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Old 20.02.2016, 13:52
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Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Talking English in the public transport with the friends, made an older man look at us with hatred...even when he was leaving the train.
Not being able to speak local language or even German, do i trigger someone's anger living in their country?
Would my crossing the street at the red light (without causing anything) be a crime more likely more highlighted than a local person making a real crime?
Why as soon as you start speaking english, you feel like a public enemy? In Baltic countries, where i come from, as soon as we have foreigners, people start to help with more extra wish.
Does Switzerland regret for letting us here? Or thats normal?
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:01
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Very basically, the Swiss are racist, have always been. An inherent character of them. They have very little tolerance with Swiss from other Cantons. And scoff at the other dialects spoken by their compatriots. Some Cantons have higher "worth" than others, depends on how old the Canton is, and how far removed from the "home" Canton.

I should imagine that upon hearing a totally foreign tongue from another country spoken brings about a perfectly natural reaction - it`s nothing personal against you - it`s just the way it is in Switzerland - made up originally from foreigners (100`s of years ago), they still stick to their own personal local identities, dependent on where their ancestors originally settled.

Remember, there are still some Swiss folk who have never ventured beyond their own villages!
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:06
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

It's just you.

I'm guessing it has nothing to do with the fact that you were speaking English but probably that you were talking too loud and non stop during the whole trip.

There are more of us who have never had a problem than those who have had a problem. So I'm guessing it's not "foreigners" but with certain individual's behavior.

It seems clear that could well be the case since you are so proud of breaking the small cultural norms such as crossing at the right place, because you are more important than anyone else.

It doesn't cost you more nor is it more difficult to cross the street on the light and at the appropriate place. So why can't you do that? When you don't follow the norms of a place you are basically saying that "you" are more important than "us".
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:11
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

It's a perfect topic for Friday's thread. Such a shame that today it's Saturday. Therefore my answer ability to it is seriously hampered by other activities

Last edited by jacek; 20.02.2016 at 14:53.
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:12
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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It's just you.

I'm guessing it has nothing to do with the fact that you were speaking English but probably that you were talking too loud and non stop during the whole trip.

There are more of us who have never had a problem than those who have had a problem. So I'm guessing it's not "foreigners" but with certain individual's behavior.

It seems clear that could well be the case since you are so proud of breaking the small cultural norms such as crossing at the right place, because you are more important than anyone else.

It doesn't cost you more nor is it more difficult to cross the street on the light and at the appropriate place. So why can't you do that? When you don't follow the norms of a place you are basically saying that "you" are more important than "us".

No we were not a bunch of kids, we were speaking calm, positive and certainly not loud.
and regarding crossing the streets, i never had a feeling i did that with the importance you have mentioned. i feel equal. but i dont feel standing on a deserty place and waiting for a green light. i am not a robot. if i was the only one saving my time, i would not stand out.
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:14
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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Talking English in the public transport with the friends, made an older man look at us with hatred...even when he was leaving the train.
Not being able to speak local language or even German, do i trigger someone's anger living in their country?
Would my crossing the street at the red light (without causing anything) be a crime more likely more highlighted than a local person making a real crime?
Why as soon as you start speaking english, you feel like a public enemy? In Baltic countries, where i come from, as soon as we have foreigners, people start to help with more extra wish.
Does Switzerland regret for letting us here? Or thats normal?
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:17
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

I haven't even seen you on a tram. I dislike you already. It's you.

HTH
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:22
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

I've noticed that some Swiss, especially from rural areas, have a very unpleasant attitude to anyone who doesn't come from their own village. Couple that with a default derogatory manner that seems to be trained into any beaurocrat and I find myself losing my shit almost every time I have to deal with any public servant, only to be labelled as an unpleasant person myself :-(
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:28
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Of course some of the Swiss are racists. There are racists in every country and nationality.
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:33
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Xenophobic - maybe. Rasist - no. I must is a major pet peeve of mine, the misuse of the word racist.
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:40
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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Xenophobic - maybe. Rasist - no. I must is a major pet peeve of mine, the misuse of the word racist.


Bang on Tilia. There are Swiss racists, racism happens in every society, but the Swiss do have a tendency to zenophobism. Heck, the Swiss don't really like each other very much!

Last edited by JagWaugh; 20.02.2016 at 14:40. Reason: misspelt name
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Old 20.02.2016, 14:47
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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Xenophobic - maybe. Rasist - no. I must is a major pet peeve of mine, the misuse of the word racist.
I call bullshit.

Racism, as defined by webster:
noun rac·ism \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
: poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race
: the belief that some races of people are better than others

Sorry, but there is plenty of racism in the Swiss population. Of course, I also agree that there is also lots of xenophobia.

