Destinations » Europe
» Central Europe »
English word, Germany is derived from the Latin word Germania, which was
the Roman name for the region east of the Rhine River.
In German, the country is called Deutschland, which simply means "German lands"
as Deutsch is the word for the Germans and evolved from the word diutisciu,
which means "popular," referring to the majority in the region, the non-Latin
Germany is a country that at times seems like a relaxed party, while at others it
may appear to be a bit stiff as the people enjoy their rules, order, and structure.
Today the country's culture and lifestyle is heavily influenced by technology
and progress, but so much of this present is rooted in the past, beginning with
the settlement of the people in what is now Central Europe.
The early Germanic settlers found themselves spread across much of Europe and with
this diversity came a great diversity of landscapes. Many people survived by farming,
however in the mountains this lifestyle gave way to one based more heavily on raising
animals, yet in other areas fishing was the best means of survival. This time of
settlement created an adaptable and flexible people who found ways to survive and
even thrive in various landscapes, characteristics still present today.
Over time the Germanic people changed greatly. The people divided politically as
their language developed in various directions, creating numerous dialects that
still exist today. The people also created kingdoms and other empires as many became
highly organized, a trait now synonymous with the Germans, but also motivated and
hard working as each region sought independence from the others.
During this long period of political division the people also created numerous sub-cultures.
Differing dress, foods, and beers all became tied to differing regions and even
today many of the German stereotypes represent the roots of only a small part of
Germany. For example, lederhosen were only historically worn by the Bavarians and
some neighboring Germanic people, never by northern or even southwestern Germanic
people. These times of division created a hugely diverse group of people that remains
diverse today. Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of this past and present division
comes in the form of religion. Although most Germans are Christian, the Protestant
Reformation began in Germany and divided the country as much of southern Germany
is Catholic, but much of the north is Protestant.
It wasn't until the late 1800s that the people finally unified and the country
began to merge culturally. The linguistic dialects have become more standardized
and foods have been spread across the country with political unity, but religious
division and many cultural aspects remain locally distinct. The way people identify
in Germany also began to change as people began to slowly abandon their identities
of being "Bavarian," "Saxon," or "Prussian" in favor
of being "German," although those other identities have never been completely
With a growing pride, came growing division with neighbors and political agendas
that helped lead to both World War I and World War II. Since this time many Germans
have changed their identity even further, although much of the past culture has
remained. Many Germans today first see themselves as "European" or again
primarily identify with their local region over being "German," which
many see negatively.
Today the Germans remain incredible diverse, yet are united in many ways. They share
a language, foods, beers, and a nation, but are also unique from region to region
and from person to person. However, the European Union and modern technology have
begun to made communication and transportation so accessible that the lifestyle
among most of the people today is reliant on technology and business rather than
the lands as lifestyles today are vastly different than they were even one hundred
Learn More About Germany:
Map of Germany: