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  #21  
Old 04.06.2012, 22:55
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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I believe if you are not born here you can never really "assimilate", you will always be the one that came and not "one of them", so I have given up trying, which is fine though because I'm having a blast anyway ,

for my son it's a different story, "he's in", he's born here, he speaks swiss german fluently and he understands the Swiss mentality...

as an "outsider" not born here you can not really fully understand things here, it doesn't matter how many years you live here, it's impossible...
I wouldn't be so pessimistic: my former spanish teacher here, from Chile, speaks and understand every "finesse" of Swiss-german and understands the mentality. The more you know about a country and its residents the more you can integrate/ join in/capitalize. For that you need to learn and practice the language, open your eyes,ears and heart, be curious and positive to your country of adoption.
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Old 04.06.2012, 22:58
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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If you find yourself with Swiss company a lot, I've found one thing that definitely brings a lot to your table is if you know the local music (with the local language). It's relatively simple but it blows peoples perceptions of you out of the water like nothing else!
The local group here (Gotthard) sing in English, and I have known most of them personally for the past 20 years (including the late Steve Lee, RIP).

Tom
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  #23  
Old 05.06.2012, 23:09
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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I wouldn't be so pessimistic: my former spanish teacher here, from Chile, speaks and understand every "finesse" of Swiss-german and understands the mentality. The more you know about a country and its residents the more you can integrate/ join in/capitalize. For that you need to learn and practice the language, open your eyes,ears and heart, be curious and positive to your country of adoption.
if it was just the language

I'm sorry, you can speak the language fluently, get the red passport etc, but you will always be the "guy" that came...and you will always have certain characteristics from your native country, can't really change that...of course it doesn't mean that it is a bad thing...but no, you can never fully assimilate...sorry
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  #24  
Old 05.06.2012, 23:59
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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if it was just the language

I'm sorry, you can speak the language fluently, get the red passport etc, but you will always be the "guy" that came...and you will always have certain characteristics from your native country, can't really change that...of course it doesn't mean that it is a bad thing...but no, you can never fully assimilate...sorry
We will always be the people who came. I agree that is a nice thing, diversity is one of the perks of life.

I am not sure when it became wrong to be somebody from somewhere else. I don't let others dictate to me how to feel here. It's home, innit. We all like home.

I also do not understand the term assimilation. It is not really used anymore, in any integration politics. Nor here, nor in the Czech Rep. Integration, sure beans. But assimilation? Maybe I am wrong but that's prehistoric, n'est pas?
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Old 06.06.2012, 00:17
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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you can never fully assimilate...sorry
You perhaps not, but your children? no problem!

Tom
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Old 06.06.2012, 00:24
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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You perhaps not, but your children? no problem!

Tom
Hmm...what I see is them creating new reality, more than trying to fit in the old one.
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  #27  
Old 06.06.2012, 01:53
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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Hmm...what I see is them creating new reality, more than trying to fit in the old one.

Ah, but they're doing it here, with other kids born here ... which is what being part of a country is all about, no?
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  #28  
Old 06.06.2012, 09:57
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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if it was just the language

