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  #41  
Old 07.07.2011, 20:11
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Re: Being Swiss

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What really pisses me off sometimes here is the sterotyping. So, if you have a few incidents where the stereotypes matches your point seems to be valid. IT ISN'T. Because there are a whole lot of people that are different, it just seems they don't count as they don't match YOUR stereotypes...filtering!

I'd rather be seen as an Individual then as something called "Swiss German".
Well, generally people only get sore about stereotypes when it involves them and if it's unflattering. If I had a nickel for every European, including my husband, who felt it not only comfortable but a veritable moral duty to dish up stereotypes about Americans (which are often at least partially accurate and mostly negative) in my presence, I'd have retired to the French Riviera by now. I don't take them personally and usually ignore them unless they are wildly inaccurate in which case I will either correct them or, in my husband's case, find a stereotype that will ruffle him and lob it over the wall for kicks.

When you are unfamiliar with a people or a place, stereotypes are often an easy place to begin to get familiar. Switzerland is, by far, the most difficult place I've been to get a bead on the identity of the locals. I think this may be due to there being so many foreigners and because there are so many distinct regions influenced by bordering cultures such as France, Italy and Germany.
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  #42  
Old 07.07.2011, 20:13
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Re: Being Swiss

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I hope you realize that the Germans are just Swiss born on the other (wrong) side of the common border
And Ticinese are Swiss born on the RIGHT (south) side of the Alps!

Tom
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  #43  
Old 07.07.2011, 20:18
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Re: Being Swiss

I am English and I am tidier than my wife. I like being punctual and so does she. The house is normally SUPER clean, I like this.

People claim the Swiss are hard to get to know, this completely goes against my experience. My approach is just to go along and see who you meet and try not to let stereotypes get in the way too much.
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  #44  
Old 07.07.2011, 20:24
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Re: Being Swiss

Absolutely. I've met some amazingly wonderful people all over the world- and there are plenty here too. And some a****oles too (all over the world, not just here, honest).
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  #45  
Old 07.07.2011, 22:45
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Re: Being Swiss

You are so right,Odile..there are the good and bad all over the world.
Thanks for your input.
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  #46  
Old 08.07.2011, 02:56
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Re: Being Swiss

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Well, generally people...
Great! So, I guess you are one of these general people, maybe there are others out there in RL.


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...unless they are wildly inaccurate in which case I will either correct them or, in my husband's case, find a stereotype that will ruffle him and lob it over the wall for kicks.
Right, I really don't care how you handle your husband. And I don't want to correct stereotypes. That is not the point. The approach would be to get over stereotypes. Most of the time people on the forum match the "Swiss" stereotypes more than I do. And I demand the right to speak up against that as you have the right to complain on this forum about Switzerland without being told to leave the country if you don't like it here.[/QUOTE]




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When you are unfamiliar with a people or a place, stereotypes are often an easy place to begin to get familiar.
You mean for "general" people? Yes, maybe...

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Switzerland is, by far, the most difficult place I've been to get a bead on the identity of the locals. I think this may be due to there being so many foreigners and because there are so many distinct regions influenced by bordering cultures such as France, Italy and Germany.
See, that's about the only thing I'm proud about Switzerland. Getting three different cultures together in a peaceful way.
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  #47  
Old 08.07.2011, 03:12
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Re: Being Swiss

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See, that's about the only thing I'm proud about Switzerland. Getting three different cultures together in a peaceful way.
Tü hast invlidà la quarta Svizra.*



*it means 4.
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  #48  
Old 08.07.2011, 03:22
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Re: Being Swiss

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Tü hast invlidà la quarta Svizra.*



*it means 4.
Ahh, I've seen that coming. In primary school one third of my class was Rumantsch.
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  #49  
Old 08.07.2011, 10:14
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Re: Being Swiss

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Great! So, I guess you are one of these general people, maybe there are others out there in RL.

Right, I really don't care how you handle your husband. And I don't want to correct stereotypes. That is not the point. The approach would be to get over stereotypes. Most of the time people on the forum match the "Swiss" stereotypes more than I do. And I demand the right to speak up against that as you have the right to complain on this forum about Switzerland without being told to leave the country if you don't like it here.
No, I'm not general, I'm just a realist. Stereotypes exist for a lot of reasons, one of them being that there isn't sufficient and pressing enough evidence to disprove them and so often they are at least partially to somewhat correct.

