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  #61  
Old 06.05.2012, 18:26
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

OP: You'd like to work on Christian holidays? Easy.

Get a job in the hospitality industry.
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  #62  
Old 06.05.2012, 18:27
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Ascension excludes all Swiss who are not Christian.
In what way?

You still get the day off to do what you like, so how is that exclusion?

Tom
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  #63  
Old 06.05.2012, 18:30
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Swiss National Day is not religious. If you are a Swiss muslin, the holiday is still important to you. Anyone who is Swiss. Again, my issue stems from religious, not national holidays. Swiss national day does not exclude anyone Swiss. Ascension excludes all Swiss who are not Christian.

Christmas is the one exception because it has really lost any semblance of religion. I have Jewish friends who put up a tree and give out presents. It is all commercial now. Tell me how it is fair that my Jewish student was supposed to come to school on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but was told he had to stay home on good Friday and Ascension.
Surely your Jewish student's parents could have asked your Head Master/Mistress for a day off for those important festivals. After all it is a private international school - so some flexibility should be there. Even in CH there are a couple of days 'grace' for special occasions.

Does your private international school not have a boarding house? Couldn't you volunteer to work on those days and ask for time in lieu, if having a couple of 'Christian' days off gives you the heeby jeebies?
BTW most Christian festival dates are based on old pagan traditions of course.
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Old 06.05.2012, 18:49
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Swiss National Day is not religious. If you are a Swiss muslin, the holiday is still important to you. Anyone who is Swiss. Again, my issue stems from religious, not national holidays. Swiss national day does not exclude anyone Swiss. Ascension excludes all Swiss who are not Christian.
But non-christians get a day-off as well. So they cannot really be excluded, can they?

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Christmas is the one exception because it has really lost any semblance of religion. I have Jewish friends who put up a tree and give out presents. It is all commercial now. Tell me how it is fair that my Jewish student was supposed to come to school on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but was told he had to stay home on good Friday and Ascension.
I actually I do not really see your point and I suppose that it is partly formed by the fact, that in the US Christmas is the only national holyday with a religious background. Thus you consider it to be more of a cultural holiday then a religious one. For most Swiss the fact that days like good friday, ascession are off is just a tradition.

Conserning your students: I really wonder why your school (which seems to be an "International" school after all) has such a harsh policy. Generally I think that the common practice in most Swiss Schools is, that students of other religion can get their important holidays off, but maybe that only applies for public schools.
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/...story/10442522
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  #65  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:10
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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In what way?

You still get the day off to do what you like, so how is that exclusion?

Tom
By forcing people to take Ascension and Good Friday etc, you do not allow them to take off their religious holidays. This is total crap. At my school, if you are not sick and take a day off, you forfeit the pay. This is a reasonable policy and one that many business have. So if you are Christian, you get all your holidays off...paid. If you are not christian, you have to have a few days of docked pay if you wan to observe your faiths holiday. Seems unfair to me.
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  #66  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:17
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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By forcing people to take Ascension and Good Friday etc, you do not allow them to take off their religious holidays. This is total crap. At my school, if you are not sick and take a day off, you forfeit the pay. This is a reasonable policy and one that many business have. So if you are Christian, you get all your holidays off...paid. If you are not christian, you have to have a few days of docked pay if you wan to observe your faiths holiday. Seems unfair to me.
Right. This is all about money. Why didn't you say so?

Look, even the Swiss admit the irony of making Christian holidays into public holidays with so few active Christians around. However, the Swiss love having official days off and thus, these holidays are a part of their "quality of life". It might not be yours, but it's definitely theirs. And since you are Switzerland, you're just going to have to put up with it.

Or start a petition and collect signatures....
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  #67  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:18
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Swiss National Day is not religious. If you are a Swiss muslin, the holiday is still important to you. Anyone who is Swiss. Again, my issue stems from religious, not national holidays. Swiss national day does not exclude anyone Swiss. Ascension excludes all Swiss who are not Christian.

Christmas is the one exception because it has really lost any semblance of religion. I have Jewish friends who put up a tree and give out presents. It is all commercial now. Tell me how it is fair that my Jewish student was supposed to come to school on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but was told he had to stay home on good Friday and Ascension.
Do you not feel excluded as an American? Do you feel as an American you should get the 4th of July off?
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  #68  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:18
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

I have tried so hard to stay polite and positive and not groan - but this time I just couldn't resist. Basta, enough - struuuuf.

