Monday, July 2, 2012

What does it mean to be Swiss?

Here's a fascinating article:

Swiss Peculiarities - Swiss Personalities - Swiss Firms – Swiss Products

"Théodore Flournoy, Eduard Claparède and Pierre Bovet, Auguste Henri Forel, Eugen Bleuler, C. G. Jung and Oskar Pfister, Ludwig Binswanger, Walter Morgenthaler, Hermann Rorschach, Max Pulver, Alfred Carrard, Hans Zulliger, Jean Piaget, Medard Boss, Marie Meierhofer, Balthasar Staehelin and Jürg Willi got reputation for their research in psychology and psychiatry. In 1980 it was said Zurich had the highest density of psychologists in the world."
Speaking of Jung, he comment on synchronicity:
Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.

Speaking of Piaget, this was my thesis title:

Other quotes about the Swiss:

"Instead of being especially punctual, persevering, reliable, introverted and tradition-bound, the Swiss turned out to be rather more open-minded than one might have assumed." source

" The Swiss rate themselves as highly conscientious; Indians and Canadians see themselves as agreeable."  source

"French-speaking Swiss are believed to be different from German-speaking Swiss because the former have something of France and the latter have something of Germany. The people of Uri differ from the people of Ticino, so it’s said, because the first live on the shady slopes of their mountains and the others live on the sunny shores of their lakes. But what do they share, apart from their Swiss passports? C.F. Ramuz, one of Switzerland’s best known francophone authors, describes the situation as follows: “it’s an overwhelming task to try to describe a people, especially when they don’t exist. For those of us who are, we know very well that we are not Swiss. We come from Neuchatel, like you, or the Vaud, like me, or from Valais, or Zurich, meaning that we are citizens of our own mini countries...”

 The only uniformity in Switzerland lies in our mailboxes and our army uniforms. Everywhere else, we carefully distinguish ourselves from one another. And the greatest irony of it all is that in the end, these precautionary measures lead to us to being asked when traveling abroad: “Hey, you’re Swiss? How is it that you speak French so well?” When asked what they love about their country, the majority of Swiss will first mention the beautiful landscape. They think of a hilly countryside dotted with isolated farms or sleepy little villages, forests dressed in autumn colors and majestic mountains. To be sure, the mountains play a vital part in the image the Swiss have of themselves and their country....

The Swiss like everything to remain within reasonable proportions. No blade of grain ought to stick out above the rest: that’s the rule. It is best to be serious and reliable rather than brilliant and original. They aren’t particularly keen on extravagance. They seek out a consensus, compromise. The results of a recent survey conducted on young people associated the following characteristics with the Swiss: serious, rich and sincere (75%); fair (66%), social (40%); satisfied, optimistic (40%); lively, imaginative (20%); generous (12%)." source


The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereignstate[1] with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848. The most recently created canton is the Canton of Jura, which separated from the Canton of Bern in 1979.[2] The name is derived from the French language word canton meaning corner or district (from which the term Cantonment is also derived).

Which cantons do I come from? And How Swiss am I?

Canton Bern
As you know, I am first generation American on my father's side and he was a full Swiss citizen.  His father was a Leu and his mother an Aeppli.  The Leu family comes from Bern, canton Bern (I think).  The Aeppli family comes from Schoenenberg, canton Zurich.

My mother's father was part Swiss (my great great grandmother, Rebecca Zuck who's family was Anabaptist and immigrated to escape persecution*) and her mother was also part Swiss (my great great grandmother, Verena Frances Ballmer from Lausen, canton Basel-Landschaft).
Canton Basel Land

*my great8 grandfather, Hans John Zug, born in 1664 in Lutzelfluch, Canton Bern

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