Stereotypes on Switzerland (No.5)

🇨🇭 The original list I made was random, subjective and is maybe a bit offensive to anyone who actually knows the place. It was created as a fun game to see the ‘before and after perspective’ of a trip! You can find it here: Swiss Stereotypes List

On my list, Stereotype No.5 was that all Swiss in French speaking cantons are french, in German speaking cantons are german etc.

Erase this thought. Now.

The Swiss  understand that they have a diverse culture as far as many things go, like food, language, beliefs etc.

BUT, the Swiss, are Swiss! Just like any other country, there are people that will either travel there for leisure, or move for work or any other reason. The fact that the country has 4 official languages, two of which are considered major, just makes it easier to move for studies or work.

That said, the fact that a person speaks french does not make him French! Or if a country has a joint border with France, does not make them french.

Abbey Library of Saint Gall

Abbey Library of Saint Gall

Also, consider this: Would you like to be judged based on the language that you speak in, or the food that you eat? It might seem the logical thing to do, but in actual fact it’s not! It doesn’t make sense to me.

For example, as I’ve mentioned in a past post, the official language of Cyprus (written and professional use) is greek. If language was the sole factor that made a country ethnically homogeneous, then Cyprus would have been called Greece! Foodwise, most of our food reminds you of the middle east (meat dishes, meze presentation) and the rest (non-meat dishes) remind you of mediterranean cuisine! (Who am I?!)

Ideally, all citizens should feel inclusive in a country so it should be diverse, but the truth is that a country needs to have something that makes it a uniform nation. A common line of thought or behaviour. This sometimes happens through religion, or politics. However, no matter how much a government tries to, it can never keep it ‘clean’ from diversity.

Unless the country is under some form of dictatorship and is detached from the rest of the world with no commerce or financial relationship with other countries. All  information is screened before it is allowed to circulate in the country and so people by definition cannot even consider that there might be something different beyond their borders.

As far as I know, historically, Switzerland’s lands were occupied by Helvetiians which were not German, French, Italian or Roman. It was a celtic tribe. The country was ‘harassed’ by surrounding tribes (and later countries), but the Swiss had always expressed that they wanted to just be Helvetiians and that is why, in my opinion, are so powerful. They never bowed to invaders, they kept working on themselves, while trying to keep peace with others.

Saint Gall

Saint Gall

Of course, you will find french, italian, chinese, greek, american, dutch (etc) people, because there are currently so many foreigners there. Not many things are black and white in this world.

Soooo, getting to this conclusion was was pretty much common sense, even if I hadn’t visited the country to witness it for myself. All it takes is a focused 15-30 minute window on learning about the nation’s origin. I was almost certain that the Swiss are actually Swiss after learning their history!!! But there you go!

Go Explore!
Nicole x

 

Check out:
Stereotypes on Switzerland (No.1) here.
Stereotypes on Switzerland (No.2) here.
Stereotypes on Switzerland (No.3) here.
Stereotypes on Switzerland (No.4) here.

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