Emmeline Wilson

Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps

Work is work, and liquor is liquor.


One thing I love about Germany is the emphasis on maintaining a healthy work-life-balance. There is a very strict divide between work and free time in this country.


A great example of this comes from the English translation of the word Feierabend. In German, this refers to finishing work. If you ask someone when they have Feierabend, you're asking when their shift is over. But if we were to literally translate Feierabend to English, we'd end up with the mash-up celebration-evening. It's completely possible and acceptable to have Feierabend plans of going home, making some chili, and watching Netflix all evening. Because it's not just "being off work", it's "celebrate myself with some me-time". 


Germans are known to be very diligent and concentrated workers. Therefore this work-life-balance culture tends to become what we know as "work hard, play hard." And it culminates in the season of beer festivals, generally known as a Kirchweih, but regionally as Kärwa. Everyone comes together in traditional clothing, sings songs, rides roller coasters, eats festival food, and "plays hard." This is where a Feierabend can be taken quite literally. 


Yet another example of the value placed on "me-time" is the many times I have shown up to work with sniffles, or an obvious sore throat and been sent home to get better. My fellow teachers are not afraid of catching whatever bug I have - they are thinking of my well being and are following the German belief that you must do nothing but rest and relax in order to be healthy again. 


This disorganized, disjointed Loop really just wants to get the point across that 1) emphasis on a healthy work-life-balance is great, and we are so fortunate to be working for a company that values it, 2) German is a fun language that you should learn with me, and 3) Kärwa are a great place to immerse oneself in German culture, and if you are ever in Germany during this time, you should definitely attend - even just to observe.





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