Look, I get you want to be a special and individual flower and not be lumped into a stereotype like 'Swiss folks are assholes' but, again, being American I am used to it - Tell me you've never said anything like "Americans are stupid/dumb/lazy/violent/homicidal/corrupt/etc", and I'll buy the warm and fuzzy idea that stereotypes shouldn't exist right after I go out and get a copy of 'We are the World' and start believing it.

The way we begin to understand the alien landscape around us is by observation and sharing observations. I've not been here that long, but by and large I find my experiences match some of the less flattering stereotypes. I likely won't meet every citizen of Switzerland, but do bear in mind that stereotypes exist because enough people have experienced something to give it a life of its own, e.g. "Americans are fat cows." which judging my the new numbers out today, 2/3 of the US are indeed at least overweight but that changes dramatically depending on what state you're in - so don't go to Mississippi if you want to see thin people (though there are some skinny folk who live there).... So, yes, Americans are fat cows, but not all Americans are fat cows.

HTH. HAND and by all means, have a pint on me later.
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Old 08.07.2011, 11:33
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Re: Being Swiss

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No, I'm not general, I'm just a realist. Stereotypes exist for a lot of reasons, one of them being that there isn't sufficient and pressing enough evidence to disprove them and so often they are at least partially to somewhat correct.

Look, I get you want to be a special and individual flower and not be lumped into a stereotype like 'Swiss folks are assholes' but, again, being American I am used to it - Tell me you've never said anything like "Americans are stupid/dumb/lazy/violent/homicidal/corrupt/etc", and I'll buy the warm and fuzzy idea that stereotypes shouldn't exist right after I go out and get a copy of 'We are the World' and start believing it.

The way we begin to understand the alien landscape around us is by observation and sharing observations. I've not been here that long, but by and large I find my experiences match some of the less flattering stereotypes. I likely won't meet every citizen of Switzerland, but do bear in mind that stereotypes exist because enough people have experienced something to give it a life of its own, e.g. "Americans are fat cows." which judging my the new numbers out today, 2/3 of the US are indeed at least overweight but that changes dramatically depending on what state you're in - so don't go to Mississippi if you want to see thin people (though there are some skinny folk who live there).... So, yes, Americans are fat cows, but not all Americans are fat cows.

HTH. HAND and by all means, have a pint on me later.
Maybe the best I have read so far.
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  #51  
Old 08.07.2011, 13:45
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Re: Being Swiss

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No, I'm not general, I'm just a realist. Stereotypes exist for a lot of reasons, one of them being that there isn't sufficient and pressing enough evidence to disprove them and so often they are at least partially to somewhat correct.

Look, I get you want to be a special and individual flower and not be lumped into a stereotype like 'Swiss folks are assholes' but, again, being American I am used to it - Tell me you've never said anything like "Americans are stupid/dumb/lazy/violent/homicidal/corrupt/etc", and I'll buy the warm and fuzzy idea that stereotypes shouldn't exist right after I go out and get a copy of 'We are the World' and start believing it.

The way we begin to understand the alien landscape around us is by observation and sharing observations. I've not been here that long, but by and large I find my experiences match some of the less flattering stereotypes. I likely won't meet every citizen of Switzerland, but do bear in mind that stereotypes exist because enough people have experienced something to give it a life of its own, e.g. "Americans are fat cows." which judging my the new numbers out today, 2/3 of the US are indeed at least overweight but that changes dramatically depending on what state you're in - so don't go to Mississippi if you want to see thin people (though there are some skinny folk who live there).... So, yes, Americans are fat cows, but not all Americans are fat cows.

HTH. HAND and by all means, have a pint on me later.
It feels like I had your and several other pints last night already.
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  #52  
Old 08.07.2011, 22:41
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Re: Being Swiss

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It feels like I had your and several other pints last night already.
Well, I had more than a few 'wee' drams tonight for us both, too, so...it all works out in the end. Happy Friday.
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  #53  
Old 08.07.2011, 23:16
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Re: Being Swiss

Nice.

I have books on national stereotypes on the toilet just to listen to them later and dispute, it is fun. Stereotypes exist for a reason, but honestly, there is no point getting worked up over it. I would have to get depressed about my homeland being the biggest booze culture on the planet. When all people I know there (well, most) don't touch alcohol at all. But we do sing well and are rather...bohemian.

When I used to live in Berlin, shortly after the wall went belly up, I had a feeling the entire culture is trying to escape the war stigma. Now here, I feel like the culture(s) are trying to escape limiting cliches and stereotypes, too.

When I took a course on Swiss cliches at uni here, it was fascinating to listen how cliches are actually fabricated in order to give a very multifaceted, multicultural place one unifying identity. How gladly locals will believe in all sorts of positive cliches/stereotypes, present them as truths, and refuse the negative ones. Media, positive images sells, etc.

