Personal Impressions

The "Personal Impressions" section is a collection of thoughts and personal experiences.

Catholic Dominance

Since neither Japan nor the US dictate religious practices, we were surprised by the dominance of the Catholic Church in daily Bavarian life. Vera and Tanja gave some examples:
  • Prayer in schools is required.
  • It's illegal to do business on Sunday (with a few exceptions).
  • Nursing and other industries affiliated with the Church will not hire non-Catholics.
  • A Muslim teacher who wore a veil was denied a teaching position because of her religion. In court, she lost to the school board who argued that her veil placed too much pressure on the Catholic students.
  • Many businesses will automatically deduct a portion of your paycheck to give to the Church - kind of like US Social Security?

The Feminist Movement Backfires
Thanks to the feminist movement, German women have legal leverage to rear children and retain their career. By law, a company must give a new mother 3 months paid leave and the option to take a leave of absence for up to 3 years with a guaranteed position upon return. On the surface, this sounds wonderful if you're a career minded woman. Nobody foresaw the repercussion this law would have...

Companies are concerned that women of childbearing age may join, and suddenly decide to have a child. Because the law places expense risk on the company without guaranteed return, female job applicants - even the BEST qualified - who are married and without children have a difficult time finding employment. In effect, young, married women have limited flexibility to change jobs. Here's an example of: "If you crush your (opponent, supplier, competitor, etc) too hard, you end up crushing yourself."

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