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Old 24.03.2012, 10:37
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Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

I was trying to explain to some Swiss colleagues that one of the things I miss most from Britain is the eccentricity. To my amazement, they did not know what I was talking about. Perhaps I should have shown them this clip:


I have not seen any such eccentricity in Switzerland, but again, what is eccentric for me might just be plain normal or raving mad for someone else. Would you say the Swiss are a nation of eccentrics (my personal view is absolutely not, but I would love to be proven wrong)?
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Old 24.03.2012, 10:43
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Note that there is a large difference between Eccentricity and attention 'requesters' (to say it nicely) like the one you show in the vid or folks who just like to dress up once in their life and act out crazy.

You'll find both, not often, but if you go onto the streets you'll encounter them. There is for instance a guy in golden stretch and rollerskates skating on Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich.

For more eccentric people though, just go into the smaller villages where the larger houses are, they are all hiding there
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Old 24.03.2012, 10:54
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Let me see... costume, outsize mask, ear-bleedingly horrible music - Fasnacht anyone? Granted the unicycle is unusual. But Jeroen makes a good point, eccentric is more about having a different world view from 'normal' than doing the occasional daft thing. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell 'eccentric' here from 'tradition' - still learning about what's normal for Switzerland.
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Old 24.03.2012, 10:55
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Zürich has Rollerdude and the lady in HB
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Old 24.03.2012, 11:40
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Well, that is why it is so hard to define eccentricity. Attention seeking is one aspect of it, but there are many, more subtle ways to display eccentricity. Roald Dahl is an eccentric. So is Jenny Joseph, see clip below, yet she does not ride a monocycle with a Darth Vador mask and a kilt:




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Note that there is a large difference between Eccentricity and attention 'requesters' (to say it nicely) like the one you show in the vid or folks who just like to dress up once in their life and act out crazy.

You'll find both, not often, but if you go onto the streets you'll encounter them. There is for instance a guy in golden stretch and rollerskates skating on Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich.

For more eccentric people though, just go into the smaller villages where the larger houses are, they are all hiding there
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Old 24.03.2012, 15:28
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Here, the man in your link would be transferred the same day to THIS place here :







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I was trying to explain to some Swiss colleagues that one of the things I miss most from Britain is the eccentricity. To my amazement, they did not know what I was talking about. Perhaps I should have shown them this clip:


I have not seen any such eccentricity in Switzerland, but again, what is eccentric for me might just be plain normal or raving mad for someone else. Would you say the Swiss are a nation of eccentrics (my personal view is absolutely not, but I would love to be proven wrong)?
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Old 24.03.2012, 15:52
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

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Zürich has Rollerdude and the lady in HB
-
a very nice lady! I wish her eternal life, but one day in a not so distant future of course will be her last ....
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Old 24.03.2012, 15:56
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

I would say everywhere's got it's eccentrics...just look at these crazy cats:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14557170
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Old 24.03.2012, 16:54
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Darth Vader in a kilt is not eccentric, just an attention seeker. I've met plenty of real eccentrics here including René Wiedmer from Graubunden. I gave him a lift in my van once and he told me he is the Swiss champion Speed Yodeller.... he gave me a demonstration - one was enough for me to realise he did have a talent of some sorts and that he is a 100% true eccentric as he is absolutely serious about his talent.

I gave him a lift to the military airstrip in Glarus as he was to have the frequency of his speed yodelling measured against the noise frequency of a Swiss airforce jet taking off. I really doubted that he had managed to arrange this but we were met at the gates of the airstrip by a crowd of military police and airforce officers who proceeded to shake him by the hand and slap him on his back. It seems he is quite a celeb.

This is the only video I can find of him on the German "Supertalent" show in 2010. It is quite long and it is painful to watch.... he starts off with a ski-dance then a tennis racket rap dance before finally getting to his speed yodelling at about the 6.30 minute mark.

