Argovia became the toughest Canton if you want to become Swiss


Source (photo and text): Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

The result is clear: with 64.8% “yes”, the voting people in Argovia has accepted the strengthening of the procedure to get the Swiss nationality in this Canton.
Argovia succeeds in making the hurdles to become Swiss higher than in the most of the other cantons. Who wants to get the Swiss pass shall not have got any social assistance in the last ten years. In the other cantons the minimal requirements are not so strict. An applicant shall not have got any social assistance in the last three years and shall not be dependent on social assistance during the application for the Swiss nationality.

If you wish to become Swiss in Argovia, do not lose your job, otherwise it will be a long(er) way!!

Argovia can become the toughest Canton if you want to become Swiss


Collage of two pictures taken from Wikipedia.

On February 9th, in Switzerland a new referendum, pride of the direct Helvetian democracy, will take place.

Two questions… plus one additional, only in Canton Argovia. The Argovian proposal wants to increase from three to ten years the minimum possible period without receiving benefits from the social assistance (i.e. without unemployment) to be able to apply for the Swiss citizenship.

This strict requirement is even overruling the federal laws which currently accept three years only.

Why? They say that only in that way the possible applicants for the Swiss passport would really prove their “Swissness”. In a country where jobs are quite flexible and the possibility to fire a worker does not require particular justifications, the Argovian statement is quite… disputable!

January 6th’s traditions


The Christmas time is traditionally finishing with the celebrations of January 6th.
In some countries this day is even a public and religious holiday.
The Christian church celebrates the arrival of the three kings to see and adore the newborn Jesus.
Coming from Italy and living in Switzerland, I (and especially the kids) can “celebrate” in two different ways, following different popular customs.

The Italian tradition says that in the night of January 6th an old woman, a kind of witch (called in Italian “Befana”) comes and brings sweets to the good children and coal to the bad ones. In order to get these presents, the kids have to hang an empty sock in the living room, which this old woman eventually fills in overnight…
This year the children got a lot of chocolates from “Befana”. And I can finally say that they deserved them!

The Swiss tradition (Unfortunately in our Canton, Argovia, January 6th is not a public holiday) celebrates this day by eating the so-called three king sweet bread.
All the main supermarkets sell it… or you should even bake it at home, if you can. The bread is sold in a package with a golden crown… Inside one of the pieces of this bread a very small figurine (2-3 cm) of one of the three kings is carefully hidden. The person who finds this miniaturised king (if he or she does not break the teeth) can happily wear the golden crown!
This year I was the lucky one! I was almost swallowing the small king, but I fortunately realised that it would have been better to save it from an inglorious and pathless travel into my bowel!

Happy Halloween!

The pumpinks are smiling also in Switzerland in the night of Halloween!

It should be certainly a trick, rather than a treat…
… especially if you think that one of the most American “celebrations” is very popular also in the Confederation, where the USA are not so beloved and it is very rare to find someone not blaming the US for something!

Red sky in morning, saylors warning; red sky at night, saylors delight

Some days ago my working day started with such beautiful natural spectacle.
The famous proverb tries to explain any… red sky. Depending on the time of the day, if red, the sky is supposed to be a sign of good or bad weather…

In Switzerland there are no sea and saylors (maybe a few at the lakes…): therefore, in front of the beautiful morning red sky, the best option was just to be stunned!

Opening times

The main three and “historical” supermarkets of Switzerland are for sure Coop, Migros and Denner. Nowadays Aldi and Lidl are expanding quickly and fighting with the three “old” ones!
In the Confederation there is a curious specialty. Shops (of course led by supermarkets) open on Saturdays slightly earlier than during the week and eventually close also earlier. If this is logical, considering the need for sleep of a normal working person… I leave to your judgement.

Now, during one of my expeditions to the Swiss expensive shopping world, I noticed the strange sign of the photo. It took me many minutes to read it, re-read it… and accept its weirdness! Is it really so?
I was surprised and even amazed by the emphasis used to underline the fact that that specific Denner has an opening time on Saturday which is… exactly the same as every other day of the week!
Thanks to remind me this! Otherwise I might have risked to confuse the weekend with a normal weekly day!

You can forget it!


Picture: copyright Nike.

A nice slogan by one of the most famous sportwears in the world.
It seems to be a slogan also in Switzerland, for sure in the German speaking Switzerland, where the Confederates speak their “Mundart” (Swiss German dialect).

DAS CHASCH VERGÄSSE! (You can forget it!)

The noisy sentence above is quite interesting, especially in the work environment, which is one of the main sources of nice portraits of the most genuine Switzerland.

Whenever a Swiss is cornered by a colleague with a difficult question or a certain activity to complete within a tight due date, he/she starts declaiming the mentioned slogan. Possibly repeating it more than once to chase away any possible doubt!
Are you asking a Swiss something which is slightly outside his/her mindset?
Are you needing something from a Swiss which is not the most common thing he/she was expecting?
YOU CAN FORGET IT!