Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Other/general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07.07.2011, 13:36
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 155
Groaned at 8 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 125 Times in 66 Posts
Mary has no particular reputation at present
Being Swiss

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.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07.07.2011, 13:51
Bertrand - Geneva
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Being Swiss

I'm one of the "Swiss" on here, the only thing I care about is punctuality.


Now, being influenced by the french way of life, being in Geneva, things are perhaps a bit different than if I was a Swiss-German, more strict.

My dad's parents were from the Swiss-German part (actually Lucern and Zug) and it's true, when I think about it, there's a real difference between the two culture. Now they were also from a Higher Social Status, which can bring some more difference.

I'm happy when Federer or Lüthi win, but if they failed, if they did the best they could, I'm ok with that.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 07.07.2011, 13:55
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Being Swiss

My whole life clearly demonstrates that those stereotypes and clichés just do not apply to all Swiss. We live a very happy go lucky lifestyle- people come and go- including many of our Swiss friends. As Bertrand, I'd say that perhaps those 'clichés' apply less to the French or Italian parts of CH.
I hate being late though - if people expect me or rely on me- and I'll do anything not to let people down.

Last edited by Odile; 07.07.2011 at 15:11.
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:01
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 25
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
imagess has no particular reputation at present
Re: Being Swiss

I have been living in the swiss-german part for last couple of years,
I definitely appreciate Swiss punctuality and level of commitment. On the other hand, I felt they are much less flexible in their life style.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank imagess for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:05
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,716
Groaned at 2,626 Times in 1,868 Posts
Thanked 39,825 Times in 18,784 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
I'm one of the "Swiss" on here, the only thing I care about is punctuality.
Yes, that's one thing I really like and insist on.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:09
prof. taratonga's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Zürich & Bignasco
Posts: 2,310
Groaned at 26 Times in 24 Posts
Thanked 4,546 Times in 1,441 Posts
prof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

We are not your father in law.
Being punctual in our society is a sign of respect.
Besides of just being perfect I don't think the stereotypes apply to me.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank prof. taratonga for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:12
Lejoker's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 576
Groaned at 20 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 285 Times in 181 Posts
Lejoker has no particular reputation at present
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post

I'm happy when Federer or Lüthi win, but if they failed, if they did the best they could, I'm ok with that.
I saw Federer crying on tv after getting knocked out by Tsonga, so maybe taht's how the Swiss cope with failure??
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Lejoker for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:13
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Funny thing about punctuality is we never associate it with Swiss but English... The all mothers beloved quality "pontualidade inglêsa" has never been threatened by Swiss made clocks...

To be honest, I think Swiss around me cope with failure as badly as any other nationality... But generalizations are a very very bad thing!
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Helm for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:15
mirfield's Avatar
Moddy Wellies
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 8,729
Groaned at 53 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 9,942 Times in 3,654 Posts
mirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
Being punctual in our society is a sign of respect.
It should be in any society. I don't get how non-Swiss don't get hung up on it. I hate being late - it's like saying, "Hey, I have better things to do than turning up on time for you."
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank mirfield for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:19
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,716
Groaned at 2,626 Times in 1,868 Posts
Thanked 39,825 Times in 18,784 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
Funny thing about punctuality is we never associate it with Swiss but English... The all mothers beloved quality "pontualidade inglêsa" has never been threatened by Swiss made clocks...
Well, as much as I like Portugal, punctuality is something I have learned not to expect there, which makes doing work there somewhat difficult!

Great people, food, wines, porto, etc. however.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:24
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
Well, as much as I like Portugal, punctuality is something I have learned not to expect there, which makes doing work there somewhat difficult!
Hei, there is a reason we call it "ENGLISH punctuality" lol

I have to ask though: where you in the north or south of the country? The northern people tend to prize themselves more on punctuality.

It always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy portuguese food!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:28
möpp's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,201
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,079 Times in 547 Posts
möpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

O.K. - I've lived here for 30 years and am married to a Swiss (born and bred in Zurich).

I was taught punctuality by my parents (German) whilst growing up in England - as has been said before, nothing really "typically Swiss" about that, more a sign of politeness and respect for the other person's time.

