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Old 19.12.2009, 08:28
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Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I did a check and didnt find something

So what are the biggest cultural differences between your own country and Switzerland? Are things that are considered normal here, be frowned upon where you come from and vice versa?

Let me start:

Switzerland: People living together before getting married.
Cyprus: What? Living together? What are you, some 5&%?

Switzerland: Hungry after 11pm and in no mood to cook? Tough luck, no place serves food this late.
Cyprus: Sure. 24hour restaurants everywhere

Last edited by gata; 19.12.2009 at 08:42.
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Old 19.12.2009, 08:39
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

England: striking up a random conversation with the person next to you on the bus/train.

Switzerland: Are you a raving axe murderer??
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Old 19.12.2009, 08:54
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Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Love Switzerland, you would need to KILL me to send me back.

But being from an ethnic background...its made me realise how good we have it in the UK. Black, Asian, Gay, Special Needs, Female.. all on a fairer playing ground. The Swiss are at least 20 years behind.
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Old 19.12.2009, 09:42
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

America: No problem to decline an invitation and short dinners
Switzerland: Swiss family/friends make it almost impossible to decline an invitation. I had my husbands mom's friend call us 5 times to ask us why we are not going to a dinner at her house after we already told her we were not coming. You have to be dying to say "no"! And the dinner's last until all hours of the night. I have never seen so many 80+ wanting to stay up until 1am at a dinner....BORING!
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Old 19.12.2009, 09:45
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

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Swiss family/friends make it almost impossible to decline an invitation.
I'm Swiss and I agree with that....
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Old 19.12.2009, 09:52
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Most Danish guys didn't bring the ear ring and the mullet into the nineties and certainly not into the zero'es.........

Some swiss guys however keeps looking.....eh.......you know
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Old 19.12.2009, 10:02
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

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England: striking up a random conversation with the person next to you on the bus/train.

Switzerland: Are you a raving axe murderer??
yep, this really confused me on my visit there in November...


NZ: stand at least a meter away, and talk to "close friends" at this distance too
CH: stand next to a complete stranger, so close you can feel their breath

NZ: wear a tshirt, woollen jumper, and rain coat every day of the year, and most likely need to use them at different times of the day
CH: dress "seasonally" with a complete wardrobe for every season

CH: chirstmas roast
NZ: christmas barbeque on the beach

CH: new years "party" - a small group of friends toasting each other amicably to the gentle chiming of the midnight bells
NZ: rip roaring drunk on the beach, going for midnight skinny dips in the surf (though that might be an age thing as well)
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Old 19.12.2009, 11:28
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Lol, cool threat! Go on like this folks, Im happy to get to know what is going to expect me next year in Geneva!! Haha!
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Old 19.12.2009, 11:31
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

QC: People talking to each other in a line, in a plane, at the hairdresser...
CH: People don't do that here. I observed that in my hairdresser this other day. It's so quiet in there!
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Old 19.12.2009, 12:07
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

UK - Christmas Eve - one of the busiest nights out of the year

CH - Have to trudge round the red light area to find an open bar


UK - Offer to buy the barmaid/barman a dring and they have a small beer or maybe an alcopop then leave you alone.

CH - Offer to buy the barmaid a drink (not so many barmen) and they want Champagne and insist on toasting with you and making forced smalltalk.
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Old 19.12.2009, 12:26
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

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Love Switzerland, you would need to KILL me to send me back.

But being from an ethnic background...its made me realise how good we have it in the UK. Black, Asian, Gay, Special Needs, Female.. all on a fairer playing ground. The Swiss are at least 20 years behind.
Switzerland ranks way ahead of the UK in the UN Human development report list of the world's best countries to live in. It means a lot of things.

If one has not learned the local language, then i would put it to arrogance of the people who stay here 4-5 years and still do not learn the language. Many dont even understand that Swiss German did not evolve from German at all(only the script was borrowed from German, but not for speaking), why would someone speak in a foreign language all the time just to please another who does not have a proper perspective of things?. Funny to hear complaints about "Swiss language and arrogance" from people some who learn only 1 language in their lives as a matter of pride and principle.