I'm sorry, you can speak the language fluently, get the red passport etc, but you will always be the "guy" that came...and you will always have certain characteristics from your native country, can't really change that...of course it doesn't mean that it is a bad thing...but no, you can never fully assimilate...sorry
What you lot don't understand is that this happens to Swiss too. Move from one canton to another one, from one town to another, from one valley to the next one you will be a foreigner or how we say "e frömde Fötzel". Swiss don't see themselves as Swiss nationals but as inhabitants of the valley and then of the canton.
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  #29  
Old 06.06.2012, 10:09
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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Move from one canton to another one, from one town to another, from one valley to the next one...
it doesn't even have to be the next valley. The next village down the valley can be far enough. Even the second 'half' of a village made up of two tiny 'centres' can be enough to make you a minor sort of 'alien'. In one village we lived in, the 'originals', even 'intelligent' folk like the Kindergarten teacher, couldn't believe that not every parent with children in her group automatically knew the hidden rules behind one custom (which took place on one day every second year). 'Everybody knows that' was her comment to my suggestion that parents could possibly be warned in advance... Aliens unite!
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  #30  
Old 06.06.2012, 11:04
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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it doesn't even have to be the next valley. The next village down the valley can be far enough. Even the second 'half' of a village made up of two tiny 'centres' can be enough to make you a minor sort of 'alien'. In one village we lived in, the 'originals', even 'intelligent' folk like the Kindergarten teacher, couldn't believe that not every parent with children in her group automatically knew the hidden rules behind one custom (which took place on one day every second year). 'Everybody knows that' was her comment to my suggestion that parents could possibly be warned in advance... Aliens unite!
True, we always had fights between the "Oberdorf" and the "Unterdorf". There was a passage from one part to the other in the woods where epic wars unfold.
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  #31  
Old 06.06.2012, 13:43
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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True, we always had fights between the "Oberdorf" and the "Unterdorf". There was a passage from one part to the other in the woods where epic wars unfold.
We even had very specific battle grounds between the villages. If you were bored you could go to those places and have a good fight with the kids of the neighbouring village. Of course, being a girl I know this just from hearsay
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  #32  
Old 06.06.2012, 13:45
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Have children who are born here and go to the local public school. It's the only way.
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Old 06.06.2012, 14:25
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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if it was just the language

I'm sorry, you can speak the language fluently, get the red passport etc, but you will always be the "guy" that came...and you will always have certain characteristics from your native country, can't really change that...of course it doesn't mean that it is a bad thing...but no, you can never fully assimilate...sorry
I guess this means that there is no such thing as a properly "assimilated" gringo, save for the Native Americans.

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  #34  
Old 01.07.2012, 12:27
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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Join some sort of social or sporting club (a local one, not an ex-pat ghetto) that's close to where you live - you'll get regular activity, and get to know some people who live near you!
I totally agree! I joined a local gym and went to the classes. Even though my French isn't very good, I was able to do the classes and feel connected to a group of people. I ended up meeting a very good Swiss friend there...and got fit!
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Old 01.07.2012, 13:10
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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Have children who are born here and go to the local public school. It's the only way.
In the eyes of some people, that's the recipe to make Secondos, not Swiss...
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  #36  
Old 01.07.2012, 13:57
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Re: How did you assimilate?

one has to live and act as one feels best-its got nothing to do with " fitting in".
In the long run one has to do ones " own thing ". Otherwise it's a compromise.
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  #37  
Old 01.07.2012, 14:58
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I've only been here for a month, but for me feeling more comfortable (not really assimilating) has everything to do with getting a group of friends.

I've been both proactiv and lucky in this fields. First, I found that some friends I hadn't met in several years had moved to Zurich (through LinkedIn and talks back home). Second, I was lucky that people at work are incredibly welcoming and have invited me for some events and through them I got to meet other people, etc. I believe friendships take some time to form, but it's great to have such a fast starting point.

I'm also starting German classes next week and planning to try the vitaparcours (open air fitness circuits) during the week to re-start some outdoor activity - that's good for both the body and mind. I suppose it also helps to look at the good things of the country - I went up Falsenegg and loved it, Nutella is decently priced, the transports are great, etc etc etc.

If only I could find permanent accommodation... 4 weeks until I run out of the temporary. Btw, if anyone knows of a decently priced apt (2200CHF), with 2 or more rooms, in Kreis 6 or near Enge or in another nice location that's not yet on homegate, let me know!
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  #38  
Old 01.07.2012, 18:16
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Re: How did you assimilate?

It took some time for people here to get used to a foreigner. But Swiss are generally very sincere people and once they warm up to you, everything is good.
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  #39  
Old 03.07.2012, 16:19
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I'm learning German. I can speak it okay enough but not good enough for my standards. I go to gym regularly and there's good people there. I joined a badminton club, that's going well too.

I don't think I will ever assimilate. I never felt apart of anything before really and I doubt I will. I am half Swiss ethnically speaking.
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Old 03.07.2012, 16:34
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Like some people said before, the best way is to join a club, and every village has hundreds of those to choose from.

Little by little, you'll see yourself greeting people by their names in the shops, even if don't speak well the lingo, and it's a very nice feeling.
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