A Traditional Modernity

With its rich and long history Germanys culture is permeated by the ethos of a deep love for philosophy, logic, reason and age-old traditions
A Traditional Modernity
A Traditional Modernity

A country of thinkers, poets, industrialists - Germany has been at the forefront of European intellectualism in art and business. With an innate respect for order and an undiluted chase for perfection, the country has ensured its place as one of the most successful nations both economically and socially. With its rich and long history, too, Germany&rsquos culture is permeated by the same ethos - a deep love for philosophy, logic, reason and age-old traditions. 

The taste for more traditional values and crafts has seen an upsurge in the last few years amid a revival of local handicrafts practices that aimed to support artisans. The intrinsic love for a natural way of pursuing art - which separates Germany&rsquos industrial feet from its cultural heart - speaks volumes through various traditions that burn bright in the main country and hinterlands.

For Baked Goods 
German bread, the most varied and arguably the best in the world, is the epitome of craftsmanship, with the German bread culture being officially added by UNESCO to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2015. With age-old recipes going into making the best doughs, purveyors of artisanal goodness can find much to relish in any German town from amid 3,200 varieties of classic loaves. 

It is no wonder then, that many classic terms in the language find their origin in the dough, like Broterwerb, a word for &lsquowork&rsquo, translates to &lsquogaining one's bread.&rsquo Pretzels, Pumpernickels and Bread rolls - bread is a staple at all meals in the land and you wouldn&rsquot have to go far to get your hands on one for there are bakeries (B&aumlckereien) on every street, town and city in Germany.

Bollenhut Hats 
Germany is loved just as much for its folk attires as it is for its breads. A signifier of the Black Forest life in southwest Germany for over two centuries, the Bollenhut, a broad-brimmed straw with bright red pompoms, is a traditional headdress of young women. It is also symbolic of the status of its wearer a Bollenhut adorned with red pompoms could only be worn by young women while married women wear a Bollenhut with black pompoms. Much more than just a fashion accessory, the ancient craft is practised by few in today&rsquos time.

A Generational Love for Cheese 
In a small town, away from the bustling life in Frankfurt, cheese lovers are hard at work, making the best produce from all natural ingredients. In Hessen&rsquos Hungen, Handk&aumls&rsquo, soft cheese or cream cheese, is nurtured to perfection, much to the delight of cheese aficionados who can make the pilgrimage to see every step of the production process through a large glass window into the cheese farm. 

It is in Germany that cheese connoisseurs can sample some delectable varieties from a vast flavour profile, starting from the notoriously pungent Limburger cheese to Cambozola triple cream, a crossover between a Brie and a blue, a staple in the region of Allgau Bavaria.

Bauhaus Lives On 
In eastern Germany&rsquos Weimer lie the embers of Bauhaus, a school of design, architecture and applied arts that existed between 1919 and 1933. Bauhaus had aimed to train its prodigies in both art and craftsmanship, leading to an arts and crafts movement which focussed on directing design efforts for mass gratification. Even today, the streets of Weimer are lit with the influence of Bauhaus, where every day handicrafts are reworked to give them a new design aesthetic. 

And this design aesthetic, with its distinctive patent use of colours like blue, yellow and red, finds takers in avant-garde fashion as well. Continuing the legacy that has shaped the city, Designer Anne Gorke limited-edition works, in collaboration with other artists under the label Bauhaus Made, conveys a sense of simplicity and wearability. 

By promoting, and sustaining its long and venerable handicraft tradition, Germany continues to straddle the best of both worlds and strikes the right balance of traditional modernity.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with German National Tourist Office, India.

Outlook Traveller