If its racism you are speaking about, i have seen a lot of racism in the UK, and such racism i have not experienced here. Racism in UK is has been reported in many studies and periodical reports. One look at the comments section of UK Newspaper articles shows how much racism there is over there(Times Online, Daily Mail, ...). There were several TV programs in BBC, Channel 4 which which showed proof of racist behavior in individuals and groups, with instances of violent racist assault, some of which resulted in serious injuries to the victim. The N word and Paki word are still used it was revealed in videos(i am not at all referring to instances like the harnless incident involving Anton Du Beke here and i think Anton is a nice guy, i am talking about real vicious people). Switzerland is a much more civilized country in this respect, it is simply the fantasy to say its 20 years behind, its the other way around.

Gays lead a happy life here in cities, and in cities it is much better than in the UK for them. In villages, yes SOME people are not so happy about gays, but its not at all bad as some make it out to be. In the UK too in villages its often a hus hush subject.

Women's rights. Why not see the Global Gender gap rankings?. http://www.weforum.org/en/Communitie...work/index.htm.
The statistics does not agree with the above statement.

One of the reasons why it feels much better for some ethnic minorities in the UK is the ghetto culture, well one always has his people around him and many feel happy this way. But integration is the best way to live. There no need for a ghetto culture here, one's not driven to that point. In Switzerland there is Ghetto culture only among those who choose to do so with no outside influence.

Last edited by Viju; 19.12.2009 at 13:23.
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Old 19.12.2009, 13:07
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Queuing nicely!

This time tomorrow....
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Old 19.12.2009, 13:07
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

UK: Send an sms to friends to make plans, receive a yes or no almost immediately
CH: Send an sms to 10 friends seeing if they want to do sth, receive two messages a day later politely declining

UK: Wait for people on public transport to get off before boarding (how else are you gonna get on?)
CH: Form an impenetrable semi circle of seething travellers around every exit and block the movement of people trying to get off the platform

UK: Stand on the right of escalators and generally try not to get in the way of people in busy places
CH: Create an impenetrable double line of people on escalators and cut across your line when walking in crowded places

UK: Glance at people in public places
CH: Eyeball a stranger until gaze is averted

UK: Say how things aren't that bad, and that life is going ok
CH: Say how terrible things are and how stressful life is

BUT

UK: Feel constantly disappointed that you could do people's jobs better than they do
CH: Feel constantly amazed that you couldn't do people's jobs as well as they do
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Old 19.12.2009, 13:10
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

All very, very true, except for this one:

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CH: Feel constantly amazed that you couldn't do people's jobs as well as they do
... which I'd edit to:

Quote:
CH: Feel constantly amazed that people really think they do their jobs as well as they say they do.
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Old 19.12.2009, 13:27
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

old county - the real speed limit is whatever the sign says +20
here - the speed limit is the speed limit

old country - if you want peace and quiet, you should move to your own house. in an apartment building, neighbors should have the right to do whatever they want in their own homes.

here - if you want to do whatever you want, you move to a house. Neighbors have the right to have some peace and quiet in their own home.
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Old 19.12.2009, 13:27
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

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Switzerland ranks way ahead of the UK in the UN Human development report list of the world's best countries to live in. It means a lot of things.

If one has not learned the local language, then i would put it to arrogance of the people who stay here 4-5 years and still do not learn the language. Many dont even understand that Swiss German did not evolve from German at all(only the script was borrowed from German, but not for speaking), why would someone speak in a foreign language all the time just to please another who does not have a proper perspective of things?. Funny to hear complaints about "Swiss language and arrogance" from people some who learn only 1 language in their lives as a matter of pride and principle.

