Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surrounded by Schwabians

A South African friend of mine, who happened to do an internship in Berlin, told me to do some enquiry into a group of German people known as the Schwabs. All clues that she gave me is that they come from the south of Germany and don`t smile.
One week went by and my research prospects were looking bleak. Time and opportunity overlapped in the square in front of Humboldt University in front of a building wide poster that claimed that Germany is Schwabisch Hall country. Swabish Hall is the local bank of the Schwabian people. They are one of the original three tribes of Germany the other being the Baden and the Bavarians.
"One these stones you can build."
This prompted a few questions about Schwabianism in the bus. When asking these questions I noticed that all three of the Schwabians in the German group happened to be sitting next to me in the bus – hence the title. In Schwabialand the importance of saving as much money as possible is very important. The main goal of all this saving is eventually building your own house and keeping the porch as clean as possible. Simple as that.
Some Schwabs in action.
This Schwabian work ethic has lead to major technological advances and some companies you might know of such as Hugo Boss, Daimler Benz and Boehringer Ingelheim. Apart from these achievements the Schwabs aren`t well loved in Germany. They are known for letting Berlin`s low housing prices escalate and an easy way of making friends in Berlin in saying “Scheisse (shit) Schwaben” as much as possible. 

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