Swissinfo

Swissinfo

SWI swissinfo.ch – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.

Videos by Swissinfo

A Swiss sausage maker in Denver

Born in Zurich, Eric Gutknecht came to the US with his parents when he was a little boy. Today he runs a sausage factory in Colorado.

Gutknecht did two charcuterie-making apprenticeships in Switzerland. His professional experience includes teaching economics and working as a business analyst. In 2003, he and his wife, Jessica, took over the family sausage business in Denver.

Today, CharcūtNuvo provides grocery stores and Swiss clubs all over the United States with traditional Swiss-style Bratwursts as well as more unusual varieties, like chicken-spinach and mac-n-cheese. The factory uses European production techniques and even some Swiss equipment.

“We try to get our supplies from within a 500-mile radius,” says Gutknecht, adding that the meat, which comes from smaller farms, is not

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Swiss mom an ‘unofficial cultural ambassador’ in America

She kept dreaming of being on a plane that never reached its destination. Those dreams stopped about a year after moving to Colorado.

“The pilot would drop us off in a desert, or in the Alps, or the luggage would blow away,” remembers Regula Grenier, who has lived in Colorado since 2007. She sees the end of those dreams as a sign that she’s finally found the right place to live.

Originally from Einsiedeln in central Switzerland, Grenier quips that she was “made in Germany” since that’s where her parents conceived her.

“My spirit of travel and adventure started in the womb,” she says, explaining that her parents – both of whom had lived, worked and travelled abroad – passed on that interest in seeing the world. “Switzerland is such a small place; you have to explore.”

At 16, she moved

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A Swiss Rifle Club in America

Swiss rifles were coveted during the American revolutionary and civil wars. Today they’re used for fun by the Swiss Rifle Club of Minneapolis.

In the late 1980s, a group of Swiss expats living in Minnesota – all employed by food technology company Bühler – decided to form a shooting club to maintain a tradition from the homeland.

They made a deal with a local club willing to share its facilities, and got the green light from the Swiss military, which continues to supply the guns and bullets.

In late 1991, the club received its first batch of gear: ten rifles, five pistols, ammunition and other equipment; they were able to start shooting in 1992.

Since then they’ve participated in various Swiss marksmanship competitions each year – mostly remotely. Since 1995 they’ve also sent

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Can 3D printing save the coral reefs?

The oceans produce one in every two oxygen atoms. Coral reefs are like the ocean’s rainforest. But it’s disappearing, and fast. Ulrike Pfreundt has made it her life’s work to find a solution.

Pfreundt is a marine biologist at the Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich who gets emotional when she talks about coral death. Through 3D printing, she’s found a way to make artificial reefs and replace some of the coral that’s being lost by providing structures for new coral to grow.

She’s now testing the structures in the lab to see how to get coral larvae to start growing on them. Ultimately, she hopes to be able to deploy her printed inventions in the ocean to help grow new coral and support the vast ecosystems that depend on it.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the

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Why the rock band Queen loves Montreux

The quiet lakeside town of Montreux has become a mecca for Queen fans.
They make pilgrimages here each year to leave messages at Freddie Mercury’s statue and join in the annual birthday celebrations for the late star, who died in 1991. Now there’s even a Freddie Tour – you can follow in the footsteps of the flamboyant singer and visit the Studio Experience in the town’s casino. That exhibition is based on the recording studios Queen owned, where the group recorded seven albums. swissinfo.ch visited Montreux to find out why one of the most famous rock bands of all has such a lasting appeal in a sleepy lakeside town.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

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Swiss footsteps in New Orleans

As a child, John Geiser III was surrounded by Swiss people in his grandfather’s adopted city of New Orleans. After the Second World War had ended, John was a young adult when his father took him to Switzerland for the first time.

We met John in June 2019, when he gave us a tour of New Orleans. Over the course of a hot and humid morning – mainly on foot – he energetically showed us the traces of Swissness dotted throughout this city famous for its music and mardi gras.

John has served as the Honorary Swiss Consul in the US state of Louisiana, and he is still an active member of the Swiss American Society of New Orleans. In fact, nobody in the club has been a member for as long as he has.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role

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Koyo Kouoh: Art is in the cracks, not in the polish

The Meret Oppenheim prize took Koyo Kouoh by surprise, and not just because she doesn’t care about prizes. The Swiss-Cameroonian curator says she never found much of an echo in Switzerland for her artistic interests – postcolonialism, African diaspora, and identity politics – for which she has received praise in many other countries.