Tidiness - well, yes, I like myself and my home to be as tidy as I feel comfortable with - all a question of degrees, I suppose. When we had dogs there were toys, blankets, dog hairs etc. all over the place which got cleaned/tidied on a more or less regular basis. Now we don't have dogs anymore, so mess is less, less need for "tidying"....

"Perfection" - who on earth is perfect
Failure - I've never met anybody, Swiss or otherwise, who hasn't failed in something at some point in their lives. Doesn't make them better or worse than the next person. The ability to cope with failure is all part of the learning process called life. Nothing "typically Swiss" about that either.

The fact that your FIL was disappointed at Federer's not getting into the Wimbledon finals is probably more due to the fact that he's a great Federer fan and was disappointed for him. After all, it's rare that somebody from Switzerland is so much in the sporting limelight as RF is.

Too much generalization and stereotyping, methinks....
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank möpp for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:41
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,716
Groaned at 2,626 Times in 1,868 Posts
Thanked 39,825 Times in 18,784 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
Hei, there is a reason we call it "ENGLISH punctuality" lol

I have to ask though: where you in the north or south of the country? The northern people tend to prize themselves more on punctuality.

It always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy portuguese food!
I was in Lisbon 2x in 2004 for work, one week each time.

I like fish, so that is good! And of course the local wines and porto. Even tried the pork with calms, but I prefer my pork less cooked.

Also, since I don't speak Poruguese, it's good that everyone speaks excellent English or French (at least in Lisbon).

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:50
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 155
Groaned at 8 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 125 Times in 66 Posts
Mary has no particular reputation at present
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
O.K. - I've lived here for 30 years and am married to a Swiss (born and bred in Zurich).

I was taught punctuality by my parents (German) whilst growing up in England - as has been said before, nothing really "typically Swiss" about that, more a sign of politeness and respect for the other person's time.

Tidiness - well, yes, I like myself and my home to be as tidy as I feel comfortable with - all a question of degrees, I suppose. When we had dogs there were toys, blankets, dog hairs etc. all over the place which got cleaned/tidied on a more or less regular basis. Now we don't have dogs anymore, so mess is less, less need for "tidying"....

"Perfection" - who on earth is perfect
Failure - I've never met anybody, Swiss or otherwise, who hasn't failed in something at some point in their lives. Doesn't make them better or worse than the next person. The ability to cope with failure is all part of the learning process called life. Nothing "typically Swiss" about that either.

The fact that your FIL was disappointed at Federer's not getting into the Wimbledon finals is probably more due to the fact that he's a great Federer fan and was disappointed for him. After all, it's rare that somebody from Switzerland is so much in the sporting limelight as RF is.

Too much generalization and stereotyping, methinks....
Thanks..I certainly don't like stereotyping..
My FIL is a sweet,kind,wonderful man..he loves Fed and sure ,he's allowed
to..Fed is probably the greatest tennis player in a long time.My FIL just gets upset if a Swiss doesn't do as well as he/she could/should..MY FIL is
always emphasizing that in Switzerland everything has to be perfect
and is mostly perfect.I guess he's just proud..no harm in that..I just
sometimes feel that if you always have to live up to a certain image,
your life gets more complex and you forget to laugh at yourself..
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Mary for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 07.07.2011, 14:51
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,716
Groaned at 2,626 Times in 1,868 Posts
Thanked 39,825 Times in 18,784 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Regarding tidiness, my (Swiss) girlfriend is on the extreme end of the scale (a throwback to her Swiss-German great grandmother, perhaps).

Bizarre, as most of her other ancestors (other than her Polish great-grandfather) are all southern-European.

