Domestic violence help for wives of immigrant workers in Germany

I never thought I would write a blog related to this topic, as I did not realize such things even happen in Germany unless I got questions from few Indian women who are in dependent visa. It’s really heart breaking to hear such domestic violence silently happening here.

The Urge to research in this topic increased for me once I started getting requests to write on this topic. Some women who just need to know what should be done if it happens to them as a precaution. So, I started asking people and done some research in internet and finally got to find little information in this topic, which could help some or simply answer some questions and reduce anxiety for few who are trying to come to Germany with their spouse.

1. Hilfetelefon: If you are in primary stages of domestic violence and if you feel you cannot reach out to friends and family, as you are not sure what’s happening and where to go. Then this site https://www.hilfetelefon.de/ is highly useful. They can offer advice via online and support people of all nationalities, with and without disabilities – 365 days a year, around the clock. They provide anonymous and cost-free advice in many languages 24 hours a day.

You can also call to their Toll free number  08000 116 016. This helpline works round the clock.

2. Women’s Counselling centers: If you want to communicate and let out your problems then there are counselling centers in Germany named Frauen gegen Gewalt. The service is free of charge and anonymous if requested. The female staff members are bound by the duty of confidentiality. There is also local support service where you can enter postal code and language of choice and get the nearest possible support place. There is another site called Frauenhauskoordinierung, which also does the same kind of help like counselling and also provides shelter facilities for victim of domestic violence and their kids who needs the safe place to live till their problems are solved. There is also Fraueninformationszentrum FIZ which also provides help for women problems where you can call or mail or directly go to them for help.

3. Helpline for crime victims: They help people who have become victims of crime and violence. They offer support through phone and online counselling. They are called Weisser Ring. They help with Cyber bullying, rape, pick pocket, home burglary, domestic violence etc. There are also specialized lawyers available for free initial consultation session.

These are very few information I could get and hope it helps some women out there who is in need of help. If someone who knows more information about this topic then please leave a comment below or people who came across these situations and love to help others by sharing the details then ping me personally through Facebook or Instagram and I will post without exposing any details of yours.

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Some best German foods for Indians to give a try in my experience

I am basically a non red meat eater, so most of the dishes in Germany are ruled out for me. Still I love certain German food which I really enjoy. This blog is mainly for people who are preparing to come to Germany or new to Germany, who are scared and have lot of questions about German food for you and your kids. I am completing 6 years in Germany now and I can assure that not only you and your family survive but also you can keep your taste buds happy. One important thing to keep in mind that you should be ready to come out of your shell and start to explore German food without judging by comparing with Indian food.

I have divided the German foods into 2 sections, On the go cheap breakfast foods and Restaurant foods.

On the go cheap breakfast foods:

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A typical breakfast in Germany starts off with bread (Brot) or bread rolls (Brötchen) with various spreads and toppings. Which are not expensive and easily available in bakeries. German breads are really worth to try.

1. Butter Brezel/Bretzel (Pretzel ): One among my favorite is Butter Brezel/Bretzel (butter pretzel).

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2. Spinat Käse Brot (Cheese spinach roll): My second favorite is the Spinach roll, These crescent rolls stuffed with spinach and cheese make for a quick and simple breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizer recipe. These cheesy spinach rolls are so yummy, the kids won’t even mind the spinach.

3. Schneckennudeln (German Cinnamon Rolls): It is a traditional south-west German pastry but I eat for my breakfast most of the time. It is a traditional Swabian recipe and it consist of ground nuts filling, which is my favorite! There are also different kinds of filling like almond, raisin, poppy seeds, hazelnuts etc.

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4. Croissant: Croissants are staple of any Sunday brunch in Germany, and thez are sometimes referred as Hörnchen (little horns) because of their shape. Croissants are often enjoyed with jam or Nutella.

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5. Salami: Typical German breakfast consist of meat and especially salami with bread. Salami and Wurst are the most attractive thing for children. Even you have never exposed these in India, Children get easily attracted by this as soon as they enter Germany. We as a Indian family who doesn’t prefer red meat will always go for Geflügel-Salami (which is made from duck, turkey and chicken).

Restaurant foods:

The best part in German restaurants is they serve a bowl of salad with most dishes. Do try different types of salads while you are Germany. Some German foods which I really find good for my Indian taste bud without red meat are as follows

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1. Spätzle (German noodle): It is the most common meatless dishes found in Germany.  If you enter German restaurant and ask for noodle, you will get Spätzle. They are made with eggs. If you are a lover of cheese then you can get Käsespätzle (cheese noodle). You can aslo get Spinatspatzeln (Spinach noodle).

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2. Kartoffelknödel/Kloß (Boiled potato dumplings): You get different types of Knödel made with bread, flour, meat, cheese, potatoes etc. It comes with salad and sauce. Make sure to order vegetarian sauce  because once I didn’t give any preference to sauce and ended up with meat sauce.

3. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato pancakes): They are shallow pan-fried pancakes made from grated or mashed potatoes mixed with flour, egg, onion and seasoning. Sometimes you will get it as a side dish to a main course of meat or fish, or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon.

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4. Schnitzel (Meat cutlet): They are thin pounded meat dish which is fried. It’s my daughter’s favorite  dish and luckily it is made with duck or chicken. It doesn’t need any sauce and kids love with ketchup and mayo and it comes with fries.

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5. Lachsfilet mit Butterkartoffeln salat:  As my family love to eat fish, we always tried to find a good German fish food. I would this dish is pretty good and also Cord and Salmon pan fry is also my favorite.

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There are more food items to add to this blog. Will definitely add some of my other favorite German vegetarian foods too in my next blog. Please leave your favorite German foods in the comments below so, that the newcomers to Germany will benefit from it. Stay tuned for my favorite German street foods in coming blogs.

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Must need household things for those who are new to Germany

When I came to Germany to start my life here, as an Indian few things were new for me and there were no proper guide, when it comes to household things. I couldn’t find any sites, forums or blogs related to it. As most of them live in rented apartments and it’s always necessary to keep the house clean and tidy to the core, because we can expect landlord visits and there are more chances for us being kicked out of the apartment, if your apartment is untidy.  I am not going to discuss about any cleaning products here. I am just gonna say about few affordable household things which will make your life easy in keeping your house clean. And I would say these things are pretty much considered as must haves in every German household.

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1. Stove Scraper (Herdschaber):

We Indians cook a lot and obviously it will lead to mess. The Glass stove tops become sticky with oil what we use. For me it was the best life saver and every time when I use, it makes my stove top brand new again. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any excess crumbs or other mess. Next, add a liberal amount of the liquid cleaner and scrap it out.

2. Microfiber cloth (Mikrofasertuch):

It’s one of the best household thing for the whole house. It’s available in all stores. It can be used for cleaning stove tops, kitchen cupboards, sink, doors, television etc.. It can be used without cleaning products for a wide variety of cleaning tasks and it’s reusable. I will link my favorite and affordable brand.

3. Garbage bag stand (Müllsackständer):

This is very useful for places in Germany where waste separation is done. I use it especially for plastic waste (Plastikmüll). It’s cheap and works great for me.

4. Rubber Toilet and kitchen sink Plunger (Saugglocke pömpel):

 

This is a must have household thing when you enter Germany as we cannot afford for plumber here. This plunger is good for sinks both in bathrooms and kitchens but can also be used in bathtubs.

5. Stainless steel sink strainer (Küche Spüle Sieb Stecker):

 

This strainer is very for every Indian household as we tend to more solid debris. This strainer is highly recommended to filter out the solid debris in the water system. There are plastic and rubber strainers are also available.

6. House shoes (Hausschuhe):

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House shoes are more common German thing here and it’s really a must have in winter. It not only keep your feet warm but also protects your carpet from getting dirty.

7. Duster (Staubmagnet):

This is my favorite and handy cleaning thing. The duster is pushed onto the handle and holds it quite well. My daughter loves to clean with it. I especially like to use it to clean my keyboard and the electrical appliances as it can easily reach even the small gaps and dust well.

I just randomly covered few basic household things which is very useful when you move in to Germany. Will upload more in future. I hope it will help someone who is planning to move or newcomer to Germany.

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3 Best Freizeitparks for kids under 10 in Germany in my experience

 

As summer is near, we all can’t wait to plan for family trips with our children. We all love to explore beauty of Europe by visiting places and enjoy the idyllic landscapes, unspoilt nature, dense forests, rustic pastures and majestic mountains, whereas our kids definitely need some real fun by letting out their energy which they saved throughout  the winter. One of the best way to entertain them is by taking them to amusement parks. Something which I love in Germany is, there are theme parks which is made also considering little kids. We are family who love theme parks and if you are one like us then definitely this blog is gonna help you. We have explored quite a few theme parks in Germany and the following three Freizeitparks will always pop into my mind as we enjoyed there to the core.

1. Phantasialand, Cologne

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Phantasialand in Winter is quite different with more winter attraction

Visiting Phantasialand with your little kids is the best option for your family in this Summer. Phantasialand is conveniently located between Cologne and Bonn. From Brühl train station, Phantasialand shuttle buses are available  for  3.00€ per person to and fro. The ticket prices for children and Adults can be found in the link. Children under 4 years old with ID proof can go for free. The exciting thing is that everyone gets in for free with the proof on their birthdays.

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The park is divided into various themes (Asia, Mexico, Africa). There are eatery joints inside and they are okay, so need not worry to take food with you. They maintain the park really tidy which attracted me for sure. The Black Mamba roller-coaster is best ride for roller-coaster lovers. We really had so much fun and I highly recommend it for Kids. The park opens this year by 1st of April.

