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  #41  
Old 18.06.2007, 04:17
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

i hear ya, bibadlab - i'm asian and i'm quite aware of the connotation we appear to have there. in grad school i was friends with a couple of swiss guys, both from zurich. one told me that some "desperate" swiss men tend to take asian wives or girlfriends... some are mail-order brides.

but like you said, the truth always comes out. i like your attitude. personally, i know i'm not coming there to hook up. i can hold up my own. i was given a very nice opportunity to work there - - enough to decline lucrative offers in NYC and London. i'm also glad that i can split my time between the CH and NYC offices... it's a nice compromise. my entire family is in New York, so i do look forward to the times that i'm going to be working here.

i guess at the end of the day it boils down to how open your mind is to differences.

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"I went out with a colleague who is Polish to one of the popular night clubs in Zurich. Two local Swiss blondes were looking at us for about 15 minutes, later came by to meet us. Everything went well (the usual smiles, etc.) until they found out we were not Swiss. Once they found out we were foreign, they simple turned their backs and left. Did not say a word. just turned their backs and walked away."

-that is very, very funny! that is hillarious! I am sorry that I was not there to see it!!!

I was once in Zurich, when I had a job interview and I stayed the following weekend. I wanted to see the city. I was surprised when couple of guys openly turned their heads after me... I took it as a compliment ;o)

Since I am from EE, people usually think that I am after a rich husband. Never bothered with that - my motto is that the truth always comes out... I know that I am not after rich guys, so that has nothing to do with me, but tells a lot about the other side... and I find it very interesting, I like to know what people trully think...

I talked once with a Swedish guys and they told me that Muslims are very unfair people... and here comes the explanation why... according to Swedish guys: Muslims are dating Swedish girls, but Muslim girls supposed to stay at home, so that put them - Swedish guys - in unequal position! - I though that it was so funny.
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  #42  
Old 27.06.2007, 00:12
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I read this thread with a lot of interest. I grew up in South Africa and yes it was shocking that people could treat other people like that & believe it was their right to do so. Once I started to travel I naively thought I would not encounter such open racism as I had there.

I traveled to Japan in 1984 & spent 2 months there. Never did I experience any racism during that time, rather an odd interest in my red hair with kids occasionally even grabbing a handful.

Moved to Czech in 2000 & met loads of great people & a load of idiots - treating a large sector of the community (gypsies or as they prefer Roma) terribly. Some even tried to tell me that this was different from Apartheid. Found the same in Slovakia & Hungary where I lived for the last 3 years. other places I have traveled to I have experienced the same. On a train from Nottingham to London was confronted by some yobo's telling me to piss-off back to South Africa that i was not welcome there. Interestingly enough it was their forefathers that sent my forefathers there in the first place to conquer it... Try standing in a passport queue at any European airport when someone with a dark complexion is at the desk. Generally speaking though I find the openly racist people in the minority though being white I have probably not been as exposed to it as I would have been had I been darker.

Bottom line - we are probably all racist to some degree. I for example hate the Aussies, Kiwi's & Brits when they beat us at rugby, but for some reason I stand with them against the French... must have something to do with my one and only holiday in France when I was treated like a leper by the hotel staff because I spoke English.

Generally though I found people make a huge effort to be welcoming when I tried to speak a bit of their language. Now I guess I need to try to learn how to speak German with what seems to sound like a Swedish accent.
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  #43  
Old 27.06.2007, 08:08
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Bottom line - we are probably all racist to some degree. I for example hate the Aussies, Kiwi's & Brits when they beat us at rugby, but for some reason I stand with them against the French... must have something to do with my one and only holiday in France when I was treated like a leper by the hotel staff because I spoke English.
It's mutual, not that you have anything to complain about at the moment. I wouldn't use the R word in this context though, this is healthy sporting rivalry. Yes, we English (I'm assuming you meant English and not Brits) don't even get the other home nations support - even when we play the French - yet we support the other home nations against anyone else, especially the French. the French are aware of this but that doesn't stop them being the best hosts in the 6N (maybe equal with the Irish).
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  #44  
Old 27.06.2007, 09:24
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I'm Asian and I've been in Switzerland a little over a year and I've not really encountered any outwardly racist behaviour. Only one that comes to mind and it could easily be put down to rude teenager behaviour. I was on a bus, sitting my the window. A preppy snobby-looking boy (about 17-ish) was walking by and stared as he approached my window. Not sure what to do I did the usual and smiled. He then came right up to the window just before the bus pulled out and spat in my face. *whew* lucky for the window! At first I thought he was racist. Then I wondered if it might just be a snob thing. I also get asked regularly by dodgy looking guys how much I charge to spend a night with them! Geez!!
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  #45  
Old 27.06.2007, 19:08
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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It's mutual, not that you have anything to complain about at the moment. I wouldn't use the R word in this context though, this is healthy sporting rivalry. Yes, we English (I'm assuming you meant English and not Brits) don't even get the other home nations support - even when we play the French - yet we support the other home nations against anyone else, especially the French. the French are aware of this but that doesn't stop them being the best hosts in the 6N (maybe equal with the Irish).
oh we support you against the Welsh ... everyone supports you against the Welsh ... oh & the Aussies ...
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  #46  
Old 27.06.2007, 21:28
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I think the second closest I've ever come to death was making the mistake of cheering England against France in Waxy O'Connors in Glasgow...
I would have got a warmer reception if I'd shouted 'I've put typhus in everyone's beer!'
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  #47  
Old 28.06.2007, 00:33
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Maybe we should start a rugby thread so as not to confuse racism with healthy rivalry...

