Monday, November 20, 2017

Two million foreigners in Switzerland

Today there are over two million foreigners living in Switzerland. They account for almost a quarter of the total population. But who are these foreigners who are often at the center of political debates?

Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest proportion of foreigners (24.9% in 2016) in its territory. Only a few individual cases, such as oil countries or city-states like Luxembourg, have even higher rates than Switzerland.

The chart below shows the nationalities of all foreigners living in Switzerland. Over 80% come from European countries. German, Italian, Portuguese and French citizens alone account for almost half of all foreigners in Switzerland.

Did you know that the permanent and non-permanent resident population of Ticino was 354 375 for 2016?

Take a peak at the latest statistics chart by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. Click here for a cool interactive chart from SwissInfo.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7th World Peace Forum in Lugano

Established in 2011, Culture Ticino Network is a non-profit, apolitical and non-religious association located in Lugano. It promotes a culture of peace, the protection of the human physical and mental integrity and the protection of the environment by organizing many national and international events.

Culture Ticino Network aims to create a network of associations, foundations, schools, universities, public and private institutions, companies and the whole population in the Ticino, in Switzerland and other countries all over the world.

As part of the 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano (Nov. 13th - Dec. 7th, 2017) and on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of formal relations between the Philippines and Switzerland, Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose will explain the Filipino identity, focusing on Filipino psyche and behavior coming from more than three centuries of Spanish rule and more than 40 years of American occupation.

You are all warmly invited to “Bridging East and West: The Philippines in Asia and the World, commemorating 60 years of Philippines-Switzerland Relations and More”, a lecture by Dr. Jose, Professor of History and Director of the Third World Studies Center, University of Diliman (Philippines).

The event is sponsored by the Embassy of the Philippines (Bern) in collaboration with the association Culture Ticino Network (Lugano).

Venue: 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano - Guest lecture by Ricardo Trota Jose
Where: Nielsen Auditorium, Franklin University Switzerland, Via Ponte Tresa 29, 6924 Sorengo
Date: Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
Time: 19.00 till 20.00
Programme: 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Anglican Church's Advent Market

The Anglican Church of St. Edwards have a brand new web site where you will find details about who they are, a little of their history, and news of current and upcoming events in and around the English-speaking church.

But why not check it out yourself and visit their yearly Advent Market on Saturday, November 18th, 2017.

You'll be spoilt with homemade cakes, puddings and preserves, coffee and light snacks, Tiffany’s Treasures and Children’s Christmas Gifts. This is a major fundraising initiative for the church and any support is welcome. There are many parishioners currently working very hard behind the scenes to make it a success.

St Edward’s welcomes visitors as well as permanent and temporary residents from all over the world. Whatever your background or circumstances, everyone is invited.


Venue: St. Edward's Advent Market
Where: Casa Benson, Via Clemente Maraini 6, 6900 Lugano, Tel: 091 968'11'49
Date: Saturday, November 18th, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 15:00
https://www.stedwards.ch

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Homesickness fix

We moved from Lugano to Paris many moons ago and nothing cures homesickness like indulging in local foods when travelling back to the Ticino for the holidays. Not only do we Export food shop before we leave Switzerland, we treat ourselves to all kinds of culinary delights that have become part and parcel of our family's how-to-cure-homesickness menu. Here are just a few...



There is no denying that Ticino architecture, cuisine and culture is closely related to that of neighbouring Italy.


A Ticino autumn classic: roasted chestnuts


Cheese from the local alps, most notably Gottardo


Infiltrated from Italy no doubt! ;)


October is game season in Ticino. Personally I prefer the side dishes of spätzle, chestnuts, red beets, sprouts and wine-soaked pears.


Coop yoghurts still look like they did in the 70s and taste the same too...


Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!


Lindt marketing at it's best... just morph the traditional chocolate easter bunnies into Christmas bears.


The classic of all classics: Swiss Milk Chocolate


The most iconic Swiss chocolate, now declined into creative panoply of flavours.


Kids' Export shopping

Thursday, November 9, 2017

World Freedom Day

In many parts of the world, freedom is something that is taken for granted. The freedom to choose any religion we want or no religion at all, the freedom to be in a relationship with the person we love, the freedom to travel…the list goes on. Unfortunately, there are many, many places in the world where these freedoms are not available to people.

If you don’t know what it means to be afraid to voice your opinion, then you can consider yourself very lucky to live in a place where liberty is a priority as well as a basic human right. And like all good things, liberty should be celebrated, and that’s what World Freedom Day is all about.

The History of World Freedom Day

The World Freedom Day is a federal observance commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. The day commemorates the end of communism in Eastern and Central Europe and was designated in 2001 by President George W. Bush. It was created to celebrate the reunification of loved ones separated by the Iron Curtain and differing ideologies, and ultimately serves to acknowledge that the resolve of the masses can shift boundaries, break unfavorable resolutions and ultimately determine the type of leadership they desire so as to live is a freer, more fair society.

World Freedom Day is celebrated every year on November 9th.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lugano in B&W

Back in the Italian part of Switzerland for the autumn break and we are falling in love with this corner of the world all over again.

Ticino is a land of artists where culture is still a way of life. It is a place where art, architecture and history are intertwined with breathtaking nature and impressive landscapes.

With its lakes and mountains Ticino is typically Swiss but with added sunshine and Mediterranean flair. The mix inspires lifestyle as well as food and drink.