Then I think about my friends and none of them really fit the limiting boxes...mostly, people are hard on themselves here. Back home, we don't see CH as perfect, rather conservative (I have beef with) and clean (I love).
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  #54  
Old 08.07.2011, 23:50
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Re: Being Swiss

blame it on Fed's mom when he looses - she's South African...lol (but not if he cries on tv - my dad will have a heart attack!)

i'm constantly asked by my neighbors how we feel about living in a non-racist country - so the stereotypes are getting to me i must admit - I've met more racists here than my whole south african family combined...
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Old 09.07.2011, 00:41
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Re: Being Swiss

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Hi Guys and Gals

This might seem like a pointless thread but I've been wondering for
some time now,how do Swiss cope with the image of perfectionism
which is expected from them?The stereotypes of punctuality,tidiness,
being perfect in all one does..I think it's much easier to come from a
'mediocre' society where not so much emphasis is placed on being right
all the time and where you can just 'be'..
In a nutshell,how do Swiss cope with failure(if indeed they ever do)..?For instance,my Swiss father-in-law is a great Federer fan and found every excuse in the book why Fed failed to make it to the final of Wimbledon.He also said that there was nothing wrong with Nadal..that his 'foot pain' was all imaginery and he was just doing it for attention.
Anyway,I'd like to have some thoughts on this especially from the Swiss
folk here.Thanks.
I am swiss ,and I give crap about time ,have a mess around the house (wifes fault) my car is dirty (kits fault) Federer was great still is but he lost (not my fault ).Advise look for a other father- in-law
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  #56  
Old 09.07.2011, 01:18
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Re: Being Swiss

As I'm reading this thread, I find myself wondering who can really view a culture more objectively -- a foreigner who has spent some time living there or someone who was born and has lived in that culture all their life.

Well, I guess we can't really view anything with 100% objectivity, but I do think that we often need to step back away from something in order to see "the whole picture," so to speak. And so I guess this is when the generalizations form. I know that I even view American culture so differently (and what I feel is more objectively) now that I've been living away from it for a few years.

So I do think that there are some rather negative aspects about Swiss culture that the Swiss themselves don't realize (and the same goes with other cultures as well). Of course, I also don't like to generalize, but I can't help but agree with the poster above who said that there are usually reasons why stereotypes form.
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  #57  
Old 09.07.2011, 02:24
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Re: Being Swiss

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As I'm reading this thread, I find myself wondering who can really view a culture more objectively -- a foreigner who has spent some time living there or someone who was born and has lived in that culture all their life.
Isn't that by definition a person who is subjective? I know that I cannot be objective about my own country, so I do not expect others to be that.
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  #58  
Old 09.07.2011, 09:46
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Re: Being Swiss

You Swiss are a good bunch of people in my opinion,and I love you.
Stereotypes are hard to escape in every country.I know my relatives in
Greece are forever trying to escape the stereoptypes there and they
certainly don't match most of them.I guess it's always difficult to be
objective about one's own country as Treverus mentioned.As long as one
can be balanced and take the good with the bad,and just enjoy life..it's
too short not to.
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Old 09.07.2011, 10:13
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Re: Being Swiss

In my opinion, stereotypes meets expectations. IF you want, you can always perceive different from what really is.

I am only 2 months here but i think swiss people are like many. Diverse and each person has its own personality.

IT is much easier if you go to Coimbra (Portugal) like i have been and bening one of the two outsiders there.

There you can really feel the local culture.

I have been told that swiss are cold. IF you avoid them they are like that.

I have been talking to some and they are much better than some a**holes than i know back in Portugal.

I think we can only comment swiss vs foreigner.

When you interact with a german, english you are interacting with some that wants to know (like me he is out of the born place, wants to discover).

The swiss lives here.

For my experience, there are a lot of worst cities/countries (when you are the only few outsiders).


The other factors is why you come here. I have a friend that earned 100 000/year in Munich in the great days.

Of course Zurich and worst Geneva is not interesting for him (renting a porsche is expensive, speed fines, not oktober fest and so on).
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Old 09.07.2011, 17:56
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Re: Being Swiss

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blame it on Fed's mom when he looses - she's South African...lol (but not if he cries on tv - my dad will have a heart attack!)

i'm constantly asked by my neighbors how we feel about living in a non-racist country - so the stereotypes are getting to me i must admit - I've met more racists here than my whole south african family combined...
And how many are they in your South African family
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