Switzerland, a mountainous Central European country, is home to numerous lakes, villages, and the high peaks of the Alps. This country has a number of interesting facts. For example, what does direct eye contact mean to them? If you intend to visit Switzerland, you NEED to know it.
Also, questions of what nature must you not ask Swiss people? And how do Swiss people view lateness? The answers to these and more are what you will find in these 11 interesting facts about Switzerland. Happy reading!
Currency: Swiss franc
Population: 8.081 million (2013) World Bank
Official languages: French, German, Italian, Romansh
Government: Federal Multiparty Directional Republic:
Federal Chancellor: Walter Thurnherr
Interesting Facts About Switzerland
1. COMPULSORY EYE CONTACT
Eye contact is not just acceptable, it is required. Avoiding it, be it with your boss, your child, your grocery clerk, etc, is seen as rude. Eye contact is a sign of respect and should be maintained at all times regardless of the person with whom you are talking.
2. DIRECT COMMUNICATION
Swiss people are generally very polite and naturally direct in their communication style. However, depending on the personality of the person with whom you are dealing, you might see some slight variation on communication style.
3. AVOID ASKING CERTAIN QUESTIONS
The Swiss are very private people. Therefore it is advised that you be careful what kind of questions you ask people, no matter how to them you are. Asking a Swiss person question on matters of private nature is seen in bad light.
4. NOT TOO CLOSE
During conversation, it is not the practice in Switzerland to stand or sit too close to the person. You must maintain a space of at least an arm’s length. However, in the Italian speaking regions, sitting or standing close during conversation is not frowned at.
5. ORDERLY AND VERY CAREFUL
The Swiss are very orderly, very careful, and very conscientious. Being late is considered rude. So, if invited to a friend’s dinner party, being just slightly late is all that is expected. Never let it be up to 15 to 30 minutes!
6. PEACE AND QUIET VALUABLE
Peace and quiet are very valuable to the Swiss. For that reason, it is highly impolite to speak too loudly in public. This is especially true when talking on your cell phone. In the same vein, you would be giving offence if you play music too loud in your apartment.
7. ASK BEFORE SMOKING
Switzerland it a leading nation in the fight against smoking. Smoking is getting prohibited in more and more places in the country. Therefore it is advised that you ask to be sure if smoking is allowed where you are at any given time before lighting up.
8. KEEP ENVIRONMENT CLEAN
The country is usually kept generally very neat and tidy. Swiss people themselves are generally neat and value neatness. It is considered very rude to litter or leave trash lying around. In effect, it tells them about you and where you’re from.
9. TAKE GIFTS TO MEETINGS
At initial business meetings, gifts are generally exchanged. This is not too strange, it happens at top corporate echelons globally. So take a well wrapped gift along with you when going for the initial business meeting.
10. TALKING WITH HANDS
You can “say” ‘I’ve had enough’ without your mouth or voice. All you need do is flatten your hand and slice it across your neck. In the same vein, you can also tell someone he is crazy without the use of your voice. You only need to touch your temple with your index finger.
11. GIRL TAKES YOU OUT
Usually in other countries of the world, it is the guy that asks the girl out. It is mostly the same in Switzerland. However, many girls in Switzerland are liberated and bold. Therefore, if a girl who really likes you, she could walk up to you and ask you out. This does not mean she is wayward.