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  #41  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:12
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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Tradition dictates:

- the front pews are for children
- the middle section, left side, is for single/widowed women or women visiting mass without their husband
- the middle section, right side, is for families and partners
- the last pews, right side, is for widowed men, bachelors or men visiting church without their wives

In some places, you'll still see this seating order (like in my little town)
Thanks Olygirl - this is fascinating, like a secret hand-shake! Now, so that I can do this properly myself: is that to the parishioners' left or right as they enter the church, facing the altar, or to the minister's left or right?
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  #42  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:14
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

Living way outside of the big smoke of Geneva, I can confirm that things are open 24 hours and everyone speaks English, with French really not being necessary. You will be fine.
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  #43  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:18
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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This raises an interesting question: does anybody know what is the norm in Glarnerland?

We've heard both gruezi and gruss Gott on our walks around the town. Does anyone know which is preferred, and by whom?
Definitely gruezi. Gruss Gott is only for Germans and Austrians.
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  #44  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:18
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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Did you get involved with the local community? Were you able to make a good impression? What terrible social mistakes are we liable to make as an Englishman and an American lost amongst the natives? What unexpected difficulties did you encounter? How has it turned out in the end? Do you have any other advice or suggestions for us?

One gesture that went a very long way for us is that we introduced ourselves to each of our neighbors, and handed them a bouquet of flowers. We were surprised to find that half of them had cosmopolitan experience, and were quite glad to have people from other places. Some were expectedly aloof, but it didn't bother us. They eventually warmed up after a few months. We get invited for dinners, grill with them in the summer, and looked out after each other's plants and pets when going on holiday.

Leave the hype about the stereotypes. Take what you will, and discard what you don't like. People are people, and know how to reciprocate respect for respect. Keep your personal irritations with your neighbors to yourself, and the irritations disappear like a bad cold.

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  #45  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:23
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

We've just moved into a village of c. 1700 peeps outside Basel.

Kids help, especially with the local schooling set up in CH. However, our expectation of being stranded in Kanton SO have been somewhat missguided.

So far we've befriended
An English couple still in culture shock after moving straight from the UK to the country side
A Swiss woman married to an American
A Swiss couple (yay!)

...and the icing on the cake...

A Swiss granny who told my wife in perfect English that it was great to see young people with children moving into the village, and did she know that there were some English people who lived here, here and here and an American there...

Round the corner, there's two Italian families, opposite us there's a Italian and Swedish couple and at the end of the street another foreign family. Nationality still tbc.

Swiss? In Switzerland? You're 'aving a larf mate!

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Definitely gruezi. Gruss Gott is only for Germans and Austrians.


And Swissies in eastern CH...
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Last edited by Carlos R; 01.03.2011 at 14:30. Reason: added our recent experience
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  #46  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:33
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

I think Jacek summed it up well "Try to show them what you are good at and there surely be place for you in their small society." Maybe offer to read a story in English for children at the local library once or twice a month, if you are not sporty and can not put out fires!!

After 5 years here in a smallish village what I find interesting is the amount of similarities to the small rural town I grew up in (in Australia!!). It is all about community and contribution to that community and gossip. It also depends weather you live in a house or an apartment.
In an appartment the neighbours can not really avoid you so you will meet them, ask them questions about the un/written rules (flowers, laundry, parking, noise ect) of the apartment, the Swiss love to help but only after being asked, ask even when you know the answers, it "allows" them to help you and they see you want to fit in.
In a house it is all about the garden, if they see you labouring in the garden keeping it a bit neat, it is your contribution to a beautiful community. Or go one step further as we did and planted salad and veges amongst all the flower beds, we had too much so we gave a lot away, home grown or home made produce (jams ect) is always a winner. Again asking a neigbour what grows well is a good conversation starter.
And gossip, it will be about you and you won't be invited to join in for several years, so keep wearing the dayglow jackets you love and other ecentricities, when the talk turns to you the other new arrivals who have suffered through the last six years will thank you for taking the heat off them!!
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  #47  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:46
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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And I thought that God made no distinction and all are equal.
Not im kanton Glarus,maybe some day or night,And bring knee pads
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Old 01.03.2011, 14:52
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

In case any locals check up on EF and find you, a new Avatar would be a good idea.

