5 Berlin shows to understand German culture

Festive celebrations, historic sites, world-class beer and an unlimited supply of sausages, Germany has it all (except maybe a sense of humor). Trust us here. We do not support this “humor” claim in any way. But, let’s face it. Statements like these make you wonder if certain stereotypes are in fact true. More on that later. Getting back to the Germans, from what we’ve seen, their dry demeanor might seem disappointing at first, but once you peel back the layers, Oktoberfest country never disappoints. If you still find it hard to believe, then watch these shows, podcasts and books to learn all about Germany!

Berlin belly

Did you say food and feminism? We are all ears! Food, conversations and conversations about food. Berlin belly is the only crash course you’ll ever need in traditional German cuisine. With interviews, recipes and stories from amazing women working in Berlin’s food community, the podcast shines a light on Berlin’s food circuit. Started by Irish writer and photographer Elizabeth Rushe, this one tops the list for all the right reasons.

A flavor of German

Back in high school, when I was stuck with the language of the dead (read: Sanskrit), you fancy people were busy “broadening your horizons” with “hallo”, “hello” and “gracias”. Honestly, language barriers can lead to awkward parties and it can be hard to navigate your way through them. Whether you’re striving to become fluent or just looking to survive a day in Berlin, a little lesson in German etiquette and language never really hurt anyone. A flavor of German manufacturers of German coffee break focuses on common German idioms and expressions. The 10 episodes of the show are each 8 to 10 minutes long. Once you’ve mastered the basics, this is the way to go.

Stromberg


Germans definitely appreciate a good sense of humor. Come to think of it, most of it could have gotten lost in translation. Slightly astringent and satirical in style, the German sitcom penchant Stromberg may seem a bit unusual, but loyal fans of Office beg to differ. A spin-off of the popular American and British series, Stromberg topped the charts for five consecutive seasons and is among the region’s most-watched series. Centered around a fictional insurance company, the show may not fit the “cultural” bill, but makes for a great weekend getaway when you’re in the mood for a laugh.

Babylon Berlin


Cryptic, mysterious, thrilling with a hint of romance. The neo-black Babylon Berlin is nothing less than a gold mine. Set in 1929, at the height of the Weimar Republic, the show captures civil unrest, police brutality, political paranoia, allowing audiences to draw close parallels to several modern unrests and unrests. Essentially a crime thriller at first glance, the series manages to portray German democracy on the brink of being swept away by Hitler and the Nazis. The show first premiered on Netflix in 2018 and has three seasons under its belt. We suggest you add it to your lockdown watch list.

German men sit down to pee and other insights into German culture


Yes. We see those raised eyebrows. Just as original as the title, the book written by Niklas Frank and James Cave is a collection of German peculiarities and offers insight into unknown aspects of the culture. A firm tongue, it lays down a set of rules that most Germans tend, consciously and unconsciously, to follow. In fact, think of him as your Luke’s Yodaa guide highlighting cultural norms that a foreigner might find hilarious but would border on blasphemy if not followed.