• Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

    Ireland: Cliffs of Moher! Go Now!

    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Germany
    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Germany

Ethnicity

Most of Germany's population is ethnically German, which is, obviously, a part of the Germanic family. Ethnically, the Germans are most closely related to the Dutch, Belgians, and to a lesser extent the people of the Nordic Countries. Many Swiss, Austrians, and Liechtensteiners are also ethnic Germans, so are nearly identical from a genetic viewpoint, however these people don't identify as "German." Within the ethnic German family, even within Germany itself, there is variation to some degree. There is also a sizeable Turkish minority living in Germany, many of who are temporary migrant workers.

Language

Most Germans speak German, but this language has numerous dialects and many of those variations are found in the country of Germany. The two main dialects of German are High German & Low German, then High German is further divided into further sub-groups. None-the-less, nearly all German speakers understand each other as all dialects are mutually intelligible. The German dialects are most closely related to the other Germanic languages, including Dutch and a bit more removed the languages of Scandinavia.

English is widely spoken in Germany, especially among the nation's younger generations as a heavy emphasis has been placed on learning English to fluency and many Germans have achieved this. French and other major international languages are also commonly taught, but not as widely as English.

Religion

The Germans are rather divided religiously. As home to the Protestant Reformation, about a third of the population is Protestant, but other parts remained Catholic, which represents another third of the population. The last third tend to be either unaffiliated to any particular religion or, as in the case of the Turks, are Muslim.

Protestantism is a general term referring to nearly every Christian religion that is not Catholic or Orthodox. Like all Christian faiths, Protestants believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Protestants also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. Due to this reliance on the Bible, nearly every protestant faith, and even individual, may interpret the Bible differently, which has led to a huge number of Protestant churches.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014