germany

In Spain, for example, for every chime of the clock at midnight, people eat one grape. Each of the 12 grapes represents good luck for a month of the coming year, but only for those who can get them all in their mouths before the clock finishes striking. Here is a sampling of other traditions from around the globe that, like Spain’s grape-eating, have found their way to the United States.

In order to add momentum to African economies, Gerd Müller, Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development, and Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s minister for economic affairs, have launched a joint initiative. The approach fits their understanding of how to manage globalisation equitably. [...] about 1000 of 400,000 internationally active German private-sector companies have invested in Africa so far. 

Never before had the chief executive officer of fast-food chain McDonald’s Germany sat at the table when Chancellor Angela Merkel met with captains of the country’s biggest corporations. [...] But the CEO, Holger Beeck, was there in September at the Bundeskanzleramt because McDonald’s has hired 900-plus refugees, more than any other company at the meeting. The subject of the meeting was integrating those fleeing war in Syria and other dire conditions.

Despite huge cultural gaps, Chinese online literature, especially fantasy novels featuring martial arts and magical powers, has created a reading frenzy among foreign readers, Xinhua News Agency reports. Fascinated by the cultural elements contained in Chinese web novels and their imaginative plots, many foreigners have spontaneously begun to translate these works.

A relationship that used to be characterised by the 1969-invoked “change through rapprochement” and “partnership on eye-level”, has seen a rapid cooling over the course of the last two years. Germany and Russia used to be close partners with vibrant exchange on the political, economic, social and cultural levels. 

The Goethe-Institut announced at its annual press conference on Monday in Berlin that it would be setting up shop in Baku, Azerbaijan and Yerevan, Armenia, in the coming year. The German parliament has reserved three million euros for the branches, which would host language courses and cultural programming. The organization already runs 159 institutes in 98 countries.

Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here Friday to set up a high-level cultural exchange mechanism at the earliest possible date. [...] Establishing such a mechanism will promote the Sino-German exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and sports, she added.

Behind the growing terror threat is Germany’s ongoing debate about privacy and data collection, highlighted by a recent law to reign in Germany’s intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) [...] Yet Germany’s new push to ban Islamist recruitment organizations and crack down on suspected terrorists reveals a newfound realism from Germany's leaders.

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