What comes to your mind when you think of Germany? Sausage, German Beer, October Fest…or do you think: Reliability, Punctuality or Being folksy.
I assume the image of Germany might be different depending on whom you ask. The society for consumer research (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung )conducted a survey within Europe a while ago and came up with some interesting results.
Our Dutch neighbors consider us nice and friendly. Where else the Italians still can’t forget the Hitler and Nazi time when thinking of Germany. A lot of Czech people think Germans are arrogant. Guess what, our Austrian neighbors don’t like us at all.
To read more about this study in German:
On the other hand most Germans will answer the questions about: “What is German?” That Germans are pessimistic and complain a lot. Seems like our self-image and the image people from other countries have about us is quite different. A BBC study in 2008 asked 22 countries around the world about who the most liked country is in the world…Guess which one was #1? Germany
Now, I’m not sure what has changed since then or whether we Germans have an improved self-image in 2010. When I connect with people or get to know people I usually don’t look at the country’s image but more at the individual’s character to make my mind up.
Do I strive for some of those perceived typical German values like being on time, being nice and friendly, quality and reliability? Oh Yes, you bet.