Not to down-play racism, growing up in South Africa it was a pretty obvious that it was also not limited to colour. There are quiet a few different ethnic groups (I hesitate to use the word 'tribes' because that just does not do it justice and makes it sound very primitive which is not my intent). There as of course acceptance of each other amongst these groups as you find in Europe amongst the Caucasian 'tribes' but as we have all experienced, there are those in Europe that do differentiate; sometimes openly and very disrespectfully and likewise in Southern Africa, there are also those who don't accept people of different ethnic backgrounds regardless of colour. Just look a little North to Zimbabwe as a good example. The poor people there are being terribly mistreated by the despot who fought once to bring them freedom.

Once he achieved that he proceeded to dominate and order the murder or some other form of incapacity of any rival from different ethnic background. He still gets away with it today because the more powerful & wealthy amongst us don't see much money in removing him and giving those poor sods a chance. See attached cartoon... these guys missed a trick or two but then I do suppose they had bigger fish with more money to fry.
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  #48  
Old 28.06.2007, 00:36
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Maybe we should start a rugby thread so as not to confuse racism with healthy rivalry...

Not to down-play racism, growing up in South Africa it was a pretty obvious that it was also not limited to colour. There are quiet a few different ethnic groups (I hesitate to use the word 'tribes' because that just does not do it justice and makes it sound very primitive which is not my intent). There as of course acceptance of each other amongst these groups as you find in Europe amongst the Caucasian 'tribes' but as we have all experienced, there are those in Europe that do differentiate; sometimes openly and very disrespectfully and likewise in Southern Africa, there are also those who don't accept people of different ethnic backgrounds regardless of colour. Just look a little North to Zimbabwe as a good example. The poor people there are being terribly mistreated by the despot who fought once to bring them freedom.

Once he achieved that he proceeded to dominate and order the murder or some other form of incapacity of any rival from different ethnic background. He still gets away with it today because the more powerful & wealthy amongst us don't see much money in removing him and giving those poor sods a chance. See attached cartoon... these guys missed a trick or two but then I do suppose they had bigger fish with more money to fry.

heres something I posted earlier, if you know someone you can send them some USD ($)
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  #49  
Old 28.06.2007, 00:44
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

i think racism is everywhere. but it really comes into play and is noticeable when it happens to you.

its a skin color racism (white vs nonwhite). because that is usually the first thing racist people see. so if your skin color is not white than you swill stick out in some areas of switzerland.

i live in Lugano, just about everyone has a tan. its easier for foreigners not to stick out. its really a tan vs non tan racism... i think even the swiss-germans get racist remarks against them from the italian swiss...
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  #50  
Old 28.06.2007, 01:14
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Hi..

I am just wondering if "white foreigners" get treated differently to "non-white foreigners" out here by the navites...!!! I have been here for donkeys years.. and have many a times been treated in an unfriendly way...I am non white..!!! dont know if this was relevant or not..

Would like to know the opnions of others....
This is just an opinion from a black American. I have had problems here in Switzerland, but not as many as problems as I had living in with Spain and Italy. The racism in Europe seems to be worst than in the US, but that is my opinion. Europe doesn't as many people of color like the US and is just now getting use to integration. People here think that I am African and try to treat me like crap. Unfortunately, I will not be used and abused by anyone. Racism is everywhere, but I rarely have any problems in the US compared to here. Thank God, I will be going back home soon.

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  #51  
Old 28.06.2007, 01:28
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I read this thread with a lot of interest. I grew up in South Africa and yes it was shocking that people could treat other people like that & believe it was their right to do so. Once I started to travel I naively thought I would not encounter such open racism as I had there.

