If you’re planning to spend some serious time in Germany, it’s not enough just to learn the basics of the language and culture. In order to get the most out of the country, you’ll also want to take a few extra steps to make sure you fit in without breaking the rules. There are a couple of quirky laws and conventions there that might surprise you. Although the locals will generally be happy to give foreigners some leeway when it comes to learning the ropes, here are a few things you should avoid doing if you don’t want to ruffle feathers.
1. Don’t Engage in Pillow Fights
Speaking of ruffling feathers, literally don’t do that in Germany. According to German law, a pillow can be regarded as a passive weapon. If you were to whack someone with a pillow and somehow injure them, you could technically be charged with assault.The one exception is on International Pillow Fight Day, which Berliners like to participate in with gusto. After the fun, true to the German tendency towards orderliness, participants clean up the feathers by hand.
2. No Drilling on Sundays
Want to catch up on some DIY projects around the house on the weekend? Put down the drill if it’s Sunday. Germans take the day of rest seriously, and no domestic drilling or other noisy tasks are permitted to take place so as not to disturb the neighbors (sounds kind of nice and respectful, actually). No buzz saws, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, drum practice or other loud activities are allowed on this peaceful day. Vacuum at your own risk.