You were talking about students - and they are not paid are they? So parents ask for the day off for those very special occasions. If you have a boarding school, as most private schools have, volunteer to work during holidays and have time in lieu. Or yes - take the day off and forfeit pay - it is YOUR choice to work in a country with a different culture.

Mind you, I am sure how Christians would get on if they asked for time off for Good Friday in Saudi?
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  #69  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:37
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Do you not feel excluded as an American? Do you feel as an American you should get the 4th of July off?
This has nothing to do with nationality, nor is this a "Swiss" issue. I used to have the same issue back in the US, but in the last decade or so, every religious holiday is no longer nationally celebrated with the exception of Christmas. With the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving, most other holidays celebrated in the US are not shuttered. My father is head of sales and marketing at a small firm in Massachusetts. He always chooses to work on Veterans Day, Presidents Day and Memorial Day and he uses those "floating" holidays in the summer to see us when we come to visit. He is only forced to take off Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. Most school districts have taken an all or nothing approach. My old school district had no religious holidays at all and Christmas was rolled into "winter break" and we were not allowed to call it otherwise. On the flip-side, some districts have school days off for all major religious holidays (the important ones at least) Most schools have realized that it is unfair to give days off to Christians, but no one else. Why should a kid have to miss a day of school to observe his non-christian day?
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:41
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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This has nothing to do with nationality, nor is this a "Swiss" issue.
It has everything to do with nationality and its history. Politics, nationalism and religion are all woven into one big spider web that tries to capture one thing: power.
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  #71  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:46
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

In absolute terms, I find the Swiss quiet-Sunday norms quite nice. However, I am not particularly fond of Protestant church bells interrupting my late-Sunday evening nap with an encore by the Catholic church an hour later. Otherwise, my life is not dramatically affected by religion in CH.

In relative terms, my experience is that CH is fairly benign in terms of public religious dogma. I would not lob this compliment at the United States, however. Of the other dozen countries my wife and I have lived in, some are better and some are worse in this regard.

I am not saying CH has found the golden key to happiness, and, as an atheist, I too dislike state supported religion in any form. However, there is also a coordination problem with too much heterogeneous behaviour. I.e., a workplace cannot usually function with only one atheist employee on Christmas.
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  #72  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:48
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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It has everything to do with nationality and its history. Politics, nationalism and religion are all woven into one big spider web.
True for the past and in many homogenous areas, but many places are beginning to realize with the mixing of people, the migration of cultures and the rise of science and technology, that religion is being pulled out of the mix of current culture. Of course there are places with almost no immigration and nearly 100% of the population is of the same belief system, but last time I checked Switzerland was nearly 25% non-Swiss. There is a huge rise of Islam, hindi and jewish faiths. The US used to have a similar Christian only approach, but as times changed, they had to as well. Some politicians try to force it back in, but it only really works in small concentrated areas like the deep south. Maybe a canton like Appenzeller might not have this issue, but Bern with its embassies, Geneva with the international influence and Zurich with it's large foreign populations should start to change with the times.
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  #73  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:49
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

But surely if people are allowed to take all the days off related to their religion, Eid, Navrati, Diwali, etc, etc, etc, - society would become even more religious dominated, no?

So, you stay and live in your own culture, and take off all your traditional and religious days off (even though you are not religious - a day off is always good to take) - or YOU MAKE THE CHOICE to live in a different culture, and yes, to some extent you need to adapt. When I lived in the UK, I never expected the national holidays to mirror the Swiss system. Not assimilate, but adapt... a bit. Kids can ask for those special days off - I am sure they want SUFFER from having the odd day off- and International private schools should be able to deal with this. Staff can ask to take them off, give them back in lieu, or forfeit pay (or agree that they've made a mistake to come and live in a different culture and re-assess their priorities).
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:52
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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True for the past and in many homogenous areas, but many places are beginning to realize with the mixing of people, the migration of cultures and the rise of science and technology, that religion is being pulled out of the mix of current culture.
Do you seriously think Christian holidays are pulled out of US culture due to the "migration of cultures and rise of science and technology"????