This could be suitable.

Last edited by Deep Purple; 30.09.2011 at 18:30.
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  #49  
Old 01.03.2011, 14:56
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

My biggest secret weapon for making a good impression:

home-made chocolate chip cookies

It's a winner everytime.
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  #50  
Old 01.03.2011, 15:08
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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Olygirl did say 'tradition dictates'
So in the very middle of God's house it's the tradition that dictates and not God's rules?
By the way I live in a remote village (400 inhabitants) without a church! Some people suggested that villages are only places where you have a church and you call it hamlet (hameau in french) if there is no church. Does it apply in english as well?

PS: i respect local traditions and beliefs. Making some remarks just cause I find it interesting that we need to split people in prayer places and deads in cemetaries as well (jewish, muslim, christian, suicide, sinners, etc...)
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  #51  
Old 01.03.2011, 15:15
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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..... By the way I live in a remote village (400 inhabitants) without a church! Some people suggested that villages are only places where you have a church and you call it hamlet (hameau in french) if there is no church. Does it apply in english as well? .....
That is the same in England. A hamlet does not have a church. If it is large enough for a church, it becomes a village.
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Old 01.03.2011, 15:20
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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That is the same in England. A hamlet does not have a church. If it is large enough for a church, it becomes a village.
Check out the example wikipedia gives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet_(place))
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  #53  
Old 01.03.2011, 15:39
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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That is the same in England. A hamlet does not have a church. If it is large enough for a church, it becomes a village.
in German there is Dorf and kleines Dorf. I had to check a dictionary to find Weiler but never heard that in Switzerland.
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Old 01.03.2011, 15:46
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

Kaff: A god-forsaken village

See: Illgau, Riemenstalden, Vorderthal, etc.
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Old 01.03.2011, 15:49
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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in German there is Dorf and kleines Dorf. I had to check a dictionary to find Weiler but never heard that in Switzerland.
How about Utzwil, Mägenwil, Thalwil
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  #56  
Old 01.03.2011, 15:52
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

Although we only moved from Zürich to Winterthur my wife (from Zürich) still considers the place very provincial. For me there were more advantages than disadvantages and I really liked becoming a part of the community. This was also the time when we had very small children and we made lots of friends through them. I think you'll be fine
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  #57  
Old 01.03.2011, 15:58
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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That is the same in England. A hamlet does not have a church. If it is large enough for a church, it becomes a village.
...or, perhaps it becomes a -ham


Anyway, DB, you should join the local archery club and the cricket club - as they say, toxophily and carry a big stick...
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Old 01.03.2011, 16:03
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

Like everything and everywhere in life - there will be +s and -s. The main thing is that you both have made the effort to learn to communicate in German/Swiss German. Just get stuck in - and you'll soon know if it is for you, and if the +s and -s for YOU two balance out better in wilderness or in town. Enjoy.
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Old 01.03.2011, 16:09
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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...or, perhaps it becomes a -ham


Anyway, DB, you should join the local archery club and the cricket club - as they say, toxophily and carry a big stick...
Forget it DB you have got other talents, I would suggest to entertain them with fabulous stories told like those ones on the EF. If only they could be told in Swiss German then world is your oyster.
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Old 01.03.2011, 16:35
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Re: Living in the Wilderness

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Pretend to be Catholic - and never ask where the nearest mosque is.

[sorry - has a genuine request for advice already started to slip into the depths of wise-cracks and ridicule? Oi!, keep the "noise" down.]
I can assure you that pretending to be a Catholic will not necessarily endear you with the natives around here! Check local religious history first!

Do indeed go to your local Church is you feel comfortable with this. We are not religious at all, so despite living next to the Church in the old Vicarage, we do not go, as a new life based on hypocrisy would not feel comfortable at all. They found it disappointing, but our involvement in so many other aspects of the village has overcome this.
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