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Last edited by grumpygrapefruit; 24.03.2012 at 17:06. Reason: photo added
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Old 24.03.2012, 17:34
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?



Plenty of eccentric people here, especially in the villages you'll find no shortage of them. But if you define eccentrics as obvious attention-seekers then you're right, there aren't as many here.
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Old 24.03.2012, 19:06
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

I'm not sure there's real eccentricity, 'British' style. The essence of life for many Swiss seems to be to avoid breaking the rules. Difficult to be eccentric according to the rules!
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Old 24.03.2012, 21:08
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Eccentiricity is everywhere in the world. Why not in Switzerland? Look at the streets of the "big" cities at ngiht time...You will see it....
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Old 24.03.2012, 21:26
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

I see people showing off and being loud. That is not how I view eccentricity.




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Eccentiricity is everywhere in the world. Why not in Switzerland? Look at the streets of the "big" cities at night time...You will see it....
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Old 24.03.2012, 21:27
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

The lady with the big smiles and outstretched arms in Basel?
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Old 24.03.2012, 21:41
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

To me truly eccentric people do not care one bit if they are seen by anyone. They do what makes them happy or fulfill their life. What makes them eccentric is that they do things, believe certain ways or make use of their time in in ways that mainstream people would find odd and unusual. These people could care less if people give attention or not.
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Old 24.03.2012, 21:49
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

I think you've nailed it!

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To me truly eccentric people do not care one bit if they are seen by anyone. They do what makes them happy or fulfill their life. What makes them eccentric is that they do things, believe certain ways or make use of their time in in ways that mainstream people would find odd and unusual. These people could care less if people give attention or not.
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Old 24.03.2012, 22:22
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

Your question really made me think. As a Swiss kid from a rural area- going to live in London in 70 was just amazing - and yes, partly because I so loved the eccentricity - which was so evident with the punk scene, Carnaby Street before it sold out to big names, the markets, the music,etc.

Yes, it exists here in Switzerland- but it different, and not so much in your face. One of the reasons I just have to go to England often - just to get my fix.

Last edited by Odile; 24.03.2012 at 22:42.
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Old 24.03.2012, 22:30
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

thankfully i see more and more of it. for a couple of years i see this guy, short, stocky hairy guy, who wears kitten heels, neon bicycle shorts, a tank top and a very visible padded bra. sometimes he does his face, sometimes no, depends on his day, but he's also pretty hairy, so makeup isn't always a great option. he's pretty eccentric. he's my favorite eccentric, as he's all mine by neighborhood allegiance, but there's plenty more. even in the small towns.
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Old 25.03.2012, 00:16
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

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thankfully i see more and more of it. for a couple of years i see this guy, short, stocky hairy guy, who wears kitten heels, neon bicycle shorts, a tank top and a very visible padded bra. sometimes he does his face, sometimes no, depends on his day, but he's also pretty hairy, so makeup isn't always a great option. he's pretty eccentric. he's my favorite eccentric, as he's all mine by neighborhood allegiance, but there's plenty more. even in the small towns.
I think we all work with very different definitions and views of eccentricity. For some a darth vader guy on a unicycle is eccentric. For others it's people with very weird tastes in clothes. To me it's more of an inner quality, people who are extremely unique in their worldviews and character, they may seem completely normal at first glance but once you get to know them better they are insanely eccentric. Almost every village has a "Dorf-Original", they may look respectable at first but beware if you start a conversation with them...
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Old 25.03.2012, 00:27
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Re: Eccentricity in Switzerland: does it exist?

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I think we all work with very different definitions and views of eccentricity. For some a darth vader guy on a unicycle is eccentric. For others it's people with very weird tastes in clothes. To me it's more of an inner quality, people who are extremely unique in their worldviews and character, they may seem completely normal at first glance but once you get to know them better they are insanely eccentric. Almost every village has a "Dorf-Original", they may look respectable at first but beware if you start a conversation with them...
exactly. that's why i like to stop in small towns and find them. and most cafes have at least one.
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