Growing up in Bavaria “An excerpt from Petra’s Book”

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1.1 Growing up in Bavaria

 

During my growing up in Bavaria I learned a lot about the people and their daily lives, and got to experience first-hand just how different Bavaria is from the rest of Germany or the world.

Bavarians are proud people: they love their culture, food and traditions, and see themselves as Bavarians first and foremost and Germans second.  I am always surprised when I visit my home land by just how strongly my family keep to their traditions, and just how many people still walk around wearing traditional Lederhosen, knee-high socks and alpine hats, on a daily basis.

Bavarian pride always comes with a wink in the eye. Whenever someone is late they smile and blame it on their “Bavarian time”, whenever something is slightly wrong they call it “Bavarian”, and whenever you asked if they spoke English they said “Bavarian English”.

Say what you want about Bavarians, but they sure know how to enjoy themselves, people take their time at home, they sit back, relax, and enjoy a pint of beer and a Pretzel at any time and any day of the week.  The cafe culture is also very strong there, and the Bavarian cakes and pastries are as important as the coffee and I miss all of it. But in the end it’s not about what you eat or drink, but about the time you spend just relaxing. Bavarians are known to be hard working and ambitious people, and perhaps their secret is that between all the hard work, they take long and well earned breaks – lunch breaks can last for hours, and Sundays are still as holy as ever with no shops open for business.

Bavaria is one of the regions in Germany that attracts the most tourists, and for a very good reason: it simply fulfills that idea all foreigners have of Germany. Often when people think of Germany and Germans, what they picture is actually Bavaria and Bavarians.

The beautiful castles, tranquil nature, hearty cuisine, waitresses carrying 10 huge pints of beer at once, the ‘Oompah music’, the Drindls and Lederhosen and the fairy tale houses – was all a part of growing up in Bavaria. To truly experience the essence of this culture, you need to seek out the smaller villages which is where I am from.

The Free State of Bavaria, is a federal state of Germany. In the southeast of the country with an area of 27,200 sq mi, it is the largest state, making up almost a fifth of the total land area of Germany, and with 12.5 million inhabitants is Germany’s second most populous state. Munich, Bavaria’s capital and largest city, is the third largest city in Germany.

The History of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and formation as a duchy in the 6th century through the Holy Roman Empire to becoming an independent kingdom and finally a state of the Federal Republic of GermanyThe Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, when Bavaria became a republic.

The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps, previously inhabited by Celts, which had been part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum.  The Bavarians spoke Old High German but, unlike other Germanic groups, probably did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century. These peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining RomansMarcomanniAllemanniQuadiThuringiansGothsSciriansRugiansHeruli.

The name “Bavarian” (“Baiuvarii“) means “Men of Baia” which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and later of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520.

2 thoughts on “Growing up in Bavaria “An excerpt from Petra’s Book”

    ALTZAR said:
    March 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Loved your description of Bavaria and the Bavarian people and traditions. It matches up perfectly with my, admittedly more limited, experiences in your homeland.

      petranicoll responded:
      April 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind response.

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