjects which may not be directly related to a future career, it is linear, enhancing general knowledge.
3. Achievement is a virtue as is a level of excellence. We also offer subsistence to those who are in need, we have a social conscience.
4. Following a dark period in our history we have moved to a federal system where freedom and peace are of paramount importance, as well as tolerance towards our neighbours and states.
5. Our culture is imbued with music, theatre, philosophy, it’s part of the world’s cultural inheritance. Germans promote culture and education to all of open mind and heart to partake.
6. Religious beliefs are respected and our churches stand for charitable work as well as unite people in faith. Religious communities live in peace alongside each other and the law takes absolute priority over all religious rules.
7. A civic culture determines the settlement of conflicts in Germany and violence is not accepted. Respect towards minorities is practised and encouraged.
8. We are patriotic: “And because we’ll make it better let us guard and love our home, love it as our dearest country as the others love their own,” Berthold Brecht. Our flag stand for Unity, Justice, Freedom.
9. Our country is located in the heart of Europe and we have been shaped by our neighbours over centuries. Our common language of German unites us and in its intricacies represents the German mind and soul.
10. We have a plethora of traditions and remembrances: from The Day of German Unity to the October Fest. Germanys’ 16 federal republics have many varied mentalities, foods, customs, and dialects, all essentially and uniquely defined as being German.
A debate in German about the need for a Leitkultur