In recent years, I have become a person that is asked for all kinds of information. “Is it downgeloaded oder gedownloaded?”, “How do I vote from abroad?” or simply, “Is it a flag day today or why is a Swedish flag outside my neighbor’s house?”
I must say I feel honored whenever I am deemed qualified to answer these questions from Germans about Sweden or Swedes about Germany or – most fun – Swedes about Sweden.
Of course I aspire to be a link between the nations, an ambassador for the respective country, a liaison officer between my two favorite cultures. So when someone asks me something about Germany or Sweden, I am very willing to answer and provide information. I even have Spotify-lists for Germanification/Swedification (consisting of the must-know-songs), board games to test your Germanness/Swedishness, lists of idiomatic expressions and manuals how to eat Abendbrot properly.
So when Martina told me that she had met new Germans but she preferred having me as her “hustysk”, her personal German, I decided that this shall from now on be my honorary title. My host dad in Michigan ten years ago already referred to me as “My German, you want a German like this? Well you can’t have this one, this is my German!”
Today, Olga (my Swedish friend in Berlin) sent me a text. Olga also understands that I can be her integrator, so she asks me things about Germany. Sometimes I also ask her things about Germany, like “Which phone operator should I choose?” and then she tells me AldiTALK and then afterwards, I know that maybe it’s better to ask a German next time. 😉
These weeks, an important time has come for Swedes: the mushroom season! I consider it a super-Swedish, cliché activity to go into the woods in the fall and collect kantareller. I love doing cliché Swedish things (even though I dislike mushrooms). Of course I want to help Olga to find kantareller. Her question inspired me to launch “Hustysk Helen svarar – Your German knows”. From now on, you can ask me questions about Germany and as your personal German, I shall answer them here. We’re starting with Olga!
Are there chanterelles in Germany and if yes, is it okay to collect them?
Yes, chantarelles grow in Germany. However, there are strict rules – this is Germany after all – as to where, what and how much to collect on your Sunday walk in the woods. Bundesartenschutzverordnung, attachment 1 to §1 regulates this important matter: it states that you are basically not allowed to collect any of the fungi that grow on German soil on your mushroom foray. But be of good cheer, there are exceptions.You are allowed to collect certain mushrooms, chantarelles, but only native ones, are among them, for your personal use. Because Germans like to be precise the law tells you how much your personal use is: max two kilograms per person per day. (I love how the law knows about my personal needs, this could totally happen in Sweden as well.) You are only allowed to look for them in public forests which are thank to §14 Bundeswaldgesetz and §2 Landesforstgesetz accessible to you at any time. Nature reservates and private property are not public forests in case you wondered. Happy mushroom hunting!
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