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Old 19.06.2014, 21:01
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Re: Swiss Stare

I saw this thread pop up and had to quickly scroll through it to make sure there wasn't a complaint about my 3 year old who totally mortified me on the tram the other day!!
There was a dad with his daughter sitting a few seats in front (speaking english) and i assume on hearing us too speak english, the little girl turned around on her seat and was staring back.. my daughter whispers "why is she staring?" and i told her that i think she speaks english too, why don't you say hi! to which my daughter smiles shyly and raised a hand.. The girl kept staring expressionless.. My daughter (feeling embarrassed i guess) then retorts at what seemed like the top of her voice "no! she didn't want to say hi, her daddy just didn't teach her yet that its rude to stare!" Totally happy the next stop was ours!!
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  #222  
Old 19.06.2014, 21:05
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Re: Swiss Stare

:d
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  #223  
Old 20.06.2014, 06:31
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I saw this thread pop up and had to quickly scroll through it to make sure there wasn't a complaint about my 3 year old who totally mortified me on the tram the other day!!
There was a dad with his daughter sitting a few seats in front (speaking english) and i assume on hearing us too speak english, the little girl turned around on her seat and was staring back.. my daughter whispers "why is she staring?" and i told her that i think she speaks english too, why don't you say hi! to which my daughter smiles shyly and raised a hand.. The girl kept staring expressionless.. My daughter (feeling embarrassed i guess) then retorts at what seemed like the top of her voice "no! she didn't want to say hi, her daddy just didn't teach her yet that its rude to stare!" Totally happy the next stop was ours!!
Your daughter is THREE ? This means that you taught her at age 2-and-a-half about staring/non-staring ? To me, small children of below four are allowed to stare at whomever and whatever

Didn't you tell your daughter that just to say "Hi" means nothing ?

Didn't you tell your daughter to walk up to the other girl to talk ?

And if you are English, you were not stared at when in Britain ? People on visit there ARE
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  #224  
Old 20.06.2014, 12:00
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Re: Swiss Stare

I wonder what the other little girl said after you got off the tram...

"Daddy... why was that girl staring at me ?"

"Daddy... I am glad that girl left the tram now - I thought that maybe she wanted to smack me !! "



Just joking of course. Children have a wonderful innocence that adults so often lose as they grow older. Little kids can play amongst themselves with no problems regardless of colour, race, religion or any language barriers. Something that adults so often find it hard to do.



Back to those who are paranoid about the mythical starers... how can one really be sure that someone is staring at oneself - maybe that other person feels exactly the same... "why is that strange person staring at me, am I not staring back to some degree ?"




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I saw this thread pop up and had to quickly scroll through it to make sure there wasn't a complaint about my 3 year old who totally mortified me on the tram the other day!!
There was a dad with his daughter sitting a few seats in front (speaking english) and i assume on hearing us too speak english, the little girl turned around on her seat and was staring back.. my daughter whispers "why is she staring?" and i told her that i think she speaks english too, why don't you say hi! to which my daughter smiles shyly and raised a hand.. The girl kept staring expressionless.. My daughter (feeling embarrassed i guess) then retorts at what seemed like the top of her voice "no! she didn't want to say hi, her daddy just didn't teach her yet that its rude to stare!" Totally happy the next stop was ours!!
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  #225  
Old 20.06.2014, 22:12
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Your daughter is THREE ? This means that you taught her at age 2-and-a-half about staring/non-staring ? To me, small children of below four are allowed to stare at whomever and whatever

Didn't you tell your daughter that just to say "Hi" means nothing ?

Didn't you tell your daughter to walk up to the other girl to talk ?

And if you are English, you were not stared at when in Britain ? People on visit there ARE

Well i guess it somehow slips out when your toddler is gawping and walks into a lamppost "stop staring at people and watch where you are going!!"

Of course, she sees us irish talk the back legs off a donkey, don't mind saying hi!! But I can't change my daughters feelings or inhibitions

Nope.. Shes 3, i don't nudge her under the nose of strangers a few seats infront..instead i tell her to sit down when the tram is moving Different story on the playground.