Koyo Kouoh, described by The New York Times in 2015 as “one of Africa’s pre-eminent art curators”, is always on the move, even in the middle of a pandemic. She currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where she runs the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA. SWI swissinfo.ch met her during a brief escapade to Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on

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What is a Swiss multinational company and what’s their role in the economy?

Switzerland is home to big players in the raw materials, food and chemicals industries. The alpine country boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of multinational headquarters. You might wonder: where does its attractiveness come from?

Switzerland offers many advantages to large businesses: economic stability, a strong financial sector, qualified workers, a geographic location at the heart of transport networks – and an advantageous tax system and flexible regulations.

With more than 500 companies active in the sector, the small Alpine nation is a leading global platform for trade in raw materials, such as petrol, metals, minerals, and agricultural products. Switzerland is home to the headquarters of the sector’s world leaders — Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria, and

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Swiss start-up generates electricity from wind power

Switzerland produces less wind power than other European countries but has ambitious future targets. A Lugano start-up is developing drones to generate electricity from high-altitude winds.

Winds, especially at high altitude, offer huge potential as an alternative renewable energy source to help solve the climate crisis. 

In Switzerland, the main source of energy is hydropower. Building large wind turbines, especially in Swiss valleys, is controversial.

Aldo Cattano and Nicola Mona, the inventor and chief executive officer of the start-up firm "Skypull", want to contribute towards finding cleaner energy sources by making best use of the winds on Switzerland’s mountain tops. 

The small Lugano-based team is developing a system using an autonomous drone connected by a tether linked to a

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A defender of Eritreans’ human rights

Immigration affects everyone in Switzerland, but some people more directly than others. Veronica Almedom, who arrived from Eritrea as a baby with her family, is now an activist for the human rights of Eritreans.

Almedom grew up in Martigny in French-speaking Switzerland and is now a student at the University of Geneva. Since 2016 she has been a member of the Federal Commission on Migration.

Since 2017 Switzerland has steadily tightened its admission criteria for Eritrean asylum-seekers, who represent the largest foreign community seeking asylum in the country. However, having visited asylum-seekers sleeping rough, Almedom is angry and also critical of the Eritrean government.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to

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What is it like to work in Switzerland?

Switzerland has a strong economy, low inflation, low national debt and a low unemployment rate. It’s hard to believe that only a few generations ago, Switzerland was poor and many had to leave to find work abroad. In this episode of ‘Switzerland Explained’ we look at how the job market has dramatically transformed since then and continues to change.

In the 19th century, the country’s textile and chemical industry started taking off, followed by the machine industry and the banking sector. But it was only after World War II that people living in poor cantons stopped seeking work in other countries as a matter of course.

Today Switzerland has become an internationally popular workplace, with jobs in information services, finance, or pharmaceuticals as well as in the clothing or

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A conversation with Thikra Mohammed Nader, exiled Iraqi journalist

Thikra Mohammed Nader, a Baghdad native who worked there as a journalist for a quarter century, fled to Switzerland in 2006. Decades ago, she was honoured by the Iraqi government for her work and was one of the first journalists on the ground of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. But throughout her career and especially following the arrival of American troops in Iraq in 2003, she was targeted and threatened for her writing which contained ideas that ran counter to the agenda of the ruling regime and various powerful fundamentalist groups.

Now exiled in Switzerland, the award-winning Iraqi writer met us in a park in Geneva to discuss new life here and how it is different from the past.

In Switzerland, she says she has found a place where she can live "as a human being." She praises the

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How are Swiss cities being planned?

Swiss cities and the growing areas around them are increasingly being developed. An expert on urban transformation walks us through the three phases of Swiss spatial planning, with examples in Zurich.

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Nuns: powerful women of the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages were a rough time for women. They were considered inferior to men, and very few were educated. Convents offered them opportunities that might otherwise have been denied them: access to schooling, social welfare and the chance to break away from the close strictures of their families. An exhibition at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich showed how ecclesiastical women lived in the Middle Ages, and what they created.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel:

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Swiss women’s football anniversary

It’s the 50th anniversary of the women’s football league in Switzerland, and there’s a special exhibition at Zurich’s football club to celebrate women’s participation in the sport.

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What remains of Swiss democracy after the coronavirus measures?

On March 16 the Swiss government declared an “extraordinary situation” due to coronavirus. People had to stay at home for two months. The spring session of parliament was cancelled. The May referendum was postponed. The government ruled alone by emergency decree. Where does that leave direct democracy?