That doesn't mean that all Swiss are racist or xenophobic.
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Old 20.02.2016, 15:18
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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I call bullshit.

Racism, as defined by webster:
noun rac·ism \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
: poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race
: the belief that some races of people are better than others

Sorry, but there is plenty of racism in the Swiss population. Of course, I also agree that there is also lots of xenophobia.

That doesn't mean that all Swiss are racist or xenophobic.
And it doesn't mean giving people dirty looks on the train or for being generally obnoxious means the Swiss are racist, nor xenophobic. Nothing the OP's post is describing racism, nor Xenophobia.

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No we were not a bunch of kids, we were speaking calm, positive and certainly not loud.
and regarding crossing the streets, i never had a feeling i did that with the importance you have mentioned. i feel equal. but i dont feel standing on a deserty place and waiting for a green light. i am not a robot. if i was the only one saving my time, i would not stand out.
In your opinion.

Last edited by miniMia; 20.02.2016 at 16:16.
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Old 20.02.2016, 15:30
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Ignoring local laws and feeling cool may give a certain type of person the good feeling of being better than the local population. However I wounder how people in a Baltic country would react if for example Russians would behave like that


Arrogant foreigners are not liked anywhere. Try South America or China next, but this then may hurt a bit more than just a "bad look".
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Old 20.02.2016, 15:37
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

It may just be a grumpy old man you realize that.
Btw it's not racism, it's just a behaviour toward outsiders. One canton to another, once it was one valley to another or even one village to another. But it's very rare anymore, after the balkan wars people got very used to foreign languages being spoken on the bus I think or in the 90s in general.
Most eritreans really shout when on the phone, now that's annoying, 2 hours of non-stop loud blabbing on the train.
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it`s just the way it is in Switzerland - made up originally from foreigners (100`s of years ago)
Try to define the concept of foreigner at the time, this really doesn't make sense.
Anyway the vision of swiss people sticking to their heimatort and never having moved out etc., I just don't see it, or maybe people in my canton (Ticino) has just moved around a lot, but that's not the switzerland I know. I don't believe more than 10-20% of the population can be like that (be born, live and die in the same place) and it would be mostly old people.
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Would my crossing the street at the red light (without causing anything) be a crime more likely more highlighted than a local person making a real crime?
No, no one will judge you for this, it's pretty normal if there's no one I would feel like an idiot to just stand there to be honest. In any case it could be an emergency for all they know. Do you look like a foreigner btw? How can they know you are one when crossing the street lol
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Old 20.02.2016, 16:06
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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Xenophobic - maybe. Rasist - no. I must is a major pet peeve of mine, the misuse of the word racist.
It's one of my pet peeve when someone is this pedantic.

It is widely accepted that any sort of discrimination due to the person being different is classed under the umbrella of 'racism'.
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Old 20.02.2016, 16:38
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

A few thoughts:

That was just a grumpy old man. Ignore him. I sometimes get odd looks when I speak English on the train, maybe because I am talking too loud? Anyway, just memorize a few phrases like "schöne Tag" (Have a good day) to say and smile as you go your separate ways.

As others have said you'll find racist/xenophopic people everywhere. There are obviously some people here who appear to think foreigners are ruining their way of life (or something like that). The Masseneinwanderung and upcoming vote to kick out "criminals" are evidence of the fear. I'd argue some of the fear is generated by those that are putting forth the initiatives.

I accidentally crossed on a red light yesterday and nearly got flattened by a tram. It was one of those intersections where there is a light in the middle of the road as well as on the far side. I was distracted and saw the first light was green and kept on walking through the middle section. Fortunately the tram was not going fast and pinged the bells at me. I got plenty of admonishing looks from the people patiently waiting on the other side of the street. I think their first thoughts were of me being a lucky idiot as opposed to a foreigner.

That said, I don't look the least bit foreign and it's obvious where I'm from when I speak (even when speaking attempting to speak German). People treat me more like a tolerated tourist than some Auslander who is seeking to destroy the country and steal all the gold.
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Old 20.02.2016, 16:44
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

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Nothing the OP's post is describing racism, nor Xenophobia.
So what?

The thread title: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Answer: yes (and possibly for both options!), despite what Tilia [or you] thinks. And, in my opinion, there is institutionalised racism & xenophobia, especially if you are not Caucasian.

Was the man in the OP's OP racist? I don't care.
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Old 20.02.2016, 16:53
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Seems like a very general question. Can you please list some examples of swiss racism? I didn't think they were any different than other europeans.
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Old 20.02.2016, 17:43
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Re: Are some of the Swiss - Racists, or it is just me?

Thanks all. It can be a speculative talk, especially about Racism, and would like to close this matter.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and cheering up!
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