720 years ago the foundation for Switzerland was laid, when the men of the region of the three original cantons threw out the Habsburgians and formed the Swiss confederacy also known as Confederatio Helvetica.
As much as America is in its adolescence today (see my post of July 4th), Switzerland is an old lