Tuesday, July 31, 2018

1.August Speech for the Swiss Abroad

As every year, the President of the Confederation addresses the Swiss Abroad on its National Day. On August 1st, 2018 it is Alain Berset paying his respects to the citizens of Switzerland's 3rd largest community after Zurich and Bern. The Swiss abroad would be the most divers of all canons but we are all united by our view onto Switzerland.

The speech comes in 4 different languages: German, French, Italian and English even though the fourth National language is not English but Romansch. The English version it targeted towards to Swiss Abroad who gather in Swiss clubs and organisations across the globe to celebrate and connect.

Click here to listen to the 1. August National Day address: 1Aug_Ausland_BPAB_EN.mp4

How do you celebrate August 1 abroad? Share your Swiss National Holiday photos with the hashtag # 1AugustAbroad.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Swiss National Anthem

Discover the proposal for a new National anthem text in all four National languages here: Hymne.pdf.

On 1 August, the communities in Switzerland and the Swiss clubs worldwide are invited to sing the proposed new hymn which is in the centre of a National debate on values.

In 2013, the Swiss company for public value (SGG) launched an artists' competition to create a new Swiss National anthem. 208 contributions from all parts of the country arrived between January and June 2014. The 30-member jury with experts from music, literature, journalism, music and sports associations chose six competition entries for the online voting. In a first round of voting, the three finalists were determined. The winner was chosen in a close race in the final round on September 12, 2015. The new anthem is written by Werner Widmer and is based on the introductory text of the Federal Constitution containing values such as peace, freedom, independence and the protection of the weak.

The SGG wants to initiate a national debate about the identity and the central values of our country with the creation of this new anthem text. The melody of today's National anthem by Albert Zwyssig is retained in the new hymn text.

Did you know that...

- There is no legal basis for singing the Swiss anthem in communities or at sports events? In 1981, the Federal Council declared the new anthem obligatory only for military and diplomatic occasions.
- Over the past three years, the Federal Council has repeatedly defended SGG's initiative for a new hymn text in the face of parliament?
- Parliament voted against cementing the „Schweizerpsalm“ (current Swiss anthem) in the Constitution?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

1.August Brunch 2018

Celebrate Switzerland's National Day with a traditional Farmer's Brunch. It is a family event not to be missed. For the past 25 years Swiss farmers have been inviting city dwellers (Swiss and foreign alike) for brunch on their farms. Last year 350 farms all across the country welcomed over 150'000 guests.

Hosted by selected Swiss farms who offer you a brunch, they will provide you with the opportunity to taste different kinds of home-made cheese, meat, milk, bread, BirchermĂŒesli and many other gastronomic specialities in a very particular atmosphere.

You'll have the certainty of trying some excellent high quality products. If you're lucky you'll enjoy some typical Swiss music, meet a Swiss celebrity, be served out of a giant Roesti frying pan or admire some amazing National costumes. The kids will love all the direct contact with the farms' animals.

Book now for a brunch in one of the farms! Click here to find a list of Ticino's participating farmers.

My favourite so far is: Alpe Duragno at the top of Monte Tamaro. See purple trail on map. My friends recommend the farms on top of Monte Generoso. Capanna Cava is worth a mention as well.

As places in the farms are limited, registration is mandatory and better done early. You can register by telephoning or e-mailing the farmers directly before July 30th 2018. There are still quite a few spots left as of this morning. Please communicate how many children and adults you'll be.

Venue: 1.August Brunch
When: Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
Time: 9:00 - 13:00
Price: CHF 25.- to 40.-
Directions: All participating farms will be signposted with the logo: «Brunch»
For more info: Tel: 056 462 52 10 on workdays from 10:00 bis 12:00 and from 14.00 to 16:00
E-Mail: info@brunch.ch
Homepage: www.brunch.ch

Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the beautiful Swiss countryside and fine Swiss products can be enjoyed not only on August 1st. On www.vomhof.ch, you'll find all the farms that offer their products throughout the year!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Facts about Expats in Switzerland

Expat Insider is one of the largest surveys worldwide offering an in-depth analysis of Expat life across the globe. More than 12,500 respondents representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories answered InterNations' questions, providing unique insights into what it means to be an Expat in 2017.

Expats in Switzerland appreciate the excellent quality of life, while struggling with a distant local population and high expenses.

Nearly half of Expats working in Switzerland can be found in finance or IT (14% each), healthcare (11%), or manufacturing and engineering (10%). Incomes in Switzerland are higher than they would be back home. In Switzerland, an impressive 57% report an annual gross household income of over 100,000 CHF, with 14% even having 200,000 CHF or more at their disposal; these results are nearly three times the global average of 21% and 5% respectively.

In contrast, the country ranks second to last in the Cost of Living Index, with close to three-quarters (73%) rating this factor negatively. “The cost of living is very high, even when considering the high income”, one respondent complains. The majority of Expats also gives the affordability of housing (67%), healthcare (50%), and childcare (71% of parents) a negative rating.

