Last minutes in a country where I had the restful escape from German and Swiss culture...
Behind me there is a bachelor party of a British bachelor and obviously friends from all over the world (looking at colors and shapes) - all speaking - as far as I can tell - British flavor of English and they are happy.
In Switzerland this would be very likely a round of people which are friends for ages and mostly from the exact same region. And they find it perfectly ok like this (which I respect, it is their country!).
There is no immigration culture towards
foreigners. It is the foreigner who is supposed to do all like the Swiss expect and to be always thankful of being a guest
. The foreigner has to integrate. Together with a notion that Swiss were very selective on who they let in and even becoming a friend.
There is no immigration culture with a positive story around becoming a Swiss citizen. There is no encouragement to become part of this nation. No one told me "We need people like you, you should become Swiss" - however I heard that multiple times in the US.
The whole process is more designed to make sure you have assimilated and think like them. In public discussions naturalization/acquiring citizenship is mostly regarded negatively and a significant portion of people would like to put the hurdles even higher.
In TV series produced in Switzerland you only see pure Swiss couples, and they are always picked from the same region as being the normality of life here (See "Der Bestatter" - a otherwise fine series!).
Foreigners - especially those having another skin color - are nearly only mentioned in negative articles (criminality, "overpopulation" (come on, 8 million people, there are people calling that overpopulated), wage dumpers). They have no space in ads, TV shows, public life.
No wonder foreigners remain in their bubble and live with their family and meet other families in a similar bubble.
If you know Germany a little bit : Switzerland is like living in a country where a PEGIDA and/or AfD party has 30% of voters and their program has become part of mainstream politics.
If you are white, married with a white, have white children it is likely you won't understand why I am unhappy and why I do not find it lovely - because of all the benefits, social security, pension system and security regarding criminality numbers I should be glad to live in "the paradise on earth"...
I found it already very difficult to understand why an older lady in the Zürich tram asked me "when I would return to Germany, the economy grows there again?" because she thought that someone will always regard his/her "Heimatland" as real home.
And others who invite me to "German Stammtisches" - why the heck would I move to another country to live there and then have people around me who are from exactly the country I left? Why? If I would like to rally around Germans then I would have remained in Germany!
Australia has that immigration culture, Canada, the US, the UK, Belgium to some extent (with a little festivity to welcome the new citizens), and also France. #Switzerland #Immigration #Emigration #Society #Culture