I am in Germany this week and although I know the country quite well, it is every time striking to me how Germany so much differs from Austria – despite seemingly same language and culture.
Even if you have never been to both of them, you can imagine the difference might be in a way same like between USA and Canada, India and Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine, France and Belgium, etc… Many countries with “same” roots have sometimes less similarities with each other, than with any other country.
image of Frankfurt /Germany by EIPLanB
In the case of Germany and Austria, the important reason for their cultural difference and philosophy I see in the religious background. Most of the Germany is protestant with its belief in hard work and minimalism, Austria is still under that strong influence of the Catholic church with its take to showing off the riches, hierarchy and “connections”. The impact of that attitude is so obvious for an outsider like me, especially in terms of money: Germans are in generally richer than Austrians, at the same time they are much less generous and too “economical”, if not say greedy (sorry to say so but that is my personal impression). Germans keep talking about saving money all the time!! – Austrians like to moan about hard life in general 🙂
One more interesting thing is the energy they emit: Germany feels like metal – hard and strong, somehow dry and clear. Austria feels soft and cosy, somehow loose and uncomplicated.
image by axinia
By reading all that you might get an impression that I am in love with Austria (which is true!) and dislike Germany (which is not true!)… There is one thing that is very special about Germany, that I value a lot and – unfortunately – miss in Austria. Germans make great friends! As they are serious about everything in life, they are also serious about their realtionships, in particular friendship – the best thing is when you win their hearts once, they will be your best friends forever!
BTW, did you know that the most similar to Germany country is… Japan? A book tipp here.