The quality of life in Switzerland seems to make up for such high living expenses. The country ranks 8th in this index and scores especially well when it comes to safety and transportation.

Not one single respondent perceived personal safety as a potential drawback prior to their relocation to Switzerland — and they weren’t wrong. In fact, less than 0.5% end up judging this factor negatively after experiencing life in Switzerland. Peacefulness and political stability earn similar praise with 97% and 93% positive ratings respectively.

The destination has even more to offer. “I love that Switzerland is centrally located and affords me the opportunity to travel all over Europe. Switzerland's public transportation system makes adjusting to life without a car quite easy”, shared another Expat. Around seven in ten respondents give the opportunity to travel (69%) and the local transportation infrastructure (74%) the best possible rating.

In the Health & Well-Being subcategory, Switzerland only loses ground due to the aforementioned healthcare costs - both the quality of medical care (85%) and of the environment (98%) are rated favourably by the vast majority of respondents.

The health and safety of children is also rated positively, with 95% and 97% of expat parents reporting they are generally happy with these factors.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Lugano Cliff diving

Lugano does not pop into your head spontaneously when talking about cliff diving.

The real roots of cliff diving are found at Kaunolu, on the Hawaiian island of Lana´i. Back in 1770, Kahekili, the last independent king of Maui and chief of four islands was famous for “lele kata”, which in English means "leaping off high cliffs and entering the water feet first without a splash".

Then there is the myth of La Quebrada, or “The Break”, the famous rock in Acapulco. In 1934, the 13-year old Enrique Apac Rios jumped off for the first time in history. In 1997 the Red Bull competition of cliff diving was officially born in Ticino.

For the first time in Ticino, 12 of the best world athletes will dive performing from a 22 meter high platform at Rivetta Belvedere (in front of LAC).

This diving acrobatic show organised by World High diving federation is free of charge and an event for all the ages. The beautiful setting of the Lake Lugano together with a very high rate of adrenaline and spectacularity will make for an unforgettable live performance.

Venue: Lugano Cliff diving
Where: Rivetta Belvedere, 6900 Lugano
Date: Saturday, July 21st - 3 show during the day 16:00 – 18:00 - 20:00
Sunday, July 22nd - 3 show during the day 14:00 – 16:00 – 18:00
For more info: https://www.mb9.ch

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Go to Ticino!

Not sure I like the twist of the latest promotional Ticino video entitled "Don't go to Ticino" by someone called TOLT. Don't get me wrong the photography is spectacular and the video renders beautifully all that Ticino has to offer but if you need to add a capture at the bottom of your spot: "One advice: never set foot in Ticino. Please watch this video until the end to be sure to understand." it just doesn't fly with me.

However, if you do choose to watch it to the end...You might get addicted to the Ticino Dolce Vita! 😏

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ticino's public pools and lidos

The summer is in full swing and I thought I'd share a useful list of open air and covered swimming pools throughout Ticino. Did you know the Lido of Lugano was founded in 1928 or that Bellinzona's outdoor pool was inaugurated 45 years ago. Check them out for yourself.

Switzerland's pools by Canton: badi-info.ch/schwimmbad.html
Lugano's Lido: lakeside-lido-di-lugano.html
Bellinzona' Bagno Publico: sport.bellinzona.ch
Lido di Locarno: lidolocarno.ch/it/piscine
Lido di Bissone: bissone.ch/lido-comunale/
Lido's and public baths around Lugano: luganoregion.com

My personal favourite is Lido di Caslano. Make sure you get there early since it is very small but definitely a unique experience.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Caritas Bergeinsatz is looking for volunteers

For over 40 years, mountain farming families have been able to count on the support of Caritas Bergeinsatz. In emergency situations and in the busy summer months, they provide quick and easy help from volunteers to affected families.

At least 700 volunteers are still needed in the Swiss mountain area this summer.

117 mountain farming families from all over Switzerland have applied for assistance from Caritas' mountain mission more than ever before, and there are still more. Helping hands are used for haying, barn and farm work, household and garden chores, pasture care and looking after animals.

In 2017, Caritas Bergeinsatz provided a total of 1179 volunteer mission weeks. This year, the demand from mountain farmers for support is 300 weeks higher than last year. One of the reasons for this is the storm Burglind, which has left much labor-intensive devastation.

To volunteer for a Caritas mission, you need to be between 18 and 70 years old, feel mentally and physically fit to help with the usual work on a farm and speak the language of the site. Of course, you and the mountain farming family should take into account your personal opportunities and abilities. Clarify your expectations on first contact. A Caritas mountain mission is a unique, enriching experience. It is not about holidays on the farm, but the relief of a needing family in a challenging situation.

For more info: https://www.bergeinsatz.ch
An Italian speaking family in need: https://www.bergeinsatz.ch
ATTENTION: The legal regulations only allow nationals of the CH or EU / EFTA states to work in Switzerland!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yoga with a view

Sounds tempting? Well, every Saturday until end of September, you are invited to join a yoga session at the Bagno Pubblico (Lido Riva Caccia) from 9.00 to 10.00.