2. Conny Land, Bodensee

If you are planning for Bodensee trip, then do include Conny Land into your list. This park is the fabulous place for children with great variety of rides, activities, nice animal shows and water play. Most of the rides were suitable for below 10 years old. The fact that it’s not too big is also a plus as you can take it easy and still go on all the rides in a day with no big queues unlike other theme parks. There are water rides really good for small kids, better take a swim suit with you. It has parrot and sea-lion shows which my little one enjoyed a lot. The entrance ticket is 29€, which is highly reasonable. Seniors and kids under 3 can go free. Children up to 14 years old on the day of the birthday upon presentation of a valid ID can go for free. For young kids it really a mini paradise. Food was really good in the food court. The park opens this year by 3rd of April.

3. Steinwasen Park, Freiburg

Best way to visit this park is by having the black forest red card, by which you can visit this theme park for free. This is one of the best attractions for kids when you plan for black forest trip. It’s not a big of an amusement park but definitely worth to go with kids and  the atmosphere in the middle of the woods is quiet attractive. It’s not only you enjoying rides but also you get some wonderful fresh forest air. Children under 10 will really have a great time. There’s a small zoo as well there. The interactive wild park is also a best attraction here.  There were lots of rides inside and out as well as a water splash, a luge bobsled type run, a sommerrodelbahn (mountain coaster) etc.  I highly recommend for a family outing. The entry ticket if you doesn’t have red card is 23 euros. Kids below 4 years old can go free. Children under 12 years old on their birthdays can go free.

This is really a small gist about these Freizeitparks which we love, as I covered all the three in one place I couldn’t give detailed description. But, I hope this will give an idea for you and your family to plan for best trips in coming summer.

Tschüss, Biss dann!!!!

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Misconceptions which shocked me about India

It’s been a while since I wrote something in my blog. Recently I finished my B2 level in German language. My 10 months course not only taught language but also got the opportunity to mingle with people from different countries. After getting closer to people from other land, something which surprised me is the misconception what they have about my homeland India. Some made my eyebrows raise and few made me laugh. I realized, India, being a multiculturalmultiethnic and multireligious society, there is no big wonder that people have so much misconceptions. Here, I like to write about some questions which I came across being an Indian in Germany.

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Do you speak “Indian”?

No, of course we don’t speak “Indian,” because Indian is not a language. People have no idea, how many languages and dialects exist in our country and are spoken by everyone. There are about 122 native languages exists in India. So, whenever I come across the question “Sprichst du Indisch?” (do you speak Indian?), my answer will not be yes or no, rather a big lecture of Indian languages.

As shown in Bollywood films, do you guys dance in streets?

I remembered, when my good friend asked this to me “Tanzen Sie alle, wie in Bollywood-Filmen gezeigt, auf der Straße?”, I couldn’t control my laughter. Yes we love to see movies but none of us go around dancing in streets and singing in the rain. We live so normally, much like the other people in the world.

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Have you seen snakes in streets?

It was a weird question which I came across from one of my Greek friend. She literally thought India is underdeveloped and we see wild animals in daily basis. I asked “where you have seen snakes” She replied “In Zoo or Snack parks”, I said “Dear even I have seen it only in zoo and snake parks like you”.  Snakes are not commonly found in streets or in public places except in zoos.

Why Indian food is so spicy?

Not in every part of the country we serve spicy food. If you go to northern part, for example, we have Dal varieties (curried yellow lentils), can be mild. In down south we have delicacies like idli, vada, and the most loving dish curd-rice. We have foods that suit for all kind of taste buds.

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Dal (yellow lentil curry)

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Curd rice

You speak different language other than your national language?

As I said earlier there are about 122 native languages and 23 official languages in India. 60% of Indians have mother tongues other than Hindi. So, its normal for an Indian to speak in his state’s language and not in national language.

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Why can’t you eat beef but eat chicken?

There are people in India who eat beef, It’s something what Hindu religion says and its our choice to eat or avoid. So, people who follow and believe in Hindu religion doesn’t consume the cow. There are many religion other than Hindu, hence many consume beef in India.

Can you teach Yoga?

I always have a weird smile at this question and say no. Because I always felt ashamed that more than Indians, the western world is taking Yoga more seriously (as far as i know). It’s a fact that lot of us don’t do Yoga.

Do all Indian people sleep in streets?

One of my German friend visited India and she saw a large amount of people sleeping in streets and parks and thought its a normal practice for Indians to sleep in streets. But, no not every Indian sleeps in streets. They are bunch of homeless people like the same in other western countries. The only difference is the number of people, which is obviously higher, considering the Indian population.

Does India have a hot weather all 365 days?

Nope! Even our countries weather changes from region to region.  India does get very hot summers, equally cold winters and a moderate tropical weather. Looking at the size of the country it is not possible to have only one kind of weather throughout the year. We have six ecological seasons.

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