Martina Mousson*, a political scientist from the gfs.bern research institute, is familiar with psychological phenomena in times of crisis. After the Spanish Flu, which claimed millions of lives, the Roaring Twenties broke out, with many people celebrating excessively. The idea that the Covid-19 pandemic could be followed by something similar is therefore quite tempting.

The government’s emergency decrees are supported by the Epidemics Act. This authorised the government to declare the

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Time travelling in Basel

Why is the northern city of Basel described as Switzerland’s cultural capital and how come the pharmaceutical industry started there? A new book called ‘Leaps in Time’ takes us on a journey down the centuries, introduces reformers, humanists, artists, plague doctors and the powerful tradesmen who ousted the aristocracy.

From the first settlement at the time of the Celts, it grew into Switzerland’s third most populous city. It’s known for its many museums, art collections, and its annual carnival parade, which is included on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.The presence of printing presses and the founding of a university in the Middle Ages attracted famous scientists, humanists, writers and reformers. Hans Holbein the Younger spent his early career there, and painted

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How I built my own Swiss watch – in a day

For fans of Swiss watches, the watchmaking world can sometimes seem like an impenetrable castle. The uninitiated rarely get the chance to observe or even touch delicate mechanical watch parts.
Imagine assembling your own Swiss mechanical watch and taking it home with you at the end of the day. swissinfo.ch tried out the popular new concept run by Jura start-up Initium.
heir start-up offers beginner watchmaking courses open to all ages.
The firm, which employs eight people, has workshops in Noirmont, canton Jura, and in Geneva and Zurich. It proposes various half- and full-day courses, which cost from CHF1,690-2,690 ($1,860-2,950). The price includes a handmade watch – created by yourself.
The little-known concept has taken off in recent years. Several rival firms now also offer similar

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Why is Switzerland one of the most expensive countries?

Everybody seems to agree, Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, but why is that? The anecdotal evidence is there, and in the press, the big Swiss cities are constantly ranked among the most expensive cities in the world. Zurich and Geneva regularly make it into the top ten. And the Swiss are very much aware of these price differences.

A study published at the beginning of 2020 concluded that Swiss businesses and consumers could save over CHF3.3 billion a year if they were able to source such products abroad directly. The study focused on orders placed online. Geo-blocking plays a role here. It’s a common practice where retailers stop online shoppers from buying cheaper products or services from sites abroad.

It can also be the case that foreign suppliers

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A 360-degree visit to Bern’s onion market

Take a virtual visit to the heart of the Zibelemärit, the picturesque onion market in the Swiss capital, Bern. Extra trains and more than 100 coaches from Switzerland and abroad brought thousands of visitors to this traditional farmers’ festival, where the main attraction was artfully braided onion garlands in all shapes and sizes. The Zibelemärit …

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How does asylum work in Switzerland

Switzerland has a humanitarian tradition and deals with relatively more asylum requests than other European countries, given the size of the population. Over 14,000 applications were submitted in 2019 and about a third of these people were admitted provisionally. However, migrants heading for Europe often prefer to go to neighbouring Germany and France. The Swiss …

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How to become Swiss

If you have a connection to Switzerland through your family or your partner and want to make it official by becoming Swiss yourself – this is how you can go about it. The Swiss passport can seem difficult to get. In this ‘Switzerland Explained’ video we describe how to kickstart the application process if you’re living abroad and how to find out …

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#swihack Live Stream of presentations

On location at #swihack Multilingual Journalism Hackathon organized by Swissinfo

For more information, please visit https://swihack.ch


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=swissinfovideos

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#swihack Live Stream of presentations

On location at #swihack Multilingual Journalism Hackathon organized by Swissinfo For more information, please visit https://swihack.ch — swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events. For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to …

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There’s plastic in your beer: here’s why

Plastic is all around us: it’s so present in our everyday lives we don’t just find it in our cupboards and on our desks, we even find it inside human bodies. A study published by the University of Newcastle found plastic traces all the way inside our muscles.

For a material that’s so intrinsic to the way we live, recycling plastics is surprisingly difficult, and still seems to be a riddle in Switzerland. As waste management is in each canton or commune’s hands, and since there aren’t many suitable sorting facilities in the country, many plastics rarely have a chance to be recycled. Instead, today most of it is burnt along with regular waste, generating energy to supply Swiss households with electricity and heating.

Changing our habits to consume less of this material might help to

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There’s plastic in your beer: here’s why

Plastic is all around us: it’s so present in our everyday lives we don’t just find it in our cupboards and on our desks, we even find it inside human bodies. A study published by the University of Newcastle found plastic traces all the way inside our muscles. For a material that’s so intrinsic to …

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