Feierabend

8 06 2011

Germans have the reputation for being hard workers.  Ask someone to describe the German way of doing things, and you’d get such positive words like efficient, effective, high-quality, precise.

And that much is true.  “Made in Germany” is a mark of quality, and the Germans really take pride in that.  But as serious as the Germans are about work, they are even more serious about their time off.  Every evening after work is called “Feierabend”.  Word Reference defines it as “finishing time”…though I prefer to think of it as “quittin’ time” (and always in a southern accent, of course).  Come 8 p.m., almost all stores are closed (some even before that, at 6!), and you’ll hear coworkers wishing each other “einen schönen Feierabend”.

The best part about this word is that it’s a compound word, like many German words:

Feier = celebration, party
Abend = evening

So, literally speaking, they’re going off to their party evening.  I love that!  Maybe they don’t think of it that way, as a party (or maybe they do?), but either way – I love thinking of finishing the work day as a celebration of some sort.

It’s the time to pick up some flowers on the way home, or cook something delicious for dinner, or watch something fun and exciting on TV, or go out with friends.  Doing something to just celebrate having made it through another day of hard work.

I think I’ll celebrate with a nice glass of wine and try out this new grilled chicken with lemon basil pasta recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  But that means I have to run out to the grocery store first and get some basil and cheese.  Good thing Feierabend at Lidl at the train station isn’t until 10:00 p.m.!


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