Thoughts about Wilhelmshaven and Germany

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Our trip to Wilhelmshaven was initiated with an application for the joint media project financed by the Jade University internal internationalisation programme. Upon selection for the program, the ten of us, students from Kathmandu University, prepared for and completed the visa process.

I had known quite a bit about Germany from our school textbooks and with interactions from some German tourists who come to visit Nepal. I am well acquainted with information about the German football team, players and Bundesliga from the media coverage. I know about many world renowned personalities, theorists, media scholars, politicians and litterateurs from Germany. I had imagined Germany as a densely populated country with roads filled with heavy traffic. I had expected to see a huge crowd of people in the cities. I was told that Germans are less friendly and interactive people. I had expected to see lots of high rise apartments blocks here in Wilhelmshaven and heavy air and water pollution and less greenery in Germany.

Upon getting Wilhelmshaven; most of my expectations were wrong. I found the real Germany a lot different than what I had imagined. It feels very exciting to be here and to get the opportunity to know first-hand about Germany, its people and culture. I am impressed with the German way of life, culture, traditions, rules and regulations. Almost everyone in Germany follow rules and regulations and law applies to all. The German drivers give first priority to pedestrians crossing the roads; which is extremely rare in my country, Nepal.

I also realized that there is less pollution here than Kathmandu, Nepal.  I experienced less traffic jams here. Everyone follows the traffic rules and follow own lanes for driving, which is rare in Nepal. I am delighted to see the proper management of traffic lights, roads, alleyways, transportation system, clean parks, statues, waste management system and cultural sites here.

I also realized that German people are actually friendly, cooperative, open and curious to know about Nepal, as well as culture and traditions from all over Nepal. I was impressed with how greenery is promoted here and trees are rarely cut down. I was impressed with how greenery is promoted here and trees are rarely cut down.

I am enjoying my stay here in Germany and getting to learn a lot of new things. I am surprised by the development of Wilhelmshaven. The management and development of roads and traffic surprised me a lot. There is not even single crack on the roads and they look as clean and tidy as new. Everyone keeps the roads clean and green. I was also surprised at seeing the well managed green plants and trees in both sides of the roads. Therefore, the air around the roads feel very fresh and lively.

Another interesting thing is the waste management system here. There are separate bins to collect paper wastes, plastic wastes and other wastes. There was also a system for managing degradable and non-degradable wastes. People throw garbage only at designated places and as per the waste types. The empty bottles and cans can also be returned back in exchange for few cents. People rarely use plastic bags here and most of them prefer to buy recycled bags in stores. It was an amazing experience seeing the automobiles producing less smoke and the city promoting safe and green cycling. I was surprised to see the separate lane for the cyclists.

I was surprised by the interaction with Germans as I had expected them to be the talkative ones. But, I realized they talk moderately; neither for too long nor too short.

I was completely spell-bound by the arts and architecture that I saw during visit to Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, Berlin, and Jever. I was amazed to see the buildings that were completely composed of steel and glass only.

The trip and the collaboration with our German counterparts, students from Jade Hochschule, has been working out very well and I am looking forward to all the productive work that we can do together as well as for the things we discover during this two-week trip.

Prabin Dhungel

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