I often wish that I’m a kid. A like playing and I like to be free. When I look at all those great children’s playgrounds and children friendly buildings in Germany I definitely want to be a kid not somewhere, but exactly in Germany.
Here there is one really nice example of a kindergarten. So colourful and welcoming!
Not like the grey communistic-style building of the one I used to study in Bulgaria. All those paintings inspire the kids and make them happy.
Germany is definitely a children friendly country. On the other hand there are not so many children in this country. And they are not playing on the streets as in some other countries like Italy or Bulgaria. You can really seldom see kids outside. There are usually staying at home. Why? It is maybe because of the traffic? Germany may be children friendly, but it is an automotive country and it is much more car’s friendly. But traffic in Bulgaria is worse and the streets are much more dangerous for kids. And it is well known that in Italy the traffic is disastrous. And children from these countries still play around. And in Germany even the nice inner yards of the kindergartens which are 100% safe are often so empty!
Why? I couldn’t understand this for a long time. Finally I got it. Not only children, but all the people in Germany are not so often on the streets. They prefer to stay at home. If you are even in a big city in Germany on Sunday, for example, there is no one outside. And in Bulgaria there are almost always some people outside. At night it is the the same situation. There is no one on the streets although Germany is much more populated that Bulgaria. So, Germans prefer to stay at home and they let the kids stay at home as well.
But why? I suppose that there is a big social difference between such a well developed northern country like Germany and countries in the south of Europe like Bulgaria and Italy. In both these countries the society is not arranged as good as in Germany, so you can never rely on some official government structures. As a consequence you have to rely on you, your family and your friends. So you have to have a lot of friends. And the way to make friends is to be outside and meet people. Yes, even nowadays, in the facebook and social media era, we mostly make friends outside and not in front of the computer. That’s why people in Italy or in Bulgaria prefer to be outside. And everyone sends the kids to play outside as well. On the contrary, in Germany you can rely on the social structures much more, so you don’t need so many friends. So you can stay at home. And the TV programmes and internet make this difference even bigger, because you can stay at home and have a lot of fun alone or with your virtual friends as well.
I’m looking forward, that the society changes and that we’ll find a way in the middle. Children friendly cities without cars, nice playgrounds and on the other hand good social structures and people who want always to make new friends. I already see the first changes towards this better future. Because children that play outside make you happy. It’s so nice to play with them. I’ll never forget all those children I’ve played with in Vauban, in Freiburg. It’s a kind of ecological and alternative quarter with a lot of children and almost no cars. Another nice experience was in my previous home in Aachen. I used to live in an 8-storey building with a lot of international families from the south. There were always some kids outside, but the best was on the first snow day in the winter. I helped them build a huge snowman in the yard and it was a lot of fun. After this day I was called “The snowman”. It was so funny!
Although there are not so many kids on the street in Germany, there are at least some that seem to appreciate all those nice children playgrounds.