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  #41  
Old 21.04.2011, 09:14
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Re: Your opinion?

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So...wait....my options are:
a) Americans and Euros are shallow and drop good friends or don't make 'real' friends and the Swiss are equally difficult or
b) the problem is actually you and not everyone else
Hmmm.....
The "problem" may neither be American nor European, but linguistic. If in the English-speaking world, you change from "Mr/Mrs" to John and Ann, it does not mean that you are "friends", it is just a move to facilitate matters. In most of Continental Europe, you move over from "Sie"/"Hr-Fr" to the first name long AFTER having become friends.

Take a transparent map of the USA and put it over a Europe-map of the same scale, and watch the result. Enjoy ! It is why I strongly advocate the EU-entry of both Russia and Turkey at the earliest convenience ! Alternatively they might enter via some 500 Bilateral Treaties
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  #42  
Old 21.04.2011, 09:29
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

Integration is described officially as, (source is in French, at bottom of post)
the contribution to the integration of foreigners is seen in particular by:
a. respect for the law and the values ​​of the Federal Constitution;
b. learning the national language spoken at the place of residence;
c. knowledge of the Swiss way of life;
d. willingness to participate in economic life and to acquire training.


__________________________________________________ ___________

I exceed all the above requirements and honestly believe we are integrated here.

I have a few Swiss friends, but after 21 years here I still do not feel at home, I lived 12 years in Munich and feel much more at home there. I don't find the locals very accomodating or friendly, even though I speak F/D/E well enough to sell products and help people. They are very insular and patently wish to remain so.

But being integrated, it is now very difficult to return to my "Home" country. My children were born here, one of each sex, both are over 20 years old. I asked them if we should apply for Swiss citizenship and they both gave me an emphatic "No way!"
__________________________________________________ __________
http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/1/142.205.fr.pdf
La contribution des étrangers à l’intégration se manifeste notamment par:
a. le respect de l’ordre juridique et des valeurs de la Constitution fédérale;
b. l’apprentissage de la langue nationale parlée sur le lieu de domicile;
c. la connaissance du mode de vie suisse;
d. la volonté de participer à la vie économique et d’acquérir une formation.


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  #43  
Old 21.04.2011, 10:07
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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Integration is described officially as, (source is in French, at bottom of post)
the contribution to the integration of foreigners is seen in particular by:
a. respect for the law and the values ​​of the Federal Constitution;
b. learning the national language spoken at the place of residence;
c. knowledge of the Swiss way of life;
d. willingness to participate in economic life and to acquire training.


__________________________________________________ ___________

I exceed all the above requirements and honestly believe we are integrated here.

I have a few Swiss friends, but after 21 years here I still do not feel at home, I lived 12 years in Munich and feel much more at home there. I don't find the locals very accomodating or friendly, even though I speak F/D/E well enough to sell products and help people. They are very insular and patently wish to remain so.

But being integrated, it is now very difficult to return to my "Home" country. My children were born here, one of each sex, both are over 20 years old. I asked them if we should apply for Swiss citizenship and they both gave me an emphatic "No way!"
__________________________________________________ __________
http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/1/142.205.fr.pdf
La contribution des étrangers à l’intégration se manifeste notamment par:
a. le respect de l’ordre juridique et des valeurs de la Constitution fédérale;
b. l’apprentissage de la langue nationale parlée sur le lieu de domicile;
c. la connaissance du mode de vie suisse;
d. la volonté de participer à la vie économique et d’acquérir une formation.


While you can retain your old citizenship (double and even triple citizenship is legal in Switzerland), your son has a very understandable reason NOT to become CH-citizen until being past 30 years of age, and that is the military service
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  #44  
Old 21.04.2011, 14:05
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

In my opinion, many people in this thread are putting up imaginary barriers between themselves and the Swiss. SVP politics aside, what has to happen to make one feel integrated?

If someone lives here, has a job, speaks the language, makes local friends, eats fondue, drinks Feldschlösschen (well maybe not ), joins a club, raises kids here, etc., then what more needs to be done to feel integrated???

Integrating here in CH is a piece of cake, IMO. I don't look Swiss, my French isn't great, and it's true that some Swiss, for one reason or another, will never consider me as a Swiss. But sorry, I'm Swiss, I'm integrated.
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  #45  
Old 21.04.2011, 19:30
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

I wonder why it is so important for some to be integrated. I am not really integrated in the US and I don't care. I like my life here.
I don't watch football. I skip those superbowl parties etc...
I see some immigrants that are trying too hard to integrate (both in the US and Switzerland) and they usually get frustrated.
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  #46  
Old 21.04.2011, 19:47
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Re: Your opinion?

