When I chose to go to Bavaria for my year abroad everyone warned me that Bavaria was very different compared to the rest of Germany. Having been here for almost nine months now, I have to say that they weren't wrong.
It's not only the strong Bavarian dialect that makes these people stand out; their entire culture is completely different to what I have experienced in Germany before. Moreover, there's so much more to life in Bavaria than Oktoberfest and Neuschwanstein. In fact you'll find more tourists in these places than anywhere else! Bavarians have a rich history and culture from the fairytale statues in the Bavarian forest to its beautiful gothic and baroque cathedrals.
However, having said that, the stereotype of Germans drinking beer out of steins and wearing Lederhosen is actually quite accurate! I have seen some people happily walking about in traditional Bavarian clothing and not thinking anything of it. It therefore became clear that Bavarians are very proud of their culture and that it plays a huge part in their identity. It is clear then, that this stereotype comes from the fact that the Bavarians themselves are proud of this tradition. So with summer on its way, it's time to embrace the oldest and noblest of Bavarian traditions: the Volksfest. This involves dressing up in Lederhosen or Dirndls, meeting up with your friends, finding some German beer and enjoying it in midst of beautiful Bavarian landscape. Prost!