Skip to main content


Young Swiss Hornusser

There is probably no sport more Swiss than Schwingen, the Swiss style of wrestling in sawdust. However, another traditional Swiss sport is making headlines these days, as the annual Swiss championship of Hornussen is coming up. It will take place this weekend 25th and 26th of August in Lyss in the Canton of Berne.

Hornussen is not only the name of a Swiss village but also of this interesting sport that looks a bit like a Swiss version of baseball or cricket. It is almost exclusively played in Switzerland with a few German cities joining the fun. Surprisingly there are also some South Africans who are playing and they actually call the game "Swiss Golf". :)

The game of Hornussen is quite simple: The hitter hits the "Nouss" (the ball) in order to make it fly into the opponents playing field or even farther. For this purpose the Nouss is placed on a piece of wood and hit with a long flexible stick that resembles a fishing rod. The opposing team then tries to catch the Nouss with pieces of clapboard (that look a bit like the signs protesters hold up during their marches). Whoever manages to catch more Nousses (or doesn't let as many Nousses fall into the field without hitting them first) wins the game.
Like in baseball, there is no time limit to the game. Usually two rounds of hitting are played (every player gets to hit twice) but in the bigger tournaments like the national championship there are up to 4 rounds. Thus, a game of Hornussen can take several hours!

Hornussen has been around for quite a while as you can see in this tv broadcast from 1958 (in Swiss German only). If you wonder how Hornussen looks like today you can get an impression in this short documentary about "Hornussen - the sport of Swiss farmers":



Popular posts from this blog

How to Spot a Swiss Person

As an expat one usually spots fellow expats right away. It's not only the language or the looks of people but rather the little peculiarities of life that seem so normal at home that give us away while abroad. Obviously, it's a cliche that all people from the same place (country, city, continent) behave in the same way and I am far from making that claim. However, growing up in a certain surrounding does rub off on people's behavior and some similarities can certainly be observed.

This is also true for Swiss people. According to the Swiss stereotype, we are a clean, punctual and strictly organized people. However, there are many exceptions like my Swiss friend who is always late or my brother whose room was a total mess while growing up. Yet, although they do not fit the description of a typical Swiss person, they still have some traits that give them away as Swiss. The same is probably true for myself - if I like it or not.
10 Signs you are dealing with a Swiss Person So,…

Schätzli, Schnüggel and Müüsli - Terms of Endearment in Swiss German

If you've ever been invited to the home of a Swiss couple, you are probably familiar with the most popular Swiss German term of endearment "Schätzli" (little treasure) or one of it's many varieties like e.g. "Schatz" or "Schätzeli". Obviously, this is not the only pet name used by Swiss couples (or parents for that matter). Like many other languages, Swiss German offers a wide variety of words and phrases that you can use to address your loved one.

What most of these pet names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small. For example "Haus" means house and "Hüüsli" means small house. This ending "-li" can also be added to first names as a means of endearment, e.g. Benjaminli, Estherli or Fabienneli.

I tried to come up with a collection of Swiss German pet names but realized I only know a handful. However, after combing through the interne…

10 Fun Things to do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland

The weather has been so so these last few days and will remain rainy and rather cold. No swimming in one of the many lakes of Switzerland, going on a nice bike trip or playing soccer outside unless you are willing to endure some heavy rain. :)

However, there are plenty of fun things to do in Switzerland even on rainy days. Here's the list of my current favorite rainy day activities:
Alpamare: Biggest water park of Switzerland with dozens of water slides and pools. It's open all year round since most of the baths and slides are indoors. It is perfect for a rainy day since there are usually less people than on a sunny day.Zoo Zurich: The famous zoo in Zurich features bears, elephants, monkeys, tigers and the mazoala hall (a tropical glass house). Many animals can be visited in their houses.Swiss National Museum: The Swiss National Museum in Zurich gives an overview over the cultural history of Switzerland. Swiss Museum of Transport: The Museum of Transport in Lucerne tells the h…