I was writing about the laws that prohibit that doctors tell pregnant patients whether it is a boy or a girl. As it is forbidden in India, many people anyway don’t think about it if they would like to know or not – they get to know at the time of the birth. When I talk with people in Germany about this however, I get to hear a very different attitude. Nearly everyone with whom I talked until now wanted to know the gender before and one woman asked me ‘Otherwise how will I pick the name? And then how will I register the child, not knowing if it is a boy or a girl?’ I had to laugh then because it is a typical German attitude. There are no surprises coming and everything, all papers and registrations, can be done before. The room will be painted in the right colour, clothes are bought not only for the first weeks but for the first year in all sizes that the baby will grow into, toys and the baby seat for the car, the stroller and the cradle and of course many packets of diapers and that also in different sizes. I had to ask myself what people there did before ultrasound was invented.
It is funny also in comparison to India because children here sometimes don’t have a name until very late. But maybe that is another cultural difference – the German stereotype being very correct and the Indians always taking it easy and doing it a little bit later. Additionally in India families don’t really need all of these things for their children. You will not see any stroller on the streets here, children are carried. Clothes are anyway colourful and there are no restrictions to which gender should wear which colour. Babies usually sleep in bed with their parents, so there is no need for a cradle and it is not at all normal that a child has his or her own room. For me this seems so much easier. It is nice to see all of these differences!
It is very hot here already during the day with a maximum of 40 degrees centigrade. This is how we had a water-fight in the afternoon and enjoyed to get a refreshing shower outside.