Nope i'm irish..was brought up with "don't stare, mind your business". Once as a kid a lad walked across the street to get in my face with "ye startin?!" coz i was staring.. So i'm thinking i will teach my kids not to stare to try help them stay out of trouble.. Oh wait i'm in switzerland! never mind!


awww no! my little one waved and smiled to her! No smacking faces involved i hope!
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  #226  
Old 20.06.2014, 23:05
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Re: Swiss Stare

So there I am, sitting reading my magazine on the train, minding my own business, when I look up to see some bloke glaring angrily at me through the glass at the end of the carriage.

I try to ignore him and carry on reading. A few seconds later I look up and the bastard's still staring at me.

I'm not normally the confrontational type, but I'm pretty fed up at the moment and something slightly irrational washed over me. I actually got out of my seat and approached this arsehole with the intention of asking what his ****ing problem was.

It wasn't until I was almost at the end of the carriage that I realised - with a flood of shame - that the poor bugger was obviously developmentally disabled and meant no harm to me at all.

Nearly made a twat of myself there.

Lesson learned for next time. We don't really have any idea what other people are thinking, do we?
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  #227  
Old 05.07.2014, 21:24
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Re: Swiss Stare

Great Thread here..the staring of the Swiss is something I've never figured out, even though I've lived here for over 20 odd years and have Swiss citizenship. Sadly, they don't give you a course in it when you get the red passport.

The main place we regularly experience starers is at FC Basel games where people in the crowd obviously don't get the concept that someone speaking English might actually be watching their team play Aarau. What I tend to do is when I notice notice 1, 2 or 3 "starers" looking at us I will shout out something about the game in perfect "Baslerdüütsch" and then sit back and watch the people's brains explode.

Someone who speaks English can know more then one language, Ich kanns nicht glauben!



What also works in the football game at least is to get a group of friends to chant "Starer" at them repeatedly until they stop staring at you...
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  #228  
Old 05.07.2014, 23:59
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Re: Swiss Stare

I'd just assumed people stare at because I look fabulous ....thought its probably because I don't look Swiss !! I am usually wearing colour, often printed dresses, great shoes (read - impractical), lipstick, nail varnish, I smile a lot and have usually gone to quite some effort with my hair..... I usually just give a great big smile to the staring person and they have no idea what to do then..... but really I couldn't care less, If they have nothing better to do than to stare at me then I'm glad to be a source of interest in their sad lives...

As I was once told by a member of my husband's family (he is Swiss) "Its clear from just looking at you that you are not Swiss".... I took it as a compliment however I suspect it wasn't ;(

You could always offer that they can take a photo so they can stare at that when you're gone
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  #229  
Old 06.07.2014, 00:20
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Re: Swiss Stare

When I wasn't as confident as I am now, I used to think I was bloody wiered. Well according to the starers.
Now I'm more confident. I'm comfortable with the fact I am wiered. Life is so much simpler now.
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  #230  
Old 06.07.2014, 00:42
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Re: Swiss Stare

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....thought its probably because I don't look Swiss !! I am usually wearing colour, often printed dresses, great shoes (read - impractical), lipstick, nail varnish, I smile a lot and have usually gone to quite some effort with my hair..... I usually just give a great big smile to the staring person and they have no idea what to do then..... but really I couldn't care less, If they have nothing better to do than to stare at me then I'm glad to be a source of interest in their sad lives...

As I was once told by a member of my husband's family (he is Swiss) "Its clear from just looking at you that you are not Swiss".... I took it as a compliment however I suspect it wasn't ;(

You could always offer that they can take a photo so they can stare at that when you're gone
One (very plausible) explanation is - they think you are for sale.

It's not you, it's them.
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  #231  
Old 06.07.2014, 10:13
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Re: Swiss Stare

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One (very plausible) explanation is - they think you are for sale.

It's not you, it's them.
The most plausible explanation is that actually they dont stare and its just a bunch of paranoid EFers spreading rumours.

Yet to see a swiss stare at someone
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  #232  
Old 06.07.2014, 10:29
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Re: Swiss Stare

Totally agree... I have never noticed that Swiss people, ( or people in Switzerland ), stare any more than any other nationality in any other place. After all, if someone feels they are being stared at, how do they know that the alleged starers are Swiss ? Is the starer waving a little red book with a white cross on it ??

