Switzerland Amber Davenport

Amber Davenport

Switzerland is often the country that many people dream of living (you likely can’t, unless you were born there or are a millionaire!) This Alpine paradise situated near the borders of Germany, Italy and France is known for being super-clean and litter-free, with St Bernard mountain dogs carrying kegs of brandy to revive skiers in avalanches. Today this rarely happens, but the legend remains!

There are strict animal welfare laws. If you adopt or foster an animal in Switzerland, first-time guardians are advised to take a short course on welfare.In Germany, dogs have to enjoy two daily walks by law. The laws are so strict that there are few animal shelters, and people often go over the border to adopt pets.

Swiss people have non-ego-driven politics. Switzerland has no Prime Minister. Instead it has a team all working together, for the good of the people. Any time a decision is made, they ask the people in a referendum, and these happen very frequently. Politics is based on horse mentality, where there are no pack leaders, just sociable beings who can mingle in to get the job done. This is the opposite of recent politics. Anthony Seldon writes of Boris Johnson ‘His only ambition is like Roman emperors, he wanted monuments in his name. At his heart, he is extraordinarily empty’.

Switzerland looks after its lakes. The amount of lakes in Switzerland dwarfs say our Lake District. But the water is so clean, that usually you can drink from it. Compare this to recent campaigns in Windermere, where comedians have been visiting to join in protests, as the water companies are giving millions in dividends, then spewing out untreated water that could harm swimmers and dogs.

Swiss people are happy & safe. Obviously it’s not utopia (there was once a mass shooting, but back in 2001). But overall Switzerland is one of the world’s safest countries and (along with Finland and Denmark) one of the happiest. The average murder rate is about 45 people a year. The England/Wales murder rate by comparison is around 600. It’s proven that quiet relaxing areas with lots of trees and nature contribute to lower crime rates. Also remember that Switzerland is neutral, so does not bang on about war, as if it’s something to be celebrated or glamorised.

People relax on SundaysThis is a no-brainer. Obviously we need emergency services and some shops open for essentials. But overall everything shuts down on Sundays. People don’t work unless they have to (say a doctor) and use the time to be quiet, read books, be a bit lazy and not bother seeing anyone. People respectfully don’t mow their lawns (they would do this on a Saturday!) or use hammers and drills, as it’s frowned on to disturb the peace of their neighbours on the ‘quiet day’.

Swiss people can’t give children stupid names. It’s illegal in Switzerland to name your child something silly, like after a football team. This is due to believing it could harm the child later on. The laws are not that strict, but you’re not allowed to name children after designer brands or where they were conceived. You’re also not allowed to use one-letter names nor name after bad people from the Bible!

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