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Old 17.11.2011, 08:20
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Swiss love foreigners

Hello,

I wanted to share a quote from a very interesting economist article I just found:

"... the intriguing marriage patterns of the Swiss. The country has one of the highest rates of international marriage in the world (surpassed only by Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Cyprus). But the Swiss “marry out” in particular ways. The German-speaking Swiss marry largely neighbouring Germans; the Francophone Swiss marry the French; Italian-speakers marry Italians. It is the same with Belgians: Flemish-speakers tend to marry Dutch partners, Walloons marry French people. Language, it appears, remains a persistent barrier to international marriage in Europe and the spread of English as a second language does not seem to have changed that."


I guess that the impression that Swiss citizens tend to keep to themselves is not totally true

Cheers,
H
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:03
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

Maybe when the Swiss finally figure out what their partners are saying to them after a couple of years of marriage, you'll understand why the divorce rate is one of the highest in the world.
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:15
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Maybe when the Swiss finally figure out what their partners are saying to them after a couple of years of marriage, you'll understand why the divorce rate is one of the highest in the world.
So why not Swiss marry Austriac ? They also speak german.
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:27
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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So why not Swiss marry Austriac ? They also speak german.
I would better say the Swiss love their neighbors. About the Austrians, AFAIK they only make jokes about them.
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:34
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

It's the need for new blood.
In small countries, and communities - especially in the mountains - too much inter-breeding has taken place over the generations.
Once you get out of the cities, you'll find that most villages are inhabited by people who all share one of only 10 different family names.

Maybe because I used to live close to a handicapped home, and was more aware of the level of incidence, but I also believe per %age of population, there is a higher number of handicapped people here as in other European countries, due to the insufficient mixing of blood.
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:52
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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I wanted to share a quote from a very interesting economist article I just found:
Hold on a second... Why should we trust what an economist has to say about relationships and marriage patterns? From what we know they are not generally good at spotting patterns
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:56
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Maybe because I used to live close to a handicapped home, and was more aware of the level of incidence, but I also believe per %age of population, there is a higher number of handicapped people here as in other European countries, due to the insufficient mixing of blood.
Wow! What a way to insult the swiss

I believe what you say is utter rubbish IMHO.
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Old 17.11.2011, 09:58
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Maybe when the Swiss finally figure out what their partners are saying to them after a couple of years of marriage, you'll understand why the divorce rate is one of the highest in the world.

Except that this is not true. The divorce rate is actually about average, for westernized countries that is.
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Old 17.11.2011, 10:08
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Wow! What a way to insult the swiss

I believe what you say is utter rubbish IMHO.
Just an observation from living in small village land.

In addition to the residents of the nearby home (who are severely handicapped), I personally know several, and am aware of other families, with at least one member of the household with special needs.

It is no accident that the Swiss themselves have a saying, along the lines of:
"The closer to the mountains, the more stupid the people"
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Old 17.11.2011, 10:11
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It's the need for new blood.
In small countries, and communities - especially in the mountains - too much inter-breeding has taken place over the generations.
Once you get out of the cities, you'll find that most villages are inhabited by people who all share one of only 10 different family names.

Maybe because I used to live close to a handicapped home, and was more aware of the level of incidence, but I also believe per %age of population, there is a higher number of handicapped people here as in other European countries, due to the insufficient mixing of blood.
I have to say, I think there may be something to this. Not with the intention of insulting those affected, of course, but I have observed the same thing. I don't know about the exact numbers of disability incidence, and they do have heavy congregation that may not be as prevalent in other places, making it appear as though they are more - but the concept of the villagers having a problem with in-breeding is a concept that isn't foreign to many of the born-Swiss I've spoken to.
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Old 17.11.2011, 10:39
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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I have to say, I think there may be something to this. Not with the intention of insulting those affected, of course, but I have observed the same thing. I don't know about the exact numbers of disability incidence, and they do have heavy congregation that may not be as prevalent in other places, making it appear as though they are more - but the concept of the villagers having a problem with in-breeding is a concept that isn't foreign to many of the born-Swiss I've spoken to.
We can either have an intellectual debate based on facts and figures or a silly one based on anecdotes and limited exposure to the subjects being described which leads to bias. It's clear that living next to disabled people's home you are going to see a lot of disabled people! Regardless whether it's in the mountains or a thriving metropolis

It's like saying I live on a street with only black people living there and only one of them has a job, and therefore you jump to the conclusion that most black people don't like to work!

Your theory that inbreeding leads to increased disabilities or recessive disorders has long been proven it's just the way you are trying to reprove it which may seem insulting to some people who might be living in the mountains.
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Old 17.11.2011, 10:44
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Wow! What a way to insult the swiss

I believe what you say is utter rubbish IMHO.
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but the concept of the villagers having a problem with in-breeding is a concept that isn't foreign to many of the born-Swiss I've spoken to.

How is this "insulting" to the Swiss specifically? Sure it was brought up in their name here BUT there is the same problem "everywhere" where there are small communities, in whatever way it is that makes the community small.

Whether it is a community hemmed in by mountains, on a small island - or whether it is a community which is artificially small due to religious or political restrictions, inbreeding is something that has happened and probably will always happen somewhere, sometimes, no matter what country.

This artificially small community inbreeding can be seen due to the historical prevalence of hemophilia among royals.

