Across the Sea: The best place to start, as they say, is at the beginning, and what better place to start, then at the name or ways to identify a Swiss citizen. The most common name most certainly would be Swiss (after all, I have already used that several times and will use this term when referring to myself or others), but here are some others, some of which I did not know: Schweiz (German), Suisse (French), Svizzera (Italian), Svizzra (Romansh). These different identity markers are only some symbols of the Swiss culture.
This is an example of the popular Swiss Alphorns.
They may be found playing in festivities or parades:
This is of the Oktoberfest in Munich. All of Switzerland participate in this colorful festivity. I have not been to the one in Munich.:
Another symbol that every country has would be the flag. For Switzerland, their flag is a reflection of the dome constructed of stained glass windows that is found in the House of Parliament. The national flag of the country is surrounded with the common unifying motto of: “One for all, all for one;” an inspirational piece that brings the citizens together regardless of their varying speech barriers and location. The white cross represents Christ, while the vibrant red background promotes holy justice. The theme originated from the desire to infuse fear in the neighboring cantons. (EveryCulture)
The “traditional” clothing for the Swiss cantons was strongly influenced by engravers and artists. These artists would combine the beautiful landscapes and paintings with individuals by creating bright, colorful traditional costumes, rather than the plain, wool, and linen outfits most seen. This also was an effect of the developing tourism, but that does not mean the costumes created are not worn by the Swiss people; in fact older depictions and photographs of women show these outfits as the style during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Some of the more common examples would be the “Heidi braids” (I even wore those as a child whenever I went overseas), bonnets, and short waist-cropped vests. The first two pictures of women’s clothing and styles. The second reflects the Swiss Guard outfit wore by men.
This first video clip shows some of the landscapes, hobbies, trademarks, food, and buildings which reflect the Swiss culture in the Fribourg area of Switzerland. Of course, the landscapes, styles, and memorabilia are often found in other areas as well.
The second video clip from SwissRoots, lightly touches upon the Swiss and American bond. It highlights some of the areas of Switzerland and also gives a brief description of how the Swiss made American their own.
Around the Corner: August 1st, the national holiday for Switzerland can be found celebrated both in the homeland and in the good, old, United States of America. Fondly known as the “October (‘Oktober’) Fest,” (in Munich in Switzerland; in Dover, New Jersey, USA) this celebration is filled with music using the traditional alphorns, food (bratwurst, knockwurst, “veiner” schnitzel, fondue, and roasted cinnamon pecans), festively made products (from Cuckoo Clocks, to dolls, to quilts, to cow bells), and a meeting of other Swiss people unite them all over the world.
Although, there are many more activities and celebrations that can be found around the world, this was the one that I attend the most often. Another meeting place for the Swiss people is through the Swiss Club, this is an organization that inspires members to come together, about twice a year, for a luncheon, sometimes with different activities. For example, during Christmas–time, Santa Claus, Poinsettia prizes, etc. Their location is in Toms River, New Jersey.
EveryCulture. (2010). Countries and their cultures-switzerland. Retrieved from http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/Switzerland.html
Fehrenback, (2010, March 1st). Original black forest cuckoo clocks, anri sculptures, nativities and sissi angels. Retrieved from http://www.cuckoo-clocks.com/
Region , Fribourg. (Artist). (2007). Fribourg region (switzerland)-mountains. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPqExvVCQ3s
SwissRootsChannel. (Artist). (2009). Helvetica Americana. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xabx2Ykr48
**The two pictures filled with cuckoo clocks and figurines belong to a store in Peddler’s Village, Pennsylvania, called the Fehrenbach, who specialize in authentic Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and other Swiss memorabilia. The other pictures were obtained through a google picture search.