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  #1021  
Old 22.05.2011, 10:27
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Re: Swiss Manners

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yeah, I have noticed that people aren't too polite in Switzerland too. But I have also noticed a lot of racist things too! Half the stuff they show on those tiny plates they can show as "billboards" are filled with racist comments. One I saw about sheep, and the white sheep keeping/kicking out the black sheep. I guess it had to do with keeping out foreigners or keeping out people who don't belong?? idk. And I've noticed a lot of Jim Crow items around town too. IDK if it was just in Luzern, but there was that halloween type festival, where stores/people dress like its halloween for a week or w/e, and in a few stores I saw black mannequins overdressed with African american looking outfits, the mannequins having every black stereotype. With the huge lips, crazy hair, ...to the big back ends. And at many antique stores I saw many black slave statues that imitate Jim Crow perfectly. Theres a Jim Crow museum in america and I was tempted to take pictures of all these things, but never had a camera handy. Anyway, do the Swiss not acknowledge how offensive their advertising/products can be??? How can they not notice!
They dont notice, because they are narrow minded, and holed up in this tiny landlocked country, well a good percentage of them.....my hubby NOT included!
there are still bakeries that call a chocolate covered - cream filled bun, a Mohrenkopf - the word Mohr is a dark skinned person - its really insulting, esp. when your kids get teased Mohrenkopf
But most of these people are terribly narrow minded , and have never traveled outside of Europe, or rather outside of the surrounding countries. They are basically clueless - I just try to stay away from them.

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Ya I've been trying to figure out if it's my tattoos... but even when they're covered, people still stare. So I thought maybe it is my clothes. But then I realized maybe I'm just a hawtie.

But then I realized they aren't smiling when they stare.

*sigh*
I quite like it when people stare - it makes me feel special!

just smile and wave back, that usually stops them dead in their tracks!
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  #1022  
Old 22.05.2011, 11:05
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Re: Swiss Manners

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if you have four hours to spare and experience Swiss manners up close and personal, i'll be glad to show you I am willing to put a wager on this even, if you're willing to do the same.
I have experienced "Swiss manners" for decades, and they mostly, in spite of me generally regarded as "Mediterranean", were clearly positive.

When speaking about Bern, you possibly can translate "Grüessech" and "heit ä schööne" ?

People in Bern, on my last visit to the FCAA/BAZL in Ittigen, (Bern HB, S to Ittigen, Ittigen Bhf + Café) were rather a bit overwhelmingly polite. The same is with some visits per year to Oberbipp/BE .
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  #1023  
Old 22.05.2011, 11:10
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Re: Swiss Manners

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There is nothing wrong with Swiss manners. Why are photos of your apartment in your album? I hope it is not for showing off as we consider showing off as bad manners.
And somebody describing himself as "awesome", that IS bad manners
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  #1024  
Old 22.05.2011, 11:15
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Re: Swiss Manners

AM I the only one who has actually reached to squash that little ant on the screen before realising that it is LM's icon?
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  #1025  
Old 22.05.2011, 11:28
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Re: Swiss Manners

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They dont notice, because they are narrow minded, and holed up in this tiny landlocked country, well a good percentage of them.....my hubby NOT included!
-
Listen, we no longer have 1930 ! Landlocked refers to the times when overseas travelling was by ocean-ships, but passengers-traffic in the world takes place by airplane You should update yourself to the 21st Century. Even if my mother in regard to the 20th Century always complained that the 19th lasted until 1945 ! And so, we possibly indeed still are in the 20th . But affordable long-haul airplane operations in seriousness started in the 1970ies, more than 30 years ago

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there are still bakeries that call a chocolate covered - cream filled bun, a Mohrenkopf - the word Mohr is a dark skinned person - its really insulting, esp. when your kids get teased Mohrenkopf
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when your kids get teased Mohrenkopf it of course is insulting. But the name Mohrenkopf for the Mohrenkopf is NOT insulting to anybody
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But most of these people are terribly narrow minded , and have never traveled outside of Europe, or rather outside of the surrounding countries. They are basically clueless - I just try to stay away from them.
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I daresay that the percentage of Swiss people who have travelled outside Europe is definitely far higher than in most Continental European countries. And in addition to that, I do NOT regard countries like the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Czechia, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt as "surrounding countries" These countries are favourite holiday destinations of Swiss people.

