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Absolutely - Many of us who have lived in countries where Sunday (and as said before, it could be any other day as I do not have a religious bone in my body or soul) - well ONE day, is different, special. A day where nobody can force you to work, a day for yourself, you and your partner, your kids, your family, sport, cinema, lie in bed all day, share it with friends, whatever.
This is the way it is here- and as anything, it cannot suit every body, and I am sorry it does not suit you. Why should your freedom to shop on a Sunday mean that people who DO NOT want to work on Sunday have to, just to suit you. I'm afraid you do live in the central part in Switzerland which is generally still quite traditional and formal, and where, possibly, religion holds more power than in other parts (mind you, try the upper Valais for taste).
You say you have very consciously avoided those parts of the US where religion and tradition still have such a strong hold. So why choose to move to a part of Switzerland which holds (perhaps?? not sure here) similar if less overbearing values? Would I have gone to work in Alabama? I don't think so.
phdoofus - would you care to elaborate on your comment please?
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First of all, I moved to this part because the school I work for is here, so that couldn't have changed no matter what. What is hard for me is the reason behind the Sunday and religious holiday thing. If the entire country had voted a hundred years ago and chose any one of the seven days as a "Day with Family Day" where all stores were shuttered and closed, I would have no issues with it. But let's be honest. Everyone loves to "claim" that Sunday is shuttered because the Swiss want a family day, but it is still about the Sabbath, God, the Bible and Church. So, for me who does not believe in those things, it is hard to swallow. From the contact I have with non-christians, they feel the same way. I have two Muslim students and their parents are always commenting on how difficult the Sunday thing is because they celebrate Friday. For strict Jews, they observe sundown on Friday night to Sundown on Saturday. My point is that the world is becoming such a mix, that we need to learn that people don't always believe the same way.