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Of course there are places with almost no immigration and nearly 100% of the population is of the same belief system, but last time I checked Switzerland was nearly 25% non-Swiss. There is a huge rise of Islam, hindi and jewish faiths. The US used to have a similar Christian only approach, but as times changed, they had to as well.
Which percentage of US businesses close down for Islam, Hindu and Jewish holidays?
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:54
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Maybe a canton like Appenzeller might not have this issue, but Bern with its embassies, Geneva with the international influence and Zurich with it's large foreign populations should start to change with the times.
So, what do you propose, eliminate all of these traditional vacation days?

Sorry, but eliminating holidays because of their religious roots is PC nonsense.

Why should things change? This is the way things work here, deal with it.

Oh, and I am 100% atheist, I just like the extra 12 religious holidays in addition to the two non-religious ones (1st of August and 1st of January).

Tom
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  #76  
Old 06.05.2012, 19:59
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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But surely if people are allowed to take all the days off related to their religion, Eid, Navrati, Diwali, etc, etc, etc, - society would become even more religious dominated, no?
This is a fair point. But if the Jewish employee could work good Friday and take off Rash Hashanah, the Muslin could work on Ascension and take off Eid etc. each person would essentially have the same amount of holiday time. Much like my father works on Memorial Day so he can use the day to spend time with us. You don't give everybody all religious holidays, but allow them to choose. I bet you would find that even some Christians would rather work on Ascension and use the day at a more oppertune time time of the year instead of fleeing with the entire European population. My wish is for fairness across faiths. Making one faith seem more important by honoring all their holidays and none of the rest in many ways makes the others feel less important.
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Old 06.05.2012, 20:03
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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This is a fair point. But if the Jewish employee could work good Friday and take off Rash Hashanah, the Muslin could work on Ascension and take off Eid etc. each person would essentially have the same amount of holiday time. Much like my father works on Memorial Day so he can use the day to spend time with us. You don't give everybody all religious holidays, but allow them to choose. I bet you would find that even some Christians would rather work on Ascension and use the day at a more oppertune time time of the year instead of fleeing with the entire European population. My wish is for fairness across faiths. Making one faith seem more important by honoring all their holidays and none of the rest in many ways makes the others feel less important.
What about birthdays?
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  #78  
Old 06.05.2012, 20:03
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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I would rather work on Ascension and goog Friday and Easter Monday and whatever other damn catholic holiday is coming at the end of may and use those days elsewhere. So while religion is not being directly forced on me, I am being forced to take a day when I do not want to.
Hah - ever seen how it works in Germany with the car-manufacturers?
They have "Werksferien" in the summer. You just get to take your holidays there. No discussion.
When there are holidays, where most of the people would take a day off anyway, it makes sense to send everybody home.
How much can you do at work without your co-workers?
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  #79  
Old 06.05.2012, 20:07
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

Well perhaps you should ask your dad why - as he runs a business I think he would clearly see the reasons why infinite choice would play havoc with small businesses! And as you are a teacher (like I was in one of the most multicultural towns in the UK) - what would happen if all the kids, teachers and staff had all their traditional days off and expect to be in school on official holidays. Would staff not be forced to come and teach and supervise them, and how democratic would that be? Pandemonium, NO?

I do hope you find a way to enjoy your stay in Switzerland. If only you could leave your anger and your desire to turn CH into the US (ooops not the US, just your little bit where religious nuts do not rule over others) - you might begin to see the good sides of living here - or take stock and decide what you want for your future. Otherwise - do stay as long as you wish, complain as much as you like - and make your life a misery. As always, YOUR choice, but I'll leave you to it. Bonne chance.

PS - I do not normally correct spelling errors made by Forum members. However, out of respect for our friends of the Islamic faith, could we please use the correct word 'Muslim' (not muslin- this is used fro straining cheese or jelly). Thanks.

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Old 06.05.2012, 20:13
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Re: Living in a Religious Dominated Place

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Tell me how it is fair that my Jewish student was supposed to come to school on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but was told he had to stay home on good Friday and Ascension.
Do you realise that people of other religions are entitled to take time with pay to attend religious services on days that are significant to their religion?

And as for the rest, nobody is forcing you to celebrate these holidays, you have a free day to do what you want, within reason and provided you respect our culture and traditions. Is it really that difficult for you to adapt? Because if so then I can't see you you will ever be happy here.
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