For the past four years, I've encountered a lot of clichés about the Swiss: that they are boring, rich and xenophobic.
It's a good thing I got my hands on The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths. The author has debunked (or at least explained) ten common myths about Switzerland for me.
I won't spoil the book, but here are some new things I've learned about Switzerland while reading it:
Made in Switzerland
Just like for citizens, goods don’t have to be 100 percent Swiss to have the appellation. A legislation in 2017 determined the portion which actually has to come from Switzerland: 60 percent of industrial products, 80 percent of food products and 100 percent agriculture goods.
I still stand a chance!
Living on the edge in Switzerland
Little did I know, but for the past four years, I was breaking Swiss law on a daily basis. That's because in many parts of Switzerland, there is a "Quiet Time" law between 10 PM and 8 AM. You can't take a shower, use the vacuum cleaner or move furniture during this time.
I've been living the thug life, one shower at the time...
Simply the best!
Switzerland is the oasis for whoever is demanding perfection - or simply the best! Tina Turner lives in Switzerland. She has a luxurious house looking down on Lake Zurich. And maybe one day, she will invite me to one of her notorious cocktail parties...
Let's talk about sex...
Maybe the Swiss are not as boring as some are portraying them. According to the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Survey, the Swiss have a higher satisfaction rate than English speakers - and even higher than the Spanish, Italians and Brazilians! There, yet another reason to learn speaking Swiss German...
Work, work, work.
Switzerland, I love you! But sometimes, you make decisions that I don't understand. My heart cried a little bit when I learned that in 2012, you voted against the mandatory six weeks of vacation. Luckily, you have good chocolate to get back on my good side!
Home! Sweet home!
The oldest house still standing in Switzerland was built in 1287! It gets even more impressive: the construction of the Bethlehem House consists of interlocking wooden beams. No nails were used as metal was too expensive in those days.
They've nailed it!
The list of things which were invented by Swiss is very long. And let me tell you, they are really proud of them! Some of the Swiss inventions have been proven to be very effective in upkeeping those smiles: the electric toothbrush, artificial hip joints and LSD.
More information about "The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths"
You can learn great facts about Switzerland while reading that book! It’s interesting to live in a country where you have the freedom to get assisted suicide but it's illegal to recycle on Sundays. I really recommend the book but be aware; you will get some stares if you read it in public spaces.
Latest posts by Vanessa Lépine (see all)
- 7 things I learned from reading “The Naked Swiss” - November 30, 2018
- Here’s how to mildly annoy your Swiss German friends - April 14, 2017
- Oh boy! I am more Swiss than I thought… - March 5, 2017