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It is not about me. It was the comment for the article. There is the link to the full article in my first post.
I found this opinion interesting because sometimes Americans find European as cold and not friendly. In my opinion it is much more difficult to integrate to Swiss or German culture and find new friends, but if you have been accepted you have friends forever. In the US for example it is very easy to find new friends, but it is very easy to lose them as well.

absolut 100% right
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Old 21.04.2011, 19:53
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Re: Your opinion?

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Yeah, but what is it?

I pay tax, have never broken the law, can tell the cashier at Migros that I've left my Cumulus card at home... but am I integrated?

Until someone actually tells me what I'm supposed to do to become integrated, then I'm quite happy bumbling along in my he's-not-swiss-but-he-seems-pleasant-enough kind of way.

What more can/should I do?
How can a Englishman integrate? not possible
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Old 21.04.2011, 20:06
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Re: Your opinion?

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How can a Englishman integrate? not possible
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Old 21.04.2011, 20:07
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

In Switzerland ,one is intergraded ,when the SVP BS becomes funny
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Old 21.04.2011, 20:18
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Re: Your opinion?

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The beard and the long hair are missing on the English.Not Integrated enough
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  #51  
Old 21.04.2011, 21:05
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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While you can retain your old citizenship (double and even triple citizenship is legal in Switzerland), your son has a very understandable reason NOT to become CH-citizen until being past 30 years of age, and that is the military service
You're wrong there Wolly, he enjoys killing people, so he would fail the entry test anyway!
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  #52  
Old 21.04.2011, 23:11
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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I wonder why it is so important for some to be integrated. I am not really integrated in the US and I don't care. I like my life here.
I don't watch football. I skip those superbowl parties etc...
I see some immigrants that are trying too hard to integrate (both in the US and Switzerland) and they usually get frustrated.
Learning, re-learning, improving other languages of course is work, but in general, integration should not be regarded as duty and work, but as pleasure and enjoyment. You should not take too many looks at restrictions but at opportunities and advantages.
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Old 21.04.2011, 23:15
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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You're wrong there Wolly, he enjoys killing people, so he would fail the entry test anyway!
No no no no , he would just be upgraded on the spot to the rank of an upper lieutenant, with the proposal to move up to captain, major and colonel-lieutenant and colonel. To become Bundesrat you do not need to be born in Switzerland

And would become member of the officer-club immediately
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Old 21.04.2011, 23:49
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

I've always felt at home here (if I didn't, I wouldn't still be here after 21 years). Heck, even the 4 years I spent in Zurich before moving to TI were OK (but not home, and I wonder if I'd have stayed so long here if I was still living up there).

Integrated? Well, several local farmers (and school teachers) wave when passing in their tractors or cars, the local garagist lets me use his welding equipment and other stuff, and I don't even have to tell them my name when I go to vote. Also, I'm personally acquainted with most of the members of Gotthard (including the late Steve Lee)

Tom
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Old 22.04.2011, 08:25
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

Reading all these posts I get the feeling that "integration" is something that goes both ways. Some foreigners are accepted, become part of the community (whatever that is supposed to be - somebody start a new thread on that subject OK?), without mastering the local lingo or adopting local habits. If the locals accept other "cultures" and the aliens are not too arrogant about their origin it usually works out. No way will a (example - no specific nationality bashing intended) German who speaks perfect Schwyzerdytsch but elbows his way around find it easy to be "integrated".

But I know quite a few Turks, Italian and other fellows who would be quite a loss, should they leave the "community".

Having been an expat in Asia for many years, I learnt it's not only me who has to make an effort at adapting, I also have to find the locals who will (gladly - and there are quite a few who will) have an interest in this "alien". It's just those who don't make a lot more noise and drown out those who do.

Welcome home! It's the same there: some folks accept you others don't.....

Last edited by green tea; 22.04.2011 at 08:29. Reason: typo
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Old 22.04.2011, 22:44
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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Reading all these posts I get the feeling that "integration" is something that goes both ways. Some foreigners are accepted, become part of the community (whatever that is supposed to be - somebody start a new thread on that subject OK?), without mastering the local lingo or adopting local habits. If the locals accept other "cultures" and the aliens are not too arrogant about their origin it usually works out. No way will a (example - no specific nationality bashing intended) German who speaks perfect Schwyzerdytsch but elbows his way around find it easy to be "integrated".

But I know quite a few Turks, Italian and other fellows who would be quite a loss, should they leave the "community".