This public bathing platform is in front of the Museo d'Arte, just few minutes walking distance from the city centre, and you can enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains around the lake and the characteristic natural beauties of the city.

The wooden platform floating on the lake will get lathered with colourful mats, so bring your own and soak in the beauty of the nature in front of you while Yoga Roof’s beautiful teachers guide you in a peaceful and regenerating practice.

You will have to pay the entrance as usual (CHF 6.- or 5.- with Lugano Card) but the classes are offered by the city of Lugano and Yoga Roof.

Venue: Yoga al Bagno Pubblico
Where: Lido Riva Caccia (https://www.ticino.ch)
Date: every Saturday until September 29th, 2018
Time: Gates open at: 8.30 / Class: 9.00 – 10.00
Entrance to Lido: CHF  6.- (with Lugano Card 5.-)
Class is free offered by the Dicastero dello Sport of Lugano and Yoga Roof! Bring your own mat.

Spread the news, bring your friends: this is a great opportunity to try yoga and to enjoy the practice in unbeatable surroundings, directly on the lake!

In case of rain, the class will take place at Yoga Roof: Via Canova 18, 6900 Lugano. They will update you via their Facebook page or you can call at 091 224 81 34.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Estival Jazz Lugano

If you're around Lugano between July 12th and 14th and like jazz, you'll love the Estival Jazz. Lugano is celebrating its 40th edition this year.

Many international Jazz and “World Music” musicians will be on stage in Piazza della Riforma for numerous free concerts. In recent years, Miles Davis, Ray Charles and Noa have enchanted the Estival public.

Here is what you have to look forward to:

Thursday, July 12th
- Nguyen LĂȘ & Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
"Celebrating The Dark Side of the Moon"
Conductor: Markus Poschner
- Ekalavya
- Kennedy Administration

Friday, July 13th
- Hudson
- Michel Camilo & Tomtit
- Chico Trujillo

Saturday, July 14th
- Renzo Arbore & L'Orchestra italiana
- London Community Gospel Choir

Venue: Estival Jazz Lugano
Where: Piazza Riforma, 6900 Lugano
Date: July 12th to 14th, 2018
For a detailed programme: click here

Saturday, July 7, 2018

100 skills to teach your child

Education gives your children the knowledge they need about different subjects, but it does not necessarily equip them with essential life skills.

Imagine your child at her first job or in his first apartment. What skills do you want them to bring to these settings? How would you wish them to manage time, money and belongings?

Below are everyday life skills you can teach your kid in five minutes and that he/she won't learn in school. Our best family tip: how to change a duvet cover in 2 minutes... mighty handy for all those sleepovers!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ever heard of "PĂłzz BĂłrgh"?

Listen up, because I have discovered the perfect hideout for a hot summer day thanks to a local friend who likes sharing.

Iragna’s pool, also known as the PĂłzz BĂłrgh pool, is a favourite spot, great for cooling down in the summer. It can be easily accessed from the village and its natural backdrop of three waterfalls descending into the pool is truly spectacular. It is suitable for wild swimming and sunbathing, making it the ideal place for a fun and relaxing day out with the whole family.

This pool is also a perfect spot for canyoning enthusiasts, who can practice this extreme sport in the ideal conditions of the Iragna stream canyons with their picturesque descents and crystal clear blue water. Those who enjoy physical exercise in the outdoors will certainly appreciate the fitness trail beginning at the sports complex and spreading over the area that leads to the Ticino river.

For direction of how to find this pearl, click here: https://www.bellinzonese-altoticino.ch/en

Monday, July 2, 2018

Expats around the world: facts & numbers

Imagine if all the expats were put together, they would form the 5th most populous country in the world. Lets call it the United States of Expatriates!

1.) There were a ‘mere’ 73 million expats worldwide in the year 1960, that figure now stands at a staggering 230 million!
2.) Expats make up 3.1% of global population.
3.) If all the expats of the world were to form an imaginary country, it would be the 5th most populous country in the world. Lets call it the United States of Expatriates. Its population would be greater than large countries like Russia and Brazil.
4.) A human chain made up of all expats would be long enough to circumnavigate the globe – a distance of nearly 25,000 miles!
5.) Women make up 49% of the expat population worldwide, i.e., nearly 113 million, more than the population of Canada and the UK put together!
6.) The total expat remittances to developing nations amounted to US$ 328 billion in 2012, thereby propping up the economies of those countries.
7.) The top recipient countries of expat remittances are India, China, Mexico, Philippines and Nigeria.
8.) The Top 5 countries with the highest share of expats in total population are Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan and Singapore.
9.) It is interesting to note that the top 3 countries with the highest percentage of expats in the total population are all oil rich middle-eastern countries.
10.) There are 6.32 million American and 4.7 million British expats living abroad.

And just consider this: in the time taken for you to read this, 6-7 expats would have moved abroad for the first time!

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