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You’d Be Remiss to Miss This Swiss Bliss

Guten Tag, Bonjour and Buongiorno!

Besides being the land of fine cheeses, chocolate and chic ski chalets, Switzerland is also the home to many tongues.  The most commonly spoken languages are Swiss dialects of German, followed by French and Italian, and even Romansch, a language only spoken in remote cantons.  This plethora of languages makes for a rich cultural heritage.  Amongst the lovely rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota exists a town called Berne, where they hold the annual Swissfest, celebrating Swiss cultural traditions.  Regular pastimes include yodeling, alp horn playing, dancing, wrestling, rock throwing competitions, and eating culinary treasures such as knackwurst, alpine macaroni, and sauerkraut.  What fascinated me the most was the story of how the rock being used for the throwing competition came to be.  Apparently, it used to be a massive boulder, weighing over 150 pounds.  One day, a sore loser hurled the rock over an Alpine cliff face and it shed several pounds.  Somehow it made its long journey to Minnesota.  Also, I learned that the winner of each wrestling match gets to brush the dirt off the loser’s back as a ‘final humiliation’.

So, whether you love the sweet Alpine mountain air or want to save your money in one of the world’s most stable economies, you’ll love the Swiss.  Come on down to Switzerland, where it’s cool to be neutral!

So long for now,

Zvi

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