I traveled to Japan in 1984 & spent 2 months there. Never did I experience any racism during that time, rather an odd interest in my red hair with kids occasionally even grabbing a handful.

Moved to Czech in 2000 & met loads of great people & a load of idiots - treating a large sector of the community (gypsies or as they prefer Roma) terribly. Some even tried to tell me that this was different from Apartheid. Found the same in Slovakia & Hungary where I lived for the last 3 years. other places I have traveled to I have experienced the same. On a train from Nottingham to London was confronted by some yobo's telling me to piss-off back to South Africa that i was not welcome there. Interestingly enough it was their forefathers that sent my forefathers there in the first place to conquer it... Try standing in a passport queue at any European airport when someone with a dark complexion is at the desk. Generally speaking though I find the openly racist people in the minority though being white I have probably not been as exposed to it as I would have been had I been darker.

Bottom line - we are probably all racist to some degree. I for example hate the Aussies, Kiwi's & Brits when they beat us at rugby, but for some reason I stand with them against the French... must have something to do with my one and only holiday in France when I was treated like a leper by the hotel staff because I spoke English.

Generally though I found people make a huge effort to be welcoming when I tried to speak a bit of their language. Now I guess I need to try to learn how to speak German with what seems to sound like a Swedish accent.
I find it very funny when white people talk about racism. Not that white people cannot receive the blunt end of racism, but it is very rare. I have heard that white South Africans are very racist and have had an encounter with some. I guess when they saw me, they thought that I was African and was shocked when I stood up to them. Also, there is a difference between being racist and being prejudice. Many people get these words confused and do not know the meaning of the word. I have gotten into several conversations with European people, and there is such a confusion of what racism is here. A lot of Europeans will not even admit there is racism in your country. I was shocked at the blantant ignorance at first, but now I am use to it.

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  #52  
Old 28.06.2007, 01:39
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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I find it very funny when white people talk about racism. Not that white people cannot receive the blunt end of racism, but it is very rare... Also, there is a difference between being racist and being prejudice. Many people get these words confused.

i dont like it when people get those words mixed up too. plus very rarely do white people feel racism. its sad. and thats why i think if they really want to feel racism they should cover themselves in black makeup and walk around for a week, then i will listen to their comments. so few white people actually care enough to put themselves in someone else's shoes... instead they just comment on it, without experiencing it for themselves.
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  #53  
Old 28.06.2007, 01:53
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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i dont like it when people get those words mixed up too. plus very rarely do white people feel racism. its sad. and thats why i think if they really want to feel racism they should cover themselves in black makeup and walk around for a week, then i will listen to their comments. so few white people actually care enough to put themselves in someone else's shoes... instead they just comment on it, without experiencing it for themselves.
I was talking to someone that have been living here for 20 years. She is white American and told me that she think that being white is an advantage. Also, she told me that the Swiss are prejudice. That they come into her dentist office all the time complaining about "foreigners." She said that they only time that she felt "different" was when she went to China. People stared at her and that made her feel uncomfortable. I am glad that she is aware of these things and not blind to it. Most white people will never understand and don't care, but why should they have to, they are the majority. Ignorance is bliss.
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  #54  
Old 28.06.2007, 01:59
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Per my experiences in Denmark versus CH, so far I have been greeted well here... to illustrate the diff:

I am white with brown eyes. In DK, I was treated differently and poorly at times because of the color of my eyes. I remember when I first bought my house in DK, some of the neighbors came by, one in particular kept gazing at me, trying to figure out from which country I came due to the "brun ojne".

I also would go to the local places, pubs and the like (not skipping about in Copenhagen, for Denmark is home and I wanted to be as integrated as feasibly possible), and many times was yelled at-- "get the (N word) out of the bar".

It is a matter of a culture's perception of their degree homogenity versus heterogenity. I am not saying that racism is acceptable, not in the least bit. I found it interesting that some in DK had this perception of being a homogenous culture, when in upwards of 20% of the population is not Danish-- meaning, per the definition of what some Danes perceive as Danish-- white with blue eyes (even though there are many who have a different ethnic background yet are citizens of DK). Yet some Danes percieve themseves as white with blue eyes, one can see this in many of the adverts with pictures. I found that there was a lack of understanding the difference between ethnic background and citizenship-- and in DK many blended the two as one in the same.

I remember a friend of mine, who lived in Zealand (the island in which Copenhagen resides), had an interesting response to another friend's comment about the lack of black people in his town (friend is from NYC). His response was "we have eastern europeans here" in all seriousness.