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I quite like it when people stare - it makes me feel special!
just smile and wave back, that usually stops them dead in their tracks!
-
special ??? photo please ! so that can judge the matter
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  #1026  
Old 22.05.2011, 12:14
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Re: Swiss Manners

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yeah, I have noticed that people aren't too polite in Switzerland too. But I have also noticed a lot of racist things too! Half the stuff they show on those tiny plates they can show as "billboards" are filled with racist comments. One I saw about sheep, and the white sheep keeping/kicking out the black sheep. I guess it had to do with keeping out foreigners or keeping out people who don't belong?? idk. And I've noticed a lot of Jim Crow items around town too. IDK if it was just in Luzern, but there was that halloween type festival, where stores/people dress like its halloween for a week or w/e, and in a few stores I saw black mannequins overdressed with African american looking outfits, the mannequins having every black stereotype. With the huge lips, crazy hair, ...to the big back ends. And at many antique stores I saw many black slave statues that imitate Jim Crow perfectly. Theres a Jim Crow museum in america and I was tempted to take pictures of all these things, but never had a camera handy. Anyway, do the Swiss not acknowledge how offensive their advertising/products can be??? How can they not notice!
Err.. the point about stereotyping Africans I get.

But why on earth "African American"? I don't really get why you even think that most Swiss (or Europeans or Asians or even Africans for that matter) would have in depth knowledge about such things as the Jim Crow Laws. I mean, how much do you know about the "yamato-race" and the discrimination of the "buraku" in Japan?

Just to give you an example: One of my cousins is married to a guy from Nigeria. At one point, they invited me and my American (caucasian) flatmate over for diner: They served chicken and watermelon (sic)! The only person who had kind of a problem with that choice was the American.

My cousins husband kept repeating that he is from Nigeria and not from the states and he just happens to like that food.
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  #1027  
Old 22.05.2011, 13:46
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I've noticed a lot of Jim Crow items around town too.
-
I right now checked up the term "Jim Crow laws" and realized that what you mean is what generally is called "SEGREGATION LAWS". So that you are kindly asked to use terms which also outside the USA are understood.

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there was that halloween type festival, where stores/people dress like its halloween for a week or w/e, and in a few stores I saw black mannequins overdressed with African american looking outfits, the mannequins having every black stereotype. With the huge lips, crazy hair, ...to the big back ends.
-
Make your mind UP. It either IS Halloween or it is FASNACHT (Karneval). Those masks etc are old traditions, and generally do not refer to the USA but to the African Continent

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at many antique stores I saw many black slave statues that imitate Jim Crow perfectly.
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I do not believe that what you saw are "slave statues"




but African statues, which for example are on sale in Dakar/Senegal


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do the Swiss not acknowledge how offensive their advertising/products can be??? How can they not notice!
-
Most advertising is offensive to common sense. But here, you clearly exaggerate your point quite widely


--
--
PS: THIS boy here is a famous landmark in a European city :






and is a European
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  #1028  
Old 22.05.2011, 14:48
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Re: Swiss Manners

This is something I have noticed as well. I have had numerous conversations with other expats to try and determine whether they are oblivious and truly don't see you, or are just rude and don't care. I really don't know! It's much more common in this city than any other one I've been in! But you know what, on the flip side this city is also super clean and safe, so I guess I'll adjust to the occasional elbow in the rib cage.
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  #1029  
Old 22.05.2011, 18:37
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Re: Swiss Manners

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This is something I have noticed as well. I have had numerous conversations with other expats to try and determine whether they are oblivious and truly don't see you, or are just rude and don't care. I really don't know! It's much more common in this city than any other one I've been in! But you know what, on the flip side this city is also super clean and safe, so I guess I'll adjust to the occasional elbow in the rib cage.
This now is a different aspect but easy to explain. A majority of CH inhabitants of the Zurich area are people who originate from rural areas. And feel challenged by living in a fairly sizeable (for villagers "gigantic") city. If you realize that Zurich in 1848 was on rank 4 or 5 among the largest Swiss cities and within a century moved up to number one, it is obvious that for such a dynamic development (by Central European standards) you have to pay your price.
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  #1030  
Old 22.05.2011, 18:38
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Re: Swiss Manners

Goodness gracious! Was having a look through the forum, saw this thread and thought - hm interesting to see what people say, I wonder if i'll agree with any of this!

Unfortunately though all the overwhelming impression I have is that most people seem to think that Swiss manners are pretty shoddy, and that it is definitely a "cultural" thing. Which in my opinion can only be considered true to a very limited extent!

- The "P's and Q's" aspect, yes that is a little cultural. Coming from England and having grown up there I was also taught that one should always say Please, Thank You, Excuse Me, Sorry etc and always be polite to strangers. However I have often been told by people here that I don't need to be so formal/polite all the time, and that is is quite unnecessary.

