BBBBasic Information HHHHolidays and Symbols NNNNorms VVVVisitors’ manners in Switzerland
National Name: Schweiz/ Suisse/Svizzera/Svizra Area: 41,285 km2 Capital City: Bern Largest Cities: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne Population: 7,785,800 Languages: German 70%, French 21%, Italian 4% (all official); Romansch 0.5% (national) Ethnicity: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6% Religious: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 35%, Orthodox 2%, Muslim 4%, none 11% Monetary Unit: Swiss franc Neighboring Countries (5): Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein
Economy/Industries: agricultural products, banking, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, machinery, textiles, watchmaking, and tourism. Swiss multinational corporations : ABB, Adecco, Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, UBS, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, and the Swatch Group. Flag: A white cross over the red background -No common flag before the 19 th century -Soldiers had sewn a white cross on clothing since the Battle of Laupen (1339) to have a common sign --Napoleon made the solider carry a tricolor of green, red and yellow during the Helvetic period (1798-1803) -The flag became an official national symbol (1889) after the fall of Napoleon (1815)and the victory of the Sonderbund civil war (1847)
Important holidays in Switzerland Berchtold’s day is on January 2 nd. This day honors Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen, a person who found Bern, the capital city of Switzerland in the twelfth centuries. Good Friday is on the Friday before Easter which will be on April 22 this year. National Day is on August 1 st of every year. It is the celebration of the foundation of Switzerland.
Important Symbols William Tell -widely known as the national hero (his existence has never been proved) -William Tell is a symbol for the bravery of an alpine people who reject the authority of foreign judges and are eager for independence and freedom. Helvetia -the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the "Helvetic Confederation". -Represent federal state bringing together the cantons, unity and harmony -found on coins and stamps Canton’s Flag - Apart from the national flag, the Swiss people also honor their canton’s flag. There are 26 canton flags in total. These are example.
Acceptable Public Conduct Handshake is the standard conduct upon meeting and departing French Swiss and Italian Swiss may kiss for greeting grüezi in the German-speaking areas, bonjour in the French-speaking areas, and buon giorno in the Italian-speaking areas when meeting someone for the first time Personality Punctuality Caution about new friendship Forming relationship take years Horner privacy Show special consideration to the elderly
Dinning Manners in Switzerland DO arrive on time but 15-30 late at dinner invitation is acceptable. DO bring gift to the dinner invitation. DO use your fork to cut food such as salad and potatoes instead of a knife. DO break bread with your hand, but most other food should be eaten with utensils. DO eat everything off your plate and sample a little bit of everything, especially when dining at someone's home. Waste is not appreciated. DO place your knife and fork parallel to one another on the right side of the plate to show that you are finished. DON'T drink until after the first toast. The first toast is always given by the host. DON'T rest your hands in your lap during a meal. Keep your hands on the table, but keep your elbows off the table! DON'T ask for salt and pepper if it's not already on the table. DON'T smoke while eating.
Working with the Swiss Be punctual but never early A few minutes late for a meeting is considered rule and inconsiderate Dress up but in a conservative manner Go little on the jewelry or displays of wealth Be business-like throughout the meeting Avoid joke and personal questions about money, marriage, income, kids, age Respect ones privacy Pass out business cards with the credentials of your company plainly stated. If, for instance, the company has been in business for 25 years make sure that is stated on your card. The Swiss are more impressed with achievement than fancy lettering or gold embossing. Expect some time to go by before final agreements are reached but the word of the Swiss, upon agreeing to the deal, will likely keep their word. In the Swiss German-speaking part of Switzerland, people tend to make business meetings as short as possible. In French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland the custom is to take business acquaintances out to lunch. Discussions are never restricted to business topics and conversations often touch on cultural tastes, cuisine, travel, the European Community and so on.
Drop litter Walk against a red light Make excessive noise late on Saturday evenings/ Wash your car or mow your lawn on Sunday mornings Talk with someone with hands in pocket Slapping associates on the back Point the index finer but may use whole hand to point Ask your hosts for a tour of their home Leave a party later than midnight Put your feet up on the furniture. Arrive later than 30 minutes late to a dinner party, although showing up 15 minutes late is acceptable