Cosmopolitanism and lived diversity
Many visitors experience Germany as a cosmopolitan, culturally diverse and livable country. And not just at events like the 2006 World Cup. “The world visiting friends” was the official motto of the soccer event back then. And some who accepted the invitation were surprised by the joie de vivre, friendliness and curiosity of the people in the most populous country in the European Union. They were able to experience that “the Germans” do not just focus on economic success, but also on family, friends and, of course, leisure time. But you have also seen that most of the older and younger people are still dealing intensively with the National Socialist past and the division of Germany until reunification in 1990.culture of remembrance and the deep anchoring of basic values such as solidarity and respect for differences.
It is therefore not surprising that Germany has long since become a country of immigration. The numbers, which may surprise some, tell of the diversity lived in the country. Of the total of 84.3 million people in Germany, 10.6 million alone have a foreign passport – more than in any other of the 27 EU countries. If you then add those women and men who now have German citizenship but were not born in Germany or descend from immigrant parents, then over 22 million residents in Germany have a migration background. In other words, almost a fifth of the residents have foreign roots.
On the one hand, the growing cultural diversity is a social and political challenge for Germany, on the other hand, it represents an opportunity to shape coexistence in the heart of Europe in an active and future-oriented manner.
Attraction and opportunities for advancement
Why are so many immigrants drawn to Germany? Word has probably gotten around that Germany is a country with many opportunities and interesting work opportunities.
It is correspondingly colorful in almost all larger German cities. People from different cultures, languages and religions meet there. In 2015, the German capital Berlin was the most popular destination for foreign immigrants, followed by Munich and Hamburg. The international financial center Frankfurt was also in the top ten. But the science locations also attract people. For example, Karlsruhe, as one of the most important European locations for information and communication technologies, is constantly attracting many international immigrants.
Immigrants play an important part in Germany’s success and improved image. Many people with a migration background have come a long way in Germany: They are teachers, entrepreneurs, specialists in engineering or management, lawyers or doctors. They also work as specialists or in gastronomy. Or they make a career as a director like the Turkish-born Fatih Akin or as a politician like Cem Özdemir from the Greens. In football, the multicultural generation has long been on the field, because the national players no longer only have German roots, but also Polish, Swedish, Turkish, Bosnian, Brazilian, Ghanaian, Nigerian or Tunisian.
The fact that German society is pluralistic in so many areas also has to do with the now good opportunities for migrants to participate. Among other things, this has to do with the high level of respect and enforcement of equality and participation rights. These are expressly formulated in Article 3 of the Basic Law for various social groups.
Prosperity, legal certainty and freedom of religion
On the list of the ten “most liveable cities in the world” by the consulting firm Mercer, for example, there are three German metropolises in Düsseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt – the criteria for this ranking were political stability, crime, economic conditions, freedom of the individual and the press, health care, the school system, the housing situation, environmental pollution and leisure activities.
Germany has many social achievements that people value regardless of gender, age or origin. These include political and economic stability, the community of solidarity with its social security systems, freedom of opinion and religion, comprehensive and affordable medical care, the rule of law, the strong role of non-governmental organizations and trade unions and the high value placed on education. Germany is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, the country has known no social or political unrest for decades.
As a country of immigration, Germany also has great religious diversity. In everyday life you meet people from the most diverse religious traditions. Freedom of religion is a valuable asset in Germany. It is therefore enshrined in the Basic Law . Article 4 there states, among other things:
(1) The freedom of belief, of conscience and the freedom of religious and ideological belief are inviolable.
(2) The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed.
Most residents of Germany are Christians (55 percent) and either belong to the Roman Catholic Church or are a member of a Protestant regional church. With a share of almost five percent, Islam is the third largest religion in Germany. In addition, there are more than 70 other religious communities. More than 36 percent of the residents are non-denominational.
Versatile cultural and leisure activities
The range of cultural and leisure activities in Germany is also very diverse and attractive. For example, in Germany there are tens of thousands of sports clubs from a wide variety of disciplines such as football, handball and tennis. Anyone can join the clubs, which are usually an inexpensive way to do sport alone or in a team – and thus to connect with people with the same interests. Those interested in literature can browse through books in numerous libraries nationwide. In addition, the libraries regularly offer cultural events such as readings and lectures, which you can attend free of charge or for a small fee. Those who are more interested in history or art can choose between many museums nationwide. Various music schools with lessons in singing, dance or instruments provide for the musical offer. If you are interested in attending a music school, you should first inquire about the costs of the lessons, as these can vary between schools. You will also find a wide range of courses atcommunity college . Whether you are interested in a new language, something cultural, creative, social or a new sport, everyone is welcome at adult education centres. There are no prerequisites for taking part in a course and the participation fees are usually low. You can even get a cost reduction under certain conditions. Get advice from your local adult education center and find out about the current programme.