Having been an expat in Asia for many years, I learnt it's not only me who has to make an effort at adapting, I also have to find the locals who will (gladly - and there are quite a few who will) have an interest in this "alien". It's just those who don't make a lot more noise and drown out those who do.

Welcome home! It's the same there: some folks accept you others don't.....
The Italians and Turks in question do NOT have to leave their "communities" but extend their network. Both sides profit from an intact "network".

Many Swiss people participate on several sides, with the "native Swiss" and some "ethnic" side. They far too often fear that "integration" means for them to give up their old native links. But this is a definite misunderstanding.
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Old 23.04.2011, 07:58
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

@Wolli: Agree with you on that mostly. I'm not sure if this was properly understood though: <....other fellows who would be quite a loss, should they leave the "community">.

There's no typo there, aka <at lost>, what I meant is that should those fellows pack their kit and return home it would be a loss to those left behind. A person who has not mastered local pronunciation and grammar is not necessarily daft, as is often presumed..... The insights they provide in dicsussions often shed a new and interesting light on whatever situation at hand - never mind the accent with which it is delivered.
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Old 23.04.2011, 08:41
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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@Wolli: Agree with you on that mostly. I'm not sure if this was properly understood though: <....other fellows who would be quite a loss, should they leave the "community">.

There's no typo there, aka <at lost>, what I meant is that should those fellows pack their kit and return home it would be a loss to those left behind. A person who has not mastered local pronunciation and grammar is not necessarily daft, as is often presumed..... The insights they provide in dicsussions often shed a new and interesting light on whatever situation at hand - never mind the accent with which it is delivered.
languages ? It has not much to do with "daft" or educated, but
A) whether you have your talents rather on the language side or rather on the mathematical side (there of course ARE people ++ on both sides !)
B) whether somebody regularily uses the local language at work
- examples for B) are two Portuguese neighbours here. Mr + Mrs B.... , he working as barkeeper and she working as waitress in a restaurant, are both used to speaking German, and so speak dialect perfectly well, more or less at least, as I can imagine that they sometimes have to "trace+track" for words (something supposedly happening to everybody in another language). Mr + Mrs P., he working as plasterer in a work-group of Portuguese and Italians, still has some problems with the dialect, but the man is not daft at all.
C) would either of them one day decide to move back to Portugal, they would be a "loss" for the Portuguese community here, and also for the companies where they work, but possibly a bonus for Portugal. THE question for them may rather be whether they still would feel at home in Portugal. I know a Turk who worked with Turkish Airlines, and upon retirement, while keeping his apartment in Zurich, for half a year lived in Istanbul, but came "back" and when I met him by chance in downtown, told me that he had decided to be "an old Turk in Zürich" . He regards as the fees for a CH-citizenship as too expensive, but gets the Swiss AHV, has an SBB-"General-Abonnement" and also otherwise is integrated here, with Swiss groups, with Turkish groups in Zürich and in München, so what
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Old 23.04.2011, 11:10
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

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http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_ne...l?cid=30029810

I have been in Switzerland for the best part of 10 years and have lived in Basel, Bern and Zug. I found Basel and Zug welcoming but have never integrated properly. I am a classic example of the "problem". I do agree many of us expats would like to make more contribution. Also of course it is partly our responsibility but I have lived in other developed countries and integrated much more easily. A friend of mine always said "Switzerland is like a five star hotel, you will feel comfortable but it will never be home". As I have not integrated over ten years, I am considering a return to my home country (an OECD country that competes with Switzerland for high quality of life cities!). Many expats come from developed countries where the lifestyle and economic opportunities are comparable to Switzerland so such options often make sense. Generally, I have a very high opinion of Switzerland. It is a great country and I love it so would be pleased to see more efforts made at integration. Longer term it is of advantage to Switzerland to attract and retain skilled people. It helps Switzerland continue to "punch above its weight" as it has always done. Good luck CH on these measures! It is a clear "win-win" for all concerned.
Meanwhile in Zug this week SVP says integrate or go home. I can understand the sentiment but a more accommodating attitude would be more helpful as this sounds somewhat hostile.
Generally though Zug is very welcoming.
If you have a hobby, find a club of locals and join it. Worked for me, and I don't make friends real easily.

In fact, I became a kind of 'rare breed' and was even sought out.
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Old 23.04.2011, 22:31
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Re: Breaking down integration barriers: your opinion?

Sometimes I think that in such culturally diverse place, without one national mentality to indetify with, this country unites in "integrating" newcomers.
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