My Philosophy

"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when we have footsteps on the moon!"

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Greeting God

In Germany I greet god on a daily basis - no before you ask not in prayer!

The customary "formal" greeting in Standard German (Hochdeutsch) is Guten Tag, that's the one we learn in school and the one you would use in most parts of Germany. The Bavarian German is somewhat different. In fact, Bavarians themselves believe it to be a different language! Their formal greeting is "Gruß Gott", which literally means "Greet God".

This is peculiar. Why would you greet god when you greet someone? It seems a little blasphemous if you ask me. Does it mean you are greeting this person as an equal of god? Or that you are greeting god instead of the person you are talking to? I honestly don't get it, perhaps I am being an ignorant atheist. If anyone can explain it post a comment.

The first time I heard Gruß Gott was quite interesting. When you say it out loud it sounds like "gru - Scott". I was well confused, I looked very shocked and asked the girl "Wie wiessen Sie mein name?". Then it was her turn to be confused! Suddenly all my German had left me but luckily she spoke English so we had a good laugh at the misunderstanding.

Warum wurde man Gott grüßen?

Viel Spaß homies!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. @jordie your comment was fine, no reason to delete it. I wrote that the same way I said it (I know better now!) was only a month into learning German then

  3. Actually, that's related to the ancient and arcane believe that the body of a human being is in itself a vessel for the divine, so basically you are both the human you, and a part of god. This belief can be traced back right to the old greeks.

    The more folksy explanation you might hear more often today is that it has the meaning of: "in case you die before me, greet god for me".