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07.07.2011, 15:04
möpp's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,201
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,079 Times in 547 Posts
möpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
Thanks..I certainly don't like stereotyping..
My FIL is a sweet,kind,wonderful man..he loves Fed and sure ,he's allowed
to..Fed is probably the greatest tennis player in a long time.My FIL just gets upset if a Swiss doesn't do as well as he/she could/should..MY FIL is
always emphasizing that in Switzerland everything has to be perfect
and is mostly perfect.I guess he's just proud..no harm in that..I just
sometimes feel that if you always have to live up to a certain image,
your life gets more complex and you forget to laugh at yourself..
I'm not so sure anymore that all Swiss have that perfectionist image of themselves. I believe it's very much a question of which generation they grew up in. I've become very aware of a healthy capacity for self-criticism in the media over the last few years, probably in part kicked-off by the discussion and reports during the 90s on Switzerland's rôle during WW2 (which I do not, really NOT want to go into here). As a rule, the under 40's are much more easy going and critical of their environment than those who were still taught Swiss "mythology" in their history lessons at school
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank möpp for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 07.07.2011, 15:21
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 155
Groaned at 8 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 125 Times in 66 Posts
Mary has no particular reputation at present
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
I'm not so sure anymore that all Swiss have that perfectionist image of themselves. I believe it's very much a question of which generation they grew up in. I've become very aware of a healthy capacity for self-criticism in the media over the last few years, probably in part kicked-off by the discussion and reports during the 90s on Switzerland's rôle during WW2 (which I do not, really NOT want to go into here). As a rule, the under 40's are much more easy going and critical of their environment than those who were still taught Swiss "mythology" in their history lessons at school
Thanks möpp..some very valid points there.I guess the older generation
has a different mindset.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mary for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 07.07.2011, 15:48
TiMow's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fribourg
Posts: 9,295
Groaned at 237 Times in 154 Posts
Thanked 12,188 Times in 5,300 Posts
TiMow has a reputation beyond reputeTiMow has a reputation beyond reputeTiMow has a reputation beyond reputeTiMow has a reputation beyond reputeTiMow has a reputation beyond reputeTiMow has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
.....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..

In a nutshell,how do Swiss cope with failure(if indeed they ever do)..
It's like their houses - they create a pretty façade, with colourful flower boxes, that on-lookers can but only admire ..... hoping that they look no further and peer through the curtains and see the mess and chaos of everyday life.

Regarding accepting failure ..... they just support the Swiss National football team - then it becomes second nature.

A final word on punctuality ..... being on time is polite - but being early is almost as rude as being late (imo), as is sometimes the case, when too much extra time is added to the normal journey time - I mean - how many catastrophic events can happen on a 10km journey?
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank TiMow for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 07.07.2011, 15:49
olygirl's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: d' Innerschwiiz
Posts: 7,770
Groaned at 419 Times in 282 Posts
Thanked 18,298 Times in 5,668 Posts
olygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Most rural men in Canton Schwyz think they are pretty close to being perfect. Tidiness, punctuality and being perfect comes first. Having a heart comes second.

There are times I'd like to put an apple on their heads and play Wilhelm Tell.

As for coping with failure, Switzerland has one of the highest rates of suicide.
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank olygirl for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 07.07.2011, 15:55
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Being Swiss

Quote:
View Post
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?
We don't cope with any image because that is by definition an external view, not ours. Many Swiss are fairly content with the way the country is run, but perfect?

Quote:
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'..
Again, these stereotypes have nothing to do with most Swiss. Few people would describe themselves as overly punctual or tidy, they just experience others as unpunctual and messy. I think it's a weird concept that you expect the Swiss to try to confirm to steretypes foreigners have of Switzerland. It's all relative, perfect we surely are not.

Quote:
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.
We cope with failure like everyone else. Stereotypes are sometimes useful to roughly classify things and customs in relation to others (Swiss vs. Italian punctuality) but if you start believing in stereotypes more than reality it starts to get a bit strange, it's as if you had no contact with real, human, imperfect, sometimes late, sometimes messy Swiss.

I'd love to be considered perfect though, but that somehow clashes with reality.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello some questions about swiss life and Swiss men from an Irish girl lou.m Daily life 44 03.03.2015 11:30
Immigration/Swiss authorities will remove swiss Bank foreign employees HAT Permits/visas/government 42 21.02.2011 15:08
Swiss real estate price trends from the Swiss National Bank Swissmountainair Housing in general 0 23.03.2010 11:34
Swiss German, Swiss Italian, Swiss French? yuhu Language corner 34 05.05.2009 13:48
gay married in swiss waiting for D permit to go to Swiss. comedy Permits/visas/government 7 21.04.2009 07:58


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:46.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0