Being an Indian living in South-West of Germany for about four years now.
If you were to ask me three years ago, I would say, “yes, there is very evident racism against foreigners in Germany”.
However, after trying to understand and integrate into the German culture. I barely notice anyone treating me differently for being a foreigner.
What changed from then to now?
I barely knew German then. I did not even attempt to try and speak in German. It pissed off people here big time.
Now I try to speak in German, even if I am not proficient, most people appreciate the effort and try to help.
I know many people would disagree on this point.
I had a very bad dressing sense. I would dress very differently than what locals do.
I took suggestions from my friends and worked on my dressing sense. I don’t know if it’s true, but since I changed the way I dress, I get more smiles by passerby.
In the beginning, I was loud and ignorant about people around. It called for angry stare and shrugs from people. It felt like people were being racist because I was ignorant of my behavior.
Now, I keep my voice low and follow rules. Even when others are not.
Couple of months back, I was in a car with a German friend. He drove over the footpath to over take a vehicle. I asked him, “Are you allowed to do that?”. He said, “No”. I gave him an angry stare. Similar to the one I used to get in my initial phase of living in Germany.