If its racism you are speaking about, i have seen a lot of racism in the UK, and such racism i have not experienced here. Racism in UK is has been reported in many studies and periodical reports. One look at the comments section of UK Newspaper articles shows how much racism there is over there(Times Online, Daily Mail, ...). There were several TV programs in BBC, Channel 4 which which showed proof of racist behavior in individuals and groups, with instances of violent racist assault, some of which resulted in serious injuries to the victim. The N word and Paki word are still used it was revealed in videos(i am not at all referring to instances like the harnless incident involving Anton Du Beke here and i think Anton is a nice guy, i am talking about real vicious people). Switzerland is a much more civilized country in this respect, it is simply the fantasy of certain individuals who like to say its 20 years behind, its the other way around.

Gays lead a happy life here in cities, and in cities it is much better than in the UK for them. In villages, yes SOME people are not so happy about gays, but its not at all bad as some make it out to be. In the UK too in villages its often a hus hush subject.

Women's rights. Why not see the Global Gender gap rankings?. http://www.weforum.org/en/Communitie...work/index.htm.
The statistics does not agree with you.

One of the reasons why it feels much better for some ethnic minorities in the UK is the ghetto culture, well one always has his people around him and many feel happy this way. But integration is the best way to live. There no need for a ghetto culture here, one's not driven to that point. In Switzerland there is Ghetto culture only among those who choose to do so with no outside influence.

Can we just share our felt observations or opinions, without needing to prove points one way or another? I think this thread is fun, and interesting, but it won't stay that way for long if we argue with people's comments.

I'll also stress I love it here, so i'll try to balance my comments, but here are my observations:

UK - walk around village (not the same in a city), smile at people, say a greeting - perfectly normal?
CH - walk around village, smile at people, say a greeting - odd looks "what's wrong with him"?

CH - walk towards and pass groups of teenagers in the city; never once felt intimidated, any threat or danger in my 2.5 years here
UK - walk towards and pass groups of teenagers in the city; will have anxiety and some hassle or issue once in every few weekend visits

Goes without saying probably, that I'll happily cope with cultural difference 1 in exchange for the benefit of cultural difference 2!
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Old 19.12.2009, 14:01
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

India and CH are too different for comparison, but still...

CH - walk around village (not the same in a city), smile at people, say a greeting - perfectly normal?
India - walk around village, smile at people, say a greeting - odd looks "what's wrong with him"? No, more often he would just brush past; no time for niceties.

India: Ask the kiosk guy what are the nearby bus connections and he will provide full details. The grocery guy will handle 5 customers buying 10 items each simultaneously, and do all the math mentally and rarely errs.

CH: Ask the guy (or blonde girl) manning a kiosk and she will be totally clueless. And if the bar coded billing machine is not functioning, she will use the calculator to do simple addition of two numbers. And still err.
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Old 19.12.2009, 14:02
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

Going to the Hairdresser:

DK: "I'd like it short in the sides, ears free, and just trim the top"
"Sure, No Problem"
UK: "I'd like it".... *BZZZZZZZZZZZ*...."uhm... shaved off to 2 mm. please"
"7 Quid, Mate"
CH: "Welcome Sir, My name is Melanie *shakes hand*, Can I bring you a cup of coffee, and how would you like your haircut ?"
"I'd like it short in the sides, ears free, and just trim the top"
After the Haircut: "Do you want me to wash your Hair again sir ?"

UK/DK: Buy your ticket at the bus driver. If you have a subscription, show it to the driver, when you board the bus

CH: Get into the Bus. Ticket purchased previously, or subscription
and the Busdriver says "Ad mit einand'r" when you get off
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Old 19.12.2009, 14:27
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

CH. It was snowing yesterday. I went to France for dinner. Took me 20 minutes there and back. Excellent dinner.
UK. It was snowing yesterday. Nobody got to France. They spent 12 hours stranded in a tunnel. Nobody got dinner.
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Old 19.12.2009, 14:35
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Re: Cultural differences between Switzerland and your own country

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yep, this really confused me on my visit there in November...


for every season
CH: chirstmas roast
NZ: christmas barbeque on the beach

CH: new years "party" - a small group of friends toasting each other amicably to the gentle chiming of the midnight bells
NZ: rip roaring drunk on the beach, going for midnight skinny dips in the surf (though that might be an age thing as well)


Gee what I am doing here in canada/CH
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