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Showing posts from 2019

How to Make a Swiss Gingerbread House

The Christmas season in Switzerland is just around the corner and soon people will be busy baking and eating Christmas cookies , practicing their poems for Santa's visit , getting ready their Christmas calendars and Advent wreaths, buying or making gifts and generally enjoy the holiday season. Different Swiss Christmas Traditions Although there are some Swiss Christmas traditions that most people observe - e.g. Swiss Santa or Christmas Calendars - each family also has their very own tradition of how Christmas should be celebrated. Some people will go to church on Christmas eve while others prefer to celebrate at home, for example. Some read the Christmas story, others simply enjoy family time and the exchanging of gifts. Also, the food served on Christmas eve varies from household to household. A Swiss classic for Christmas eve is Fondue Chinoise  where you cook meat and vegetables in broth in a shared pot right at the table but by now almost anything goes. Swiss Chris

Candle Dipping is a Thing in Switzerland

Beeswax candles - Moni Sertel  / Candle dipping is a thing in Switzerland . This statement about the Swiss tradition of 'Kerzenziehen' in a blog post called ' These Swiss Christmas Traditions surprised me ' stuck with me for a moment. Growing up in Switzerland I never thought about it much, ' Kerzenziehen ', which means 'candle pulling' or 'candle dipping', was just what it was. After thinking it over, I realize that maybe it really is a bit odd and definitely unexpected to someone who is used to quite different Christmas traditions. Candle Dipping Traditions of my Childhood During my childhood, candle dipping was simply part of the Christmas season and an activity in which most families of our village took part. A small group of people organized the candle dipping event in a barn or in a school building. In addition to the actual Kerzenziehen there was usually seasonal food like Christmas cookies, hot punch or Glühwein . I

How to Change Your Facebook Page Name in 2019

At times I write about topics not related specifically to Switzerland. This is one of those times and if you're not interested in learning about one of my challenges in the blogging world in 2019 I suggest you simply click on. You could have a look at some of my current popular posts like ' How to Eat a Gipfeli ' or ' How to Spot a Swiss Person '. For those looking for a way to beat the Facebook algorithm that prevents name changes of Facebook pages, please stay with me! Don't worry, no programming skills needed at all! Why I Wanted to Change my Facebook Page Name I recently renamed my blog about life in Northern Peru from 'Las Cabañitas de Gocta' to ' Destino Amazonas '. The change became necessary when I realized that the original name didn't fit the content and the goal of the blog anymore. You can read about the detailed reasons for the change here ' Cambiamos de Nombre !' (in Spanish only). The name change and following mo

How to Connect with Swiss People

Connect to people - S. Hofschlaeger  / In the last few years, Switzerland has always been considered a generally attractive place for expats to live or even settle. However, surveys usually point out one particular downside of life for expats in Switzerland: It seems incredibly hard to establish a healthy social life that includes locals.  It seems, Swiss people are not only very punctual and precise but can also be quite distant - especially for someone who is used to a more outgoing culture. Not surprisingly, in a 2015 survey conducted by Expat Explorer , Switzerland ranked poorly in making friends, integration and culture. Other surveys over the last years produced similar results. What can you do? How can you connect to Swiss people? I must admit I'm not sure if I'm qualified to make a recommendation. After all, I'm a native born Swiss and I've never had to adapt to life in Switzerland. However, when I moved from one  canton  to the other I fo

What I've Written about Swiss German so far

the very Swiss Matterhorn - Heike  / Over the last few years I've written quite a few articles about languages in Switzerland in general with a special focus on Swiss German . Thanks to Google Analytics , I know that many people visit my blog to find out more about this language and maybe even learn a few words or phrases on the way. Hence, I decided to compile an ordered list of all language related articles of this blog. Hopefully, you'll find it helpful to learn a few new words or find out more about Swiss German. Overview over all languages of Switzerland: Four Official Languages of Switzerland : German, French, Italian and Rumantsch are the official languages of Switzerland.  Different Swiss German Dialects : What are the dialects of German spoken in Switzerland? Great overview with examples for several dialects. Swiss German 101 : Short introduction to Swiss German with a basic glossary Online Resources for Learners of Swiss German : List with free

Famous Swiss Food and Drinks

What food is Switzerland famous for? A common answer to this question is chocolate. It's true, there is a huge selection of chocolates in Switzerland and most of it is very tasty. However, there is so much more other good food in Switzerland too! There are sweet and savory dishes, lots of pastries and cakes, candy and even soft drinks that originated in Switzerland. Most of these remain popular in Switzerland to this day! Famous Food and Drinks in Switzerland This short (and incomplete) overview of very Swiss dishes and foods will give you a taste of the great variety of Swiss foods. You can find recipes and more information on specific items when you click the link. Famous Food 1st of August Buns : One of the typical ingredients of a Swiss 1st of August celebration, our national holiday, is the 1st of August Bun. This soft sweetish bread appears on almost every table that day - bought or home made. They are tasty and great with cold meat, cheese or jam and taste best

Four Official Languages of Switzerland

Languages of Switzerland - Hape Bolliger  / A few weeks ago, I came across quite an ignorant statement in the comments of a blog I'm following. Someone in all earnest claimed that there was no country on earth with more than one official language. I was dumbfounded. Haven't they heard of Canada* with English and French as official languages? Or maybe Finland*, where Finnish and Swedish are both recognized as formal languages? And what about Switzerland with not two or three but four official languages ? I decided to leave a short comment pointing towards the facts. After all, here was I - together with more than 8 million other inhabitants of Switzerland - a living witness to the different languages spoken throughout Switzerland. Besides, a quick google search would have brought up plenty of websites dealing with the issue of multilingual countries. The Four Official Languages of Switzerland  Switzerland is a country that unites several regions that are