Hey, I'm from Germany and wrote my essay about my culture/area/language. I have difficulties finding words that just 'fit', even though my dictionary says it would be ok. So if anything sounds plain wrong to you, I would REALLY appreciate it if you could just write a small note telling me about it. THANK YOU!!!
When you walk on the pier of Hamburg's harbor on a cloudy morning and somebody nods to you, saying 'Moin!', it neither has to mean that he is tired nor that he doesn't know any English - 'Moin' is the Northern German greeting for every time of the day. I picked the image of a dock worker wishing himself back to bed to escape from the rainy day because it is a cliché situation of Northern German language and culture, which I am proud to be a part of.
As a child, I didn't really think about these words in my own vocabulary that were so unfamiliar to my cousins from Heidelberg. I didn't think about being the youngest in my family, the little one, or, according to my parents, the 'lüdde'. My father is definitely a Hamburg lover who doesn't even want to let go our 'Moin' on vacation. In fact, he has piqued my curiosity about Low German in one of these moments when he greeted a hotel receptionist in London. I was almost shocked about the man simply answering 'Good Morning', not knowing that he had just made the connection between my home town and English-speaking countries jump out at me.
Having so many anglistic terms in a people's slang is unique to the area of Hamburg, as much as having a harbor is what makes this city so special: my favorite books about Captain Cook's expeditions or the traditional spice trade taking place at the harbor of Hamburg allowed me to create a vivid imagination of two seamen smoking their cigar while trying to make a conversation. Nowadays, neither a German nor an English-speaking dock worker would care about raising their bottle or 'buddel' to celebrate the get-together.
After my striking enlightenment about the analogy between English and Low German at the said hotel my father taught me much more about this special slang, not forgetting about what it implies to the speaker's attitude. Very few people are still able to speak Low German entirely, but those who can are almost exceptionally afflicted with a straightforward, relaxed and rather tight-lipped personality. Whereas nobody would probably acknowledge me of the latter, I think that people influence their language as much as their language has an influence on them. Using Low German words feels particularly right to me because it reminds me of my family making me feel at home. Just as researchers claim yawning to be an expression for pleasure and relaxation, a y'all in the Southern United States and a 'Moin' in Hamburg has a touch of tradition and originality. To me, it has always been a priority to experience a sense of belonging and to make others feel comfortable whenever I can. I have language found to be a key for achieving this goal, and the best thing about it is that especially my fascination about Low German has shown me that living in Northern Germany is not all about rainy days by the sea.