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The hemophilia blood disorder became known as the royal disease because Queen Victoria was a carrier and passed the carrier status down to many of her daughters. In those days the royal families of many of the nations of Europe would marry into each others families.
This caused several generations of royalty to become affected by the hemophilia gene.
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Old 17.11.2011, 10:58
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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We can either have an intellectual debate based on facts and figures or a silly one based on anecdotes and limited exposure to the subjects being described which leads to bias. It's clear that living next to disabled people's home you are going to see a lot of disabled people! Regardless whether it's in the mountains or a thriving metropolis
Unfortunately due to my services being soon required elsewhere I have insufficient time to check figures or get involved in a multi-post debate, but as I've previously stated ......

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Maybe because I used to live close to a handicapped home, and was more aware of the level of incidence
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Just an observation from living in small village land.
..... for 11 years.

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Your theory that inbreeding leads to increased disabilities or recessive disorders has long been proven it's just the way you are trying to reprove it which may seem insulting to some people who might be living in the mountains.
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It is no accident that the Swiss themselves have a saying, along the lines of:
"The closer to the mountains, the more stupid the people"
Only yesterday did exactly this crop up in a conversation between my Swiss wife and a Swiss family friend, who both grew up in this region.

Maybe it's a regional thing.
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Old 17.11.2011, 11:01
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Only yesterday did exactly this crop up in a conversation between my Swiss wife and a Swiss family friend, who both grew up in this region.
Ah, keeping up on family affairs?

(I have had my fair share of contact with disabled/handicapped people from a young age - shame to see that so many people still have a 17th century attitude..whateva)
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Old 17.11.2011, 11:32
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

Wow, this thread took a strange turn right from the get-go. I'm going to go a different direction.

I have been surprised how many of our couple friends here are mixed nationality. Almost all of them in fact. I am more likely to meet these couples I suppose, but I think there is some truth to the claims presented by the OP. And it does feel paradoxical in some ways...my experiences of feeling like "the other" as a foreigner, contrasted with so many mixed couples where obviously those differences and diversity are appreciated.
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Old 17.11.2011, 12:11
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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How is this "insulting" to the Swiss specifically? Sure it was brought up in their name here BUT there is the same problem "everywhere" where there are small communities, in whatever way it is that makes the community small..
Well because it was brought up in the name of the Swiss, which is utter nonsense. Most Swiss don't live in small comunities in the mountains and that has been true for hundreds of years.


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Whether it is a community hemmed in by mountains, on a small island - or whether it is a community which is artificially small due to religious or political restrictions, inbreeding is something that has happened and probably will always happen somewhere, sometimes, no matter what country. .
What you forget is that Switzerland is a small country, but is part of a heavily populated continent, with whom there has been a lot of mobility for a very long time. For example, since 1900, there have never been less than 5% of foreigners in Switzerland (which is higher than what many european countries have now) and only between 1935 and 1955 the percentage of foreigners was lower than 7.5%.From 1900 to 1920 the percentage was higher than 10% (15% in 1915) and since about 1965 the percentage has never been lower than 15%.

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This artificially small community inbreeding can be seen due to the historical prevalence of hemophilia among royals.

Yes, it can, in small villages, in the mountains, where very few people live.
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Old 17.11.2011, 12:47
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Wow, this thread took a strange turn right from the get-go. I'm going to go a different direction.

I have been surprised how many of our couple friends here are mixed nationality. Almost all of them in fact. I am more likely to meet these couples I suppose, but I think there is some truth to the claims presented by the OP. And it does feel paradoxical in some ways...my experiences of feeling like "the other" as a foreigner, contrasted with so many mixed couples where obviously those differences and diversity are appreciated.
Young, educated and well-travelled Swiss are much more likely to have a foreign gf than our slightly more local peers. The only friend I have who's never had a foreign gf is a car mechanic in the village I grew up in.
Swiss youth are much, much more international than some sheltered/clueless expats give them credit for.
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Old 17.11.2011, 12:52
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Young, educated and well-travelled Swiss are much more likely to have a foreign gf than our slightly more local peers. The only friend I have who's never had a foreign gf is a car mechanic in the village I grew up in.
Swiss youth are much, much more international than some sheltered/clueless expats give them credit for.
I agree. This is a generalization, but I think they are also more international than most of my peers in my home country, which could partly be explained by the difference country sizes, but I think it is more than that. Just out of curiousity simon_ch, what do you think the attraction is (if there is a common denominator?)
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Old 17.11.2011, 14:15
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Re: Swiss love foreigners

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Just out of curiousity simon_ch, what do you think the attraction is (if there is a common denominator?)
Not sure there's a single denominator, I would say it's a combination of factors.
1)many Swiss men find it much easier to meet girls abroad, they are much more sought after than with Swiss girls.
2) young/educated Swiss often enjoy speaking foreign languages and communication is less of a problem than elsewhere.
3) A lot of the current wave of immigration are young, educated professionals mostly from Europe, therefore potential dating partners. Plus, there are a lot of foreign students at Swiss Unis.
4) We travel a lot and meet girls :-)
5) It's often not a conscious decision (not to date a Swiss girl), it's rather who you meet
6) It's perfectly normal/accepted to have a foreign gf, no social stigma attached in whatever form

Some of my friends have had Swiss girlfriends and are now dating a foreign girl and vice-versa. I only have one friend who has a clear preference for one nationality/look, the rest is pretty open-minded, as long as she's hot it's all good.
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Old 17.11.2011, 14:24
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Re: Swiss love foreigners



Maybe this is why the Swiss marry foreigners...
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