Modern Austria and the Austrians
Mozart, Strauss, “Tales of the Viennese forest”, the Vienna Opera, schnitzel in Viennese, and, perhaps, strudel-often this is all that our educated countryman can remember if you ask him a question about Austria.
Modern Austria and the Austrians
And at the same time, surprisingly, the name of the country does not cause associations with something distant and completely unfamiliar.
It is, as they say, “on the ear”, about Austria and the Austrians we have all heard, read, they are often mentioned in classical Russian literature.
But it was about subjects of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, and what are modern Austria and Austrians, citizens of a small state in the center of Europe?
This is not little Germany!
If you call an Austrian a German in a conversation, your interlocutor may be offended. Although the official language in the country is German, it is spoken by more than 90 percent of the inhabitants of the “Alpine Republic”. However, the spoken “Austrian German” is very different from the “Hoch Deutsch” – the German standard language. This is especially noticeable in the province, and differences in dialects, for example, in Carinthia or Burgenland (Austrian lands) can be caught by ear even by a foreigner.
But the national identity of the Austrians is based not on linguistic similarities or differences, but on their own very ancient history and rich culture. In this regard, the Austrians have something to be proud of, it is no accident that this country even has a national flag – one of the oldest in the world, and music written by Mozart himself is used as the national anthem!
“Small and clean» –
this is what tourists usually say about Austria. Similar reviews about the country can be heard from residents of other Central European countries, also not dirty. But among the Austrians, the desire for cleanliness and order in everyday life is built into a cult. Where else can you meet a decrepit old woman who leaves the house in bad weather to throw a medicine bottle in the trash?
The same desire for cleanliness and order can be seen in the manner of communication and etiquette of the Austrians. It is difficult to imagine a resident of Vienna or Salzburg greeting even a close friend with a Pat on the shoulder.
However, it is customary for them to bow to strangers if the meeting took place in a limited space, for example, in an entrance or Elevator.
This is not prudery – Austrians are friendly, have a subtle sense of humor, and like to have fun in good company.
And some pedantry in small things, including in communication-from the same love of cleanliness and order.
Small, but how many!
Indeed, it is difficult to write succinctly about this small country, there are a lot of things in it that are of interest to a foreigner.
The description of only the famous Alpine ski resorts with their countless hotels and hoteliers can take several pages.
And an incredible number of various holidays, celebrations and festivals, from the Great Viennese music festival or Schubert Days to the bodiart Festival or Almabtrieb-Reith (procession of cows) can not be described at all!
And how to describe old Vienna in a short article, where almost every house is a historical or architectural monument?
However, all this and much more about Austria has already been written and is on the Internet.
The purpose of this article is more modest – just a little bit about the features of the country and the people living between the Danube and the Alps.