It is unfortunate, yes, yet at the same time it is relative to the experiences of others, their perception of nationality/citizenship/ethnic background. Rather than get angry, I try to find a way to be gracious and see it in different eyes. Otherwise I would be ill too often.
OMG, you were treated like this by having brown eyes. I can just imagine how I would be treated. Thank God I didn't travel there by myself. I heard that Denmark has very serious issues. I read articles about many Danish people hating Muslims and other foreigners.
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Old 28.06.2007, 02:00
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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She said that they only time that she felt "different" was when she went to China. People stared at her and that made her feel uncomfortable. I am glad that she is aware of these things and not blind to it. Most white people will never understand and don't care, but why should they have to, they are the majority. Ignorance is bliss.
I dont consider her experience in china racism. celebrities get stared at too. i doubt that she was refused service. interrogated by the border police. or followed around a store because they thought she would shop-lift.

but im glad that she knows what its like to feel different. i think thats the first step to understanding.

i agree being white is advantageous. but i prefer to be unique in a white mans world. in lugano ive had people come up to me and ask me where i got my tan (what solarium) , i tell them its natural.
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  #56  
Old 28.06.2007, 02:15
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

I try to have conversations with black Americans about Europe. Americans, especially black Americans, think that Europe is soooo open. Many black Americans do not travel, which I think is very sad. I tell black Americans about the racism that I have encountered, but they seem not to believe me. I do think that some places in Europe has integrated well, however, Europe as a whole, has a long way to go. So, I have stopped trying to talk to people. I will let them find out for themselves. Some people are just like that and have to experience it for themselves.
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  #57  
Old 10.07.2007, 00:54
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

i think "slavic" foreigners are also treated badly. Especially eastern european women, everyone gives them the evil eye and thinks they are whores.

but the difference between white and non white is that white people can blend in,its basically their choice to admit if or not they are a foreigner. while "colored" people dont have this option. they always standout...
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  #58  
Old 10.07.2007, 09:46
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Oooh.... this has the potential to go the same way as the "are the Swiss racist" thread.... So before it does, may i share an anecdote on my experiences.

I am a professional scientist (black South African) gainfully employed at the University of Zürich. I often am out with work colleagues (an eclectic mixture of french, swiss, italian, german, polish etc...) and always seem to get a very cold reception from the locals..... until they discover what i do. The change is remarkable...... and I've stopped counting the offers i have gotten over the years that say "stay with me for 5 years and you can get a passport"

In short my swiss colleagues have been very open about their opinion on this trend. Basically black = refugee, McDonalds worker..... not much to aspire to or, in my case black + educated = a catch.

Anyways, thats my two cents worth
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  #59  
Old 10.07.2007, 12:01
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

Thanks for the anecdote. I really don't think it's innate racism most people experience in Switzerland but classcism of a sort whereby they tend to associate white foreigners with high skills and non-white with low skilled/labourer/asylum/illegal etc. That means, depending on how you dress and the manner with which you speak, they then adjust their stance towards you. If they think (even mistakenly) that you're labourer or asylum, then expect to be treated like dirt.

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Oooh.... this has the potential to go the same way as the "are the Swiss racist" thread.... So before it does, may i share an anecdote on my experiences.

I am a professional scientist (black South African) gainfully employed at the University of Zürich. I often am out with work colleagues (an eclectic mixture of french, swiss, italian, german, polish etc...) and always seem to get a very cold reception from the locals..... until they discover what i do. The change is remarkable...... and I've stopped counting the offers i have gotten over the years that say "stay with me for 5 years and you can get a passport"

In short my swiss colleagues have been very open about their opinion on this trend. Basically black = refugee, McDonalds worker..... not much to aspire to or, in my case black + educated = a catch.

Anyways, thats my two cents worth
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  #60  
Old 12.07.2007, 00:30
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Re: White & Non White foreigners..

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Thanks for the anecdote. I really don't think it's innate racism most people experience in Switzerland but classcism of a sort whereby they tend to associate white foreigners with high skills and non-white with low skilled/labourer/asylum/illegal etc. That means, depending on how you dress and the manner with which you speak, they then adjust their stance towards you. If they think (even mistakenly) that you're labourer or asylum, then expect to be treated like dirt.
i agree. i think the swiss need to do a better job on assimilating asylum seekers. i was told by they are not allowed to work in switzerland until their papers go through, which can take some time - so they have to turn to other ways to make money (prostitution and drugs) if you don't believe me go to the bus stop behind the train station in lugano at anytime, you will find them there. its sad but the swiss government should take some responsibility...

and for dress... well the swiss are wrong. some of the richest people and celebrities ive seen were wearing the cheapest casual clothes.
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