Whilst speaking french and german with both Swiss natives and French and German I have found that in comparison to at home, they aren't as preoccupied with their pleases and thank yous. Not because they have bad manners, but because it isn't the norm for them - they are still polite, it is just not in the same way as in the english language.

As for children and people not holding doors, not giving up seats etc. This has not been particularly noticeable to me here. Perhaps because coming from London I am used to a fair amount of this already. - Yes, we English like to think we are *always* very polite and courteous, however this is simply not true. It is a regular occurrence to see school children in England be very uncourteous and for London commuters to also push, shove, elbow and not let others off the train/tube/bus before they try to board. In any place where this is Public Transport being used by a lot of people, this sort of behaviour is bound to happen. In fact here in Switzerland I actually find rush hour travel FAR more pleasant than in London. The only time I had a bad experience it involved two ENGLISH business men being exceptionally rude and discourteous. In fact the other day when two young blokes got on the IC, I was really pleasantly surprised that they were extremely polite and asked if they could sit next to me - in England the likelihood of two young guys asking is pretty low.

As for staring and xenophobic behaviour by some Swiss people - yes, unfortunately that does exist in places, in my experience it is generally more common away from the big cities. But, wait.. is that really a surprise? The same is true throughout the UK. My best friend whose parents are of Sri Lankan origin has had a couple of really terrible and distressing incidents up north in Durham. In parts of Wales I have had nasty comments made because i'm not "Welsh" - despite the fact I was with my welsh cousins, or my uncle or that the person had just seen my I.D with my welsh middle name!

Also it should be said that "staring" often isn't because one is foreign or not Swiss - perhaps that is a little paranoia? I have frequently stared at here and other countries alike, and many of my friends say the same thing. - In fact, who knows I may be one of the nasty "starers" as I often am distracted and unintentionally stare at/make eye contact with people!

As for the offensive advertising - Have YOU not noticed that a great deal of advertising in many countries is offensive in some way? In fact there are really a great deal of adverts that can be considered sexist and demeaning to women - and a lot of them are.

- and lauragstewart, the occasional elbow in the rib cage? LUCKY YOU! I have had countless bruises from english public transport, as well as a large bleeding gash across my arm one time! - Not to mention all the times that people have nearly tripped me up by leaving their bags/briefcases in peoples way.

I have spent a great deal of time in Switzerland over the last 19 years, and 85% of the time the Swiss people I have encountered have had perfectly acceptable manners and have been courteous and polite. OF COURSE there are always some people, in all countries and cultures whose manners leave something to be desired, and Switzerland is by no means an exception.

Last thing to add is that a fair number of the "mannerless" people I have encountered here, aren't Swiss but are in fact foreigners as well.

No doubt most people here aren't going to agree with me, oh well!
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  #1031  
Old 22.05.2011, 18:52
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Re: Swiss Manners

Danke viel mal.
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  #1032  
Old 22.05.2011, 19:07
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Re: Swiss Manners

On my first trip to Zurich a couple of weeks ago I found the hotel staff I had to interact with a little "sour" and, to be honest, assumed this was probably a national trait, although it did rile that when a Swiss speaker checked in or phoned the two receptionists suddenly developed big smiles and became different people.

Over the last few days, I have seen the other side - a much better side - in trying to book a B&B. Eventually pretty much everyone replied to my inquiring emails, very politely and in English too. In the UK I suspect that if a venue were fully booked they just wouldn't reply at all, but even those that were fully booked replied and apologised for the fact they were full.

But more impressive was that having chosen one establishment, I had to tell the others waiting for me to confirm my potential reservation that I was no longer interested. I think every single one of them replied to thank me for letting them know and hoping I had an enjoyable stay.

I thought that was pretty impressive on the "Manners" front. I wish more British B&Bs followed this example.
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  #1033  
Old 22.05.2011, 19:07
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Re: Swiss Manners

To GCTXO (don't want to quote as it is too long!) - I have to say that I commuted in London for many years which, obviously, meant getting tubes, etc in rush hour. I can honestly say that I was never jostled or pushed to the same extent there.