No... sorry... but its all a figment of their imagination... unless :

a - they are indeed really hot !

b - they are quite frankly behaving badly ( i.e. talking loud on the phone, playing loud music, talking or swearing loudly, eating messily or whatever )

c - they look really daft - such as forgetting to put on their trousers or skirt that morning

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The most plausible explanation is that actually they dont stare and its just a bunch of paranoid EFers spreading rumours.

Yet to see a swiss stare at someone
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  #233  
Old 06.07.2014, 10:49
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Yet to see a swiss stare at someone
I take it you haven't been out that much..
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  #234  
Old 06.07.2014, 11:47
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Re: Swiss Stare

Not that they only stare at me, it happened at a migros counter that a woman made the sign of the cross when she saw me...
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  #235  
Old 06.07.2014, 12:05
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Re: Swiss Stare

This could be a cultural thing especially if it is mainly Americans who remark on the "Swiss stare". In my own experience in working with Americans, I have noticed a tendency to avoid casual eye contact and I conclude from this that they would be more likely to interpret eye contact as staring.
If I feel "stared at" I simply counter with a correct, but unenthusiastic greeting

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  #236  
Old 06.07.2014, 23:56
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Re: Swiss Stare

[QUOTE=greenmount;2192444]One (very plausible) explanation is - they think you are for sale.

Hmm so because I don't wear drab clothes with comfortable walking shoes and I make an effort with my appearance and I could potentially look like I am for sale.. ??

this is similar to my usual attire...swiss-stare-green-dress.jpg ... hardly hooker wardrobe.... but equally not very Swiss.... I was informed by a Swiss friend that over 40 women shouldn't wear dresses.....
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  #237  
Old 06.10.2014, 15:17
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Re: Swiss Stare

I finally understood why this Swiss stare is bothering so many people in the expat community!!!

I don't judge you, I totally understand.

Swiss are staring at people's face, and you are not accustomed to it. As you want to do your own stare in all tranquility:


Last edited by Faltrad; 06.10.2014 at 15:36.
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  #238  
Old 06.10.2014, 15:31
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Re: Swiss Stare

I encountered the "Swiss stare" for the first time on Saturday - although I'm inclined to think it was a "weirdo" stare rather than a specifically "Swiss" one:

Husband and I were standing at the kerb, with our two (seated) dogs, waiting to cross the road, when an approaching car started to slow down. I thought he was about to turn into a car park before he reached us, but he wasn't indicating so we stayed put and waited to see what he was doing. He slowed down even more, didn't take the turn but cruised past us at a crawl while staring at us. Seriously, his head was turning as he went past.

Obviously I stared right back, but he was completely shameless. There was even traffic behind him, but gawping at us was obviously more important to him. Totally weird.
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  #239  
Old 06.10.2014, 22:59
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Re: Swiss Stare

I've just read this whole, long thread, and I'm amazed!

When I moved to Switzerland years ago, I was cautioned by my work colleagues that the way I looked at people was inappropriate. From my perspective, I was just giving a friendly smile. No, no! I was told that that was equivalent to a pick-up/flirt invitation, and that I should not smile so much. I was taught, here, that it was not usual to actually look someone in the eye. Instead, a polite glance should be impersonal and distanced, just enough to ensure you won't bump into them.

Before I moved here, I’d been accustomed to friendly nods and greetings, even fleeting ones, from strangers, for example a fellow shopper in the supermarket. Here, as I tried very hard not to look at people, I felt severed from human contact.

And now, from having felt, for so long, that Swiss people did NOT "see" the others around them (remaining lonely and sadly disconnected) I've just read a whole thread about the way Swiss people DO stare at others?!

Over time, with soul-kneading and listening, I managed to find my own way… I think it is a comfortable balance of both modifying my behaviour to be culturally appropriate, and yet not sacrificing what I felt (and still feel) to be everyday friendliness.

I liked the very few posts in this thread which suggested just smiling back and, if need be, looking away. Thank you.
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  #240  
Old 07.10.2014, 13:18
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Re: Swiss Stare

How do you folks know the people doing the staring are Swiss? You don't do you?
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