Es isch echli komisch Schwiizertütsch uf ATS z'läse, aber meh muess ebe mit allem gwaffnet sii.
It's weird reading Swiss german on ATS, but you have to be prepared for everything.
Let me just add my 2 cents about the seemingly tolerant lifestyle and neutral (foreign) politics; you have to remember that our country's seeds were
planted over 700 years ago. Our ancestors were so bold to kick out Austrian royalty (the Habsburger*), which attracted others to join in. Their
purpose wasn't victory in defeat but rather defense, securing their land of the oppressor and live in peace with each other.
Now, this gives an entirely different base of a political system where the laws and policies are geared towards the well-being of the people and not
the state. Sure, there were restrictions but we are talking about the Dark Ages and nobody had it lovey-dovey then, right?
An interesting fact most people forget is that our soldiers used to fight each other in the name of our neighboring countries/kingdoms since there was
no need for them to divide and conquer in the name of Switzerland. In return we had to declare ourselves neutral being surrounded by the strongest
forces of Europe, but we managed to stay on our own, successfully.
Earlier in the thread it was mentioned, we looked away when the Nazis pooped all over Europe. From what I can gather, the Federal Constitution from
1848 sealed the deal on our neutrality which prevents other countries from invading us. There were plans, though but they failed miserably.
Also, it's hard for me to pinpoint the Swiss mentality. I wasn't raised entirely here, which makes me kind of a cheat, but judging from the fact
that we have to learn at least three languages in school, are so close to other countries and that we have so many people of other nationalities and
cultures among us, gives us a broad perspective already, accepting differences in cutlure from an early age on.
I say this because I used to live in the US and unless you live in a larger city at either coast, you don't have much variety of culture to choose
from, not even on television.
*BTW, their name-giving castle is still on our soil.
[edit on 6/11/08 by blue dome]