Similarly, whilst shopping in Waitrose or whatever at the busy times, like Saturday late morning, I was never shoved from behind or in front or the side by trolleys, baskets, or elbows. And, I could walk down an extremely busy pavement without ever being bumped or walked into ...
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  #1034  
Old 22.05.2011, 23:27
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Coming from England and having grown up there I was also taught that one should always say Please, Thank You, Excuse Me, Sorry etc and always be polite to strangers.
But to say "bitte" "bitte schön" "Tanke" "Merci" "Merci Beschtens", "Äxgüsi" is CENTRAL to the most basic upbringing and parental education in Switzerland, possibly as central as in the Mediterranean, and clearly more so than North and West/Northwest of Switzerland
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Old 22.05.2011, 23:33
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Danke viel mal.
OK, but here it rather is "Tanke villlmal" Just as I often realize that many "Anglos" do not realize the meaning of "äxgüsi" I cannot imagine what they think it may be but they simply do ignore it entirely ! This to locals here is lack of manners and rude behaviours
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  #1036  
Old 22.05.2011, 23:46
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Re: Swiss Manners

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To GCTXO (don't want to quote as it is too long!) - I have to say that I commuted in London for many years which, obviously, meant getting tubes, etc in rush hour. I can honestly say that I was never jostled or pushed to the same extent there.

Similarly, whilst shopping in Waitrose or whatever at the busy times, like Saturday late morning, I was never shoved from behind or in front or the side by trolleys, baskets, or elbows. And, I could walk down an extremely busy pavement without ever being bumped or walked into ...
you commuted in London by the tube ? So that you apparently never changed the tube at Notting Hill Gate Station. I back in 72 did do so, and learnt some lessons in applied "Catch-as-Catch-can", some dirty but effective tricks to hit back at people trying to kick or push me from behind. I back in 66 and 68 had thought the Parisians in central Metro stations were rough, but Londoners showed me how to fight ..................... and on Oxford Street and in Regent Street and in Piccadilly Lane, people for decades had the habit to walk and bump into you, unless you swiftly evaded the approaching folks . But WORST in this respect for sure is Amsterdam where you are constantly kicked and shoved from behind. And if you protest, even hit. In the worst case, I in the evening could escape to friendly Paris, and visit a Paris doctor the next day.
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Old 23.05.2011, 00:03
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Re: Swiss Manners

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But to say "bitte" "bitte schön" "Tanke" "Merci" "Merci Beschtens", "Äxgüsi" is CENTRAL to the most basic upbringing and parental education in Switzerland, possibly as central as in the Mediterranean, and clearly more so than North and West/Northwest of Switzerland
You crack me up sometimes.

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you commuted in London by the tube ? So that you apparently never changed the tube at Notting Hill Gate Station. I back in 72 did do so, and learnt some lessons in applied "Catch-as-Catch-can", some dirty but effective tricks to hit back at people trying to kick or push me from behind. I back in 66 and 68 had thought the Parisians in central Metro stations were rough, but Londoners showed me how to fight ..................... and on Oxford Street and in Regent Street and in Piccadilly Lane, people for decades had the habit to walk and bump into you, unless you swiftly evaded the approaching folks . But WORST in this respect for sure is Amsterdam where you are constantly kicked and shoved from behind. And if you protest, even hit. In the worst case, I in the evening could escape to friendly Paris, and visit a Paris doctor the next day.
So, we have established that in the most popular areas of London - places that are packed full of tourists and a few locals - that people were bumping in to each other? What a shocker. I'm not from London but even I know to avoid those places like the plague.

If you want to go shopping on Oxford street then take the road that runs parallel, you still get access to all the shops but none of the crowds. That's what the locals do.

Comparing any Swiss city to central London is a little like comparing apples to corn flakes.
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Old 23.05.2011, 00:35
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Comparing any Swiss city to central London is a little like comparing apples to corn flakes.
...shhhh dont tell them
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  #1039  
Old 23.05.2011, 01:48
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Re: Swiss Manners

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You crack me up sometimes.

If you want to go shopping on Oxford street then take the road that runs parallel, you still get access to all the shops but none of the crowds. That's what the locals do.
Sorry but that's nonsense. All you get from any parallel road is the tradesman's entrance and the rubbish bins. Last time I checked the big stores (the HMV's etc) all had one entrance - on Oxford Street. I think the one exception might be Marks and Spencers which maybe has a side entrance (in Poland Street?)

But what would I know? I've only lived here since 1996
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  #1040  
Old 23.05.2011, 10:07
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Sorry but that's nonsense. All you get from any parallel road is the tradesman's entrance and the rubbish bins. Last time I checked the big stores (the HMV's etc) all had one entrance - on Oxford Street. I think the one exception might be Marks and Spencers which maybe has a side entrance (in Poland Street?)

But what would I know? I've only lived here since 1996
As I say, I'm not from London but I was advised to do that the last time I was there. You couldn't get access to all of the shops but the larger ones such as John Lewis, House of Fraser, BHS and Debenhams were all there near Cavendish Square.
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