Parco Ciani is the green heart of the city of Lugano, a beautiful public park of 63'000 sqm.


Villa Ciani, a beautiful mid-1800’s mansion with sober neoclassical shapes 
featuring 30 frescoed rooms. 


In 1912 the villa and the park were purchased by the city of Lugano.


The funicular Angioli is (was) the fourth funicular of Lugano and certainly the most unknown.
In 1910 this funicular was built and started to link the lake promenade to the big hotels in 1913. In 1973, the owner gave the funicular to the City of Lugano whom decided to suspend the exploitation in 1987.


The church of S. Tommaso at Agra. The church initially belonged to the parish of S. Pietro in Pambio and then became an under-parish in 1591.


Happy Hour Ticino Style.
Waterfront lounging in Morcote.


The picturesque village on the shores of lake Lugano prevailed over 12 contestants to win the title of “Most beautiful village of Switzerland 2016”.


 With its characteristic small alleys, the arcades of old patrician homes, valuable architectural monuments and its natural beauty, Morcote is considered “the Pearl of Ceresio”.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Swiss Cuisine: facts & figures

Switzerland owes its rich culinary heritage to its great many regional specialities. Many traditional dishes have their roots in Switzerland’s farming culture.

- Around 400 different Swiss products, such as “Gruyère” (cheese), “Longeole” (a sausage from Geneva) and “Basler Läckerli” (biscuits) are officially recognised as part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
- The Swiss eat the most chocolate in the world, consuming close to 11kg of chocolate, per person, per year.
- Switzerland has over 450 different cheeses.
- The Swiss consume 21.5kg of cheese per person, per year.
- There are more than 1,680 artisan bakeries in Switzerland.
- Switzerland has a huge assortment of sausages and dried meat specialities, which vary from region to region: “La Longeole” in Geneva and the “Saucisson Vaudois”, the “St. Galler Bratwurst” (veal frying sausage), “Jura boudin à la crème“ (blood sausage ), “Bündnerfleisch”, and “mortadella di fegato” (liver mortadella) from Ticino, to name but a few.
- Around 200 grape varieties are grown in Switzerland. 40 of these are indigenous varieties.
- Valais is the largest wine-making region. Over 50 different grape varieties are grown there.
- Absinthe, a plant-based spirit, was banned in Switzerland following a popular initiative in 1908. The ban was lifted in 2005.
- Many homes in Switzerland use the powdered seasoning “Aromat”, which was invented by Knorr in 1952. In 1908 Maggi created its now famous and extremely popular stock cubes.
- “Cenovis”, a spread made from yeast, carrot and onion extract, was launched in 1931. “Parfait”, another popular Swiss speciality, has been around since 1942.
- “Ovomaltine”, which was invented in 1865, is a milk-flavouring product made from malted barley, skimmed milk and cocoa.
- “Rivella” is a carbonated soft drink made from milk serum. It was launched in the 1950s.
- “Ricola” is a boiled sweet made from a blend of 13 herbs and has been manufactured since 1940.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Capital of the World

The scariest, silliest, sugariest night of the year is finally here. Halloween is spreading around the globe like a zombie outbreak.

From Germany to Japan, young adults are embracing the holiday, particularly its costume parties, as they escape the status quo for a night. Americans take their Halloween pretty seriously, even if many don't know exactly why we carve pumpkins, hang fake ghosts, hand out candy, or dress up like something dragged in by a graveyard cat.

European immigrants brought Halloween to the United States, where different Old World traditions mingled in America's cultural stew. The celebration gained steam with the explosion of Irish immigration to the United States in the 1800s.

Anoka, Minnesota is believed to be the first city in the United States to put on a Halloween celebration to divert its youngsters from Halloween pranks. When Anokans awoke to find their cows roaming Main Street, their windows soaped and their outhouses tipped over, they decided something had to be done.


In 1920, George Green and other Anoka civic leaders suggested the idea of a giant celebration. The idea was adopted by the Anoka Commercial Club and the Anoka Kiwanis Club; both giving their full support. In September of that year, a Halloween committee was organized.

Working hand in hand were businessmen, teachers from the Anoka public and parochial schools, parents, and students. For weeks before the big event, more than a thousand Anoka school children made plans and costumes for the big event.

By the 1930s, the festivities had expanded as had the attendance at the parades. There were over 2,000 costumed children marching down Main Street. It was estimated that 20,000 spectators lined the streets to watch this night-time spectacle. In 1937, 12-year-old, Harold Blair, donning a sweater embellished with a Halloween Capital insignia, carried with him to Washington, D.C. a proclamation naming Anoka the Halloween Capital of the World.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

The most spectacular sunset ever...

“Tonight the sun has died like an Emperor ... great scarlet arcs of silk ... saffron ... green ... crimson ... and the blaze of Venus to remind one of the absolute and the infinite ... and along the lower rim of beauty lay the hard harsh line of the hills ...” 

John Coldstream

Friday, October 27, 2017

A walk along the lake

Back in town and it is a fabulous sunny autumn day. How many pictures can you take while strolling along the lake of Lugano? Take a look...


Never get tired of this view


This bench has my name written all over it


Indian summer in Lugano



Geometric visual games


A shot right out of a Hollywood movie



Sometimes you need to change your angle.


A black and white impression 


Feel like a ride?


Playing with shadows


An exotic touch


Time to call it a day!
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