Sweden is not Switzerland: 7 most common misconceptions about Switzerland
As I travel the world and the web, I realize that their is still a lot of misconception regarding Switzerland.
So hear goes my top 7 (in no specific order):
1.”Sweden is not Switzerland”!
I know it sounds far fetched but believe me this is no laughing matter.
A website called Sweden not Switzerland welcomes visitors with: ‘’First things first, let’s make it clear once and for all, Sweden and Switzerland are not, never have been and hopefully never will be the same country.’’ In a blog of the same name a Swede visiting the US writes: ‘’…There will always be a point where the American says something like: ‘Well I love Swedish chocolate!’ Or: ‘Your watches are great, and the cheese is really tasty!’ … Sure both countries start with the letter S and both countries have great skiers…google “Sweden not Switzerland” and you will not believe the number of pages on this subject. To end this: the Swiss do not speak swedish and don’t have a King.
2. Swiss invented the Cuckoo Clock.
That honor goes to Germany but what the Swiss did invent is the first “chalet” cuckoo clock!
Explanations: It is not clear who built the first cuckoo clocks in the Black forest but there is unanimity that the unusual clock with the bird call very quickly conquered the region. Already by the middle of the 18th century, several small clockmaking shops produced cuckoo clocks with wooden gears.
The “Chalet” style originated at the end of the 19th century in Switzerland, at that time they were highly valued as souvenirs. Indeed, music and jewellery boxes of several sizes as well as timepieces were manufactured in the shape of a typical Swiss chalet, some of those clocks had also the added feature of a cuckoo bird and other automata.
3. Absinthe is anti-constitutional
It use to be.
What makes the product’s value is its prohibited fragrance…
Undoubtedly, the origins of absinthe came from Couvet (Canton of Neuchâtel) in the late eighteenth century by Henriette Henriod. Quickly, its production has grown to become a cult drink in Europe. But in August 28, 1905, in Commugny (VD), Jean Lanfray slaughtered his wife and children in a fit of delirium caused by absinthe. This incident led the Grand Council of Vaud to enact a law banning absinthe. The ban also extended to any imitation or similar drink whatever name they wer given. And that is how in 1910 the law on absinthe, founded on the basis of Article 32b of the Federal Constitution came into force.
This article about the ban on absinthe was repealed on 1 January 2000 as part of the revision of the Constitution. This kind of “detail” should be set at a law and not a fundamental text. The ban on absinthe remains enshrined in law and order on food. Illegal but not anti-constitutional.
4. Switzerland has the highest rate of suicide, AIDS, depression…
I guess when you look at it carefully you suddenly realize that strangely Switzerland has the highest rate in almost anything anyone is doing a statistic about! In fact here is a little secret someone has once reveled to me “Switzerland has some of the best statistics in the world” and if you are looking for statistics just check out the site of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office!
5. Switzerland is famous for chocolate
It is but I just want to say something about that: we are famous for our milk and that is how it all started!
6. Switzerland is a homogeneous country
The Röstigraben, literally ‘Rösti ditch’, is a humorous term describing the language border between the German-speaking and the French-speaking parts of Switzerland with their respective cultural differences. With 4 different languages, mountains and valleys, with a clear difference between historically protestant and catholic cities, and finally with the influence of the bordering countries and a strong regionalism makes it difficult to speak of a homogeneous Swiss culture.
7. Swiss banks are known for their secrecy
First off, most people do not understand the basis for Swiss banking secrecy. It originated in the 18th century, mainly as a mechanism for people to hide money from foreign potentates. It was codified constitutionally in the 1840s when the country was the only democracy in continental Europe. The secrecy laws were not just related to banking, but to all personal data. Today we are in a so called transparent world since February 22 a new era has started: “not only will banks no longer accept undeclared funds but it will also solve the case of those who have filed their banks in the past” also in September the federal government wants to end the “fiscal secrecy”. Times change.