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Old 30.07.2011, 22:47
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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I'm from North London, it's basically the same over here, there are the Whites where no one cares about if you have Polish, Irish or English origins, African or Caribbean origins if you're Black and then there are the Asians including Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis etc.
Personally I have Jamaican roots but I consider myself as a Black Englishman, people are getting worked up over nothing tbh.
If you were to have posted "Any good looking white women in Zurich?" They would have been like "This black guys here to take our women and destroy the fabric of Swiss society. He should have just asked about the black women"....

Some times your damned if you do and youre damned of if you dont. But on the EF its some times best to keep your cards to your chest for the first few weeks.
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Old 30.07.2011, 22:48
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

I am black. Have lived, gone to school, worked, what have you in predominantly white communities my entire life. I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me. However, only in Switzerland have I ever had such a profound sense of my own "blackness" (whatever that means).

I am not at all uncomfortable interacting with people outside of my race. I generally don't notice. But, for example, when I go on a mountain vacation and go for DAYS without seeing another black person, you better believe I notice . And when I finally do see another black person, my smile might be just a little bit bigger than normal when I give my friendly hello.

Moreover, there are certain daily life questions relative to race and ethnicity that are best answered by people of the same race and ethnicity. It's nice to know who to ask for such questions. For example, I still don't know where to get my hair done, but thanks to ProsperityJoy I'll be sure to check out Kreis 4 next time I'm Zurich.

It's hard being new in town and that's without a new language and new culture. I am not surprised that someone might be curious about whether there are other people "like them" around even if it's only a superficial similarity.
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Old 30.07.2011, 22:54
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Moreover, there are certain daily life questions relative to race and ethnicity that are best answered by people of the same race and ethnicity. It's nice to know who to ask for such questions.
.
Like where to buy food?

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Old 30.07.2011, 22:59
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

There is also another issue I'd like to point out. Switzerland doesn't have a formal immigration history of black people, and from what I've noticed, black people here in Switzerland tend to certainly reinforce any misconceived stereotypes. This is mainly because, all we get here are 2nd class citizens of a 3rd world country (political and economical refugees), whom don't integrate well into society (don't learn the language etc.) and don't necessarily have a steady, gainful employment. These aforementioned facts, makes it gard to establish a meaningful friendship/connection with a visible minorty in Switzerland.
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Old 30.07.2011, 23:00
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

my friends and i always respond to a weird comment like that:

"WTF is juice?"
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Old 30.07.2011, 23:08
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Like where to buy food?
I was in my late-20s when I first heard about the whole "black people and watermelon" stereotype. Watermelon has been one of my most favorite foods my entire life. One of those foods I drone on and on about when I get a good one. All of a sudden I almost felt embarrassed when I realized what many people were probably thinking all these years when I would go on and on about my watermelon passion .
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Old 30.07.2011, 23:09
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

Don't be offended Devondre, even had you asked "Are there many blonds in Switzerland" you would have gotten more questions and speculations about your motivations, and "What's wrong with brunettes?!?" derivatives, than answers. Seems to be the nature of forums.
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Old 30.07.2011, 23:14
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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These aforementioned facts, makes it hard to establish a meaningful friendship/connection with a visible minorty in Switzerland.
Among other things.

I have a Swiss last name and my first name could very easily be Swiss. There's just a certain look I get when I am nowhere near the mental model they had created based on my name and telephone conversations. I think it's happened to me at every single job interview I've ever had .
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Old 30.07.2011, 23:16
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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I was in my late-20s when I first heard about the whole "black people and watermelon" stereotype. Watermelon has been one of my most favorite foods my entire life. One of those foods I drone on and on about when I get a good one. All of a sudden I almost felt embarrassed when I realized what many people were probably thinking all these years when I would go on and on about my watermelon passion .
You were Genetically Predisposed.....!

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Old 30.07.2011, 23:41
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

I'm finding a lot of these answers to the OP very strange., to me it was a perfectly reasonable question.
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Old 31.07.2011, 01:11
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

most people on here won't believe it,but this is a reasonable question.
i lived all my life in switzerland and 8 years in zürich.yes there are black people, you find americans,jamaicans,british,haitians,latinos and africans.you're you're in zürich, it's most multycultural city in switzerland and a lot of people speak english.
i used to do my exotic-foodshopping next to the railwaystation örlikon(that's 5 minutes from the city with the metro) in an asian market(cause many foodstores in loongstreet just rip you off), and for skin and hairproducts(also foods sometimes) i went to http://www.beautyessence.ch/ which is 5minutes by foot from the asian store.

if you have any questions about parties or if you want me to ask some of my friends to link up with you just let me know.

welcome to switzerland :-)
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Old 31.07.2011, 01:14
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Have I said that, no, so your post is completely inappropriate and polemic.
I merely wanted to know if there are many black people in Zurich, I haven't said I wanted to meet them. It was a question out of interest, nothing else.

Still, I'd completely understand it if some white guy from England was asking if there are many white people in some South African town he has to work in.
Thanks for the clarification. Since an old schoolfreind a few months ago asked tme after his visit to Wien/Vienna "what is better about Wien than about Zürich" and his "self-reply" was "there are not so many blacks there as here", I started to realize the extent of racism still around. BUT you and other ethnic minorities should NOT surrender. If you are up to surrender, then alright, ask the SVPlers where to go, if you ask ME, MY advice is to stay (this may not be easy I admit). If you believe that the world in the place of ancestors of you now has become good or at least as it ought to be, I cannot stop you.
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Old 31.07.2011, 01:38
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Well in the US when youre black, youre black.... Where I am from 80% of the population is black and no one really cares what anyones origin is. So Im guessing he is from the US. Perhaps Im wrong, but this is normal in the US.

In the US no gives a shiit if youre from Germany, France, Oz etc... If youre white, youre white..... I think you guys are getting worked up over nothing to be honest. I wouldnt take it personal.
Just to clarify this, in Switzerland, most "Blacks" are either from Africa or from regions of Asia (Tamil Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, etc). Blacks from the USA are a minority among "Blacks".

Then, also to have it mentioned, going out and getting around, any you can see quite easily how it is. And this "black is black" thesis ? It hardly represents reality in Black Africa or in Europe.
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Old 31.07.2011, 01:55
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Weird yes, and almost racist if you ask me. I could understand the Op if the question was along the lines of any Caribbeans, or Guyanans, Kenyans, or Nigerians here, but just asking about black people is purely a differentiation based on race and not origin. Hence my question. Many people come on here looking for people from their country...Now, I still wonder what would happen if I posted asking if there are any white people here.

Still, Op is a newbie so I had best bite my tongue and extend a welcome to the forum and to Zurich.
I assume you're not black then.
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Old 31.07.2011, 01:58
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Why the concern about how many black people live where? Even though sometimes it may sound or feel good to see someone who looks familiar, the important thing is to try to integrate with all people. Maybe easier said than done in Switzerland though.
Maybe I missed something, but I don't detect any concern in his original post. What did I miss?
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Old 31.07.2011, 02:10
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Züriche)

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Hi

Will you move there permanently?

Yes that is are plan.
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Old 31.07.2011, 02:16
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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I'm from North London, it's basically the same over here, there are the Whites where no one cares about if you have Polish, Irish or English origins, African or Caribbean origins if you're Black and then there are the Asians including Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis etc.
Personally I have Jamaican roots but I consider myself as a Black Englishman, people are getting worked up over nothing tbh.
> the same over here ? Where here ? In Europe, people DO care whether somebody is from Poland or from Italy or from England or from France or from Portugal.
> people from the Indian subcontinent look enormously different depending on where they are coming from, with "Black" people from the South and "Europeans" from the North. An Indian businessmen , with who and his wife talked in Dubai, told me that his nation was as large and as diverse as if all the countries between Oslo and Ouagadougou were ONE country, but that the Indians of course also saw the "ethnic" differences. He laughed when I told him that I would have taken his wife as a Ticinesi woman (he KNEW Ticino ! ) and that he looked like Giovanni Agnelli.
> Ile de Gorée : it is the Euro-Arab Auschwitz. The place where European and Arab slave-traders handed over the "goods" to Euro-American shippers. Whenever the facts were/are known, it still was shocking
> New Orleans & Algiers-Louisiana : We had a black tour-guide, and when he had explained about Algiers-LA on the other side of the Mississippi-Missouri, I asked him whether he was aware of the fact that people in "real" Algiers did not look like him but like me, he confirmed that he DID knew, but that Algiers was the last African spot, the "loading seaport" they had either seen or heard about, and that the name therefore was taken for the emerging town when the former owner (of plantation and folks) proposed in 1866 to make the whole thing into a co-operative
> back to Africans in Zurich : the main-difference is invisible, I think also to them, and that is the difference between English and French speaking Africans.

The "Black-White-Asian" notion you mentioned is the thing out of the old Apartheid regime you and your forefathers experienced in South Africa and was the ideology of that regime.

Back again, go out, meet people, talk about whatever you have in your mind, and drop hesitations !


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If you were to have posted "Any good looking white women in Zurich?" They would have been like "This black guys here to take our women and destroy the fabric of Swiss society. He should have just asked about the black women"....

Some times your damned if you do and youre damned of if you dont. But on the EF its some times best to keep your cards to your chest for the first few weeks.
What about a bit of diplomacy

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my friends and i always respond to a weird comment like that:

"WTF is juice?"
You CAN do so because you are a "White"


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I was in my late-20s when I first heard about the whole "black people and watermelon" stereotype. Watermelon has been one of my most favorite foods my entire life. One of those foods I drone on and on about when I get a good one. All of a sudden I almost felt embarrassed when I realized what many people were probably thinking all these years when I would go on and on about my watermelon passion .
Here in Zurich, NOBODY ! I never heard about this "black people ad watermelon" thing until a few weeks ago.


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Last edited by Wollishofener; 31.07.2011 at 03:05.
  #38  
Old 31.07.2011, 13:33
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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Weird yes, and almost racist if you ask me. I could understand the Op if the question was along the lines of any Caribbeans, or Guyanans, Kenyans, or Nigerians here, but just asking about black people is purely a differentiation based on race and not origin. Hence my question. Many people come on here looking for people from their country...Now, I still wonder what would happen if I posted asking if there are any white people here.

Still, Op is a newbie so I had best bite my tongue and extend a welcome to the forum and to Zurich.
How can you be almost racist? Try to explain that... ...because I think you are or are not. In the OP's case there may be many reasons why he asked in that way, maybe he wants to look for music venues, start a business, etc. So why be so dramatic?
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Old 31.07.2011, 13:37
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

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How can you be almost racist? Try to explain that... ...because I think you are or are not. In the OP's case there may be many reasons why he asked in that way, maybe he wants to look for music venues, start a business, etc. So why be so dramatic?
It isn't so black and white as you think, no pun intended. Prima facie, the question is to me racist, but not being in full possession of the nature or intent of the Op, I cannot quite come to that conclusion. "Almost" meaning borderline/debatable.

Also, my question was quite simple... Nothing dramatic (except the interpretations).

Hope that helps.
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Old 31.07.2011, 13:43
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Re: Black people in Switzerland (Zürich)

I understood the question as "will I stick out like a sore thumb?" - which seems like a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

If I was going to live in some random town in China, I'd also want to know whether I'd be 'just another European' or 'the most fascinating object of curiosity since Gladys Aylward passed through'.

Nothing racist about being forewarned and forearmed.
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