Photo: Werner Heiber/Shutterstock

How to Piss Off a Bavarian

Student Work
by Barbara Litzlfellner Oct 21, 2014
Tell us we’re from Germany

There is a famous German movie telling the story of a group of Bavarians that win the Olympic bobsledding medal in the 1950s. Asked where they are from, they reply: “We are from Bavaria. That’s near Germany.” Exactly.

We are not connected in any way to these strange northern Germans, who drink beer in ridiculously small 0.3-liter glasses. Heck, we don’t even speak the same language! Bavarian is more closely related to Austrian dialects than to any of the northern-German ones. We might be bound to Germany thanks to incompetent politicians, but one day we will be free again!

Call anything that was brewed outside of Bavaria “beer”

We might not have invented beer, but we definitely perfected it. We implemented the Purity Law back in the 1400s, which means we were one of the first European nations to realize it’s not a smart idea to use the very same river for a toilet and as a water source for brewing. For more than 1,000 years we have been constantly working on improving our beer’s quality — we know what we are doing. So please don’t call anything brewed outside of Bavaria — or even worse, outside of Europe — beer. To us, it is just strangely colored water made by incompetent people.

Lump Bavaria in with Austria

Just because both have mountains, wear Tracht from time to time, and speak a hardly understandable form of German, Austria and Bavaria are far from being the same thing. Sure, we feel closer to our Austrian neighbors than to those from northern Germany, but there are big differences. They have an emperor; we have a king. They have Vienna; we have Munich. They have Arnold Schwarzenegger; we have good taste.

Try to speak the Bavarian dialect

So you’ve been learning German for some time now and can even have basic conversations. Good for you — we are well aware that German is a difficult bitch of a language. While we really appreciate everybody who puts time and effort into learning German, that doesn’t mean that you should try to speak Bavarian. We would rather listen to the sound of nails on a chalkboard for 24 hours straight than hear you violating our beloved dialect.

Assume we wear Tracht all the time and eat only sauerkraut

Sorry to disappoint, but we do not spend our days wearing dirndl (woman’s dress) and lederhosen (leather pants for men), eating sauerkraut, and dancing through meadows covered with flowers and cow poop. For the average metropolitan Bavarian, Oktoberfest is the only occasion to wear Tracht. But the other 364 days of the year, we wear — you won’t believe it — just the same normal stuff as everybody else in the Western world.

And, yes, from time to time we eat sauerkraut. But we also eat dumplings, pasta, pizza, French fries, and we even know what sushi is. Chances are high that the average US citizen eats more sauerkraut just on his hot dogs in the course of one year than any Bavarian consumes.

Ask if we have electricity and internet

We do have cities. We have culture. And we are part of modern civilization. There are people living in villages and farms in the countryside and some of them might look like they are extras from a 1960s Heimatfilm, but go inside and you might be surprised to find running water, electricity, and even wifi.

Eat Weißwurst after noon

Weißwurst (white sausage) served with sweet mustard, a pretzel, and a cold wheat beer is a traditional Bavarian dish that must be eaten before noon. In earlier days, when there were no refrigerators, one had to make sure to eat it before it turned bad. Now that we have fridges doesn’t change anything. Tradition is tradition.

Insult the king

Although no longer a monarchy, we are still very proud of our royal heritage. It left us architectural treasures like Nymphenburg Castle, the summer residence of the royal family in Munich, and Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. And, more importantly, the royal heritage left us enormous national pride and a unique national identity. Even today there is a large number of Bavarians who wish for the glorious old times to come back and want to reinstall the monarchy. But most of us would be more than happy if we could just gain independence from our annoying Prussian neighbors!

Make jokes about Petting

Yes, there is a village called Petting. No, it’s not funny any more. Get over it. Words can have different meanings in different languages.

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