Etiquette in Germany

Germany, home to over 80 million people, is the most populous nation in the European Union.

German is the official language, spoken by over 99% of the population. There are several dialects in the different regions of the country.

Germany is a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. The president is the head of state and invested primarily with representative responsibilities and powers, elected by federal convention. The second-highest official is the President of the Bundestag, who is elected by theBundestag and responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body. The third-highest official and the head of government is the Chancellor, who  the head of government and exercises executive power, similar to the role of a Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies.

Approximately 63% of the population adheres to Christianity. The second largest religion is Islam with an estimated 5%. There are a number of other religions also represented. About 30% of the population, mostly in the former East Germany, claim to be non-religious.

The currency is the Euro.

Gift Giving Etiquette

Expensive gifts are not given or expected in the business environment. Appropriate gifts are of good quality but not high cost, such as a nice pen or imported liquor.

The only article of clothing appropriate to give as a gift is a scarf. Anything else is considered too personal.

If you are invited to dinner in a home, be sure to bring a bouquet of unwrapped flowers for the hostess. Make sure not to make the bouquet too large or flashy. The bouquet should have an uneven number of flowers, but not thirteen. Avoid red roses, calla lilies, and heather in bouquets.  Red rose are typically a symbol of romance, while calla lilies and heather are associated with funerals and grave sites.

When gifting alcohol, be considerate of the pride that Germans take in their local wine and beer. If gifting a bottle of wine, be sure to give  something imported or from your home country, otherwise the host may interpret your gift as a sign that his own wine cellar is inadequate. As home to some of the finest beers in the world, finding a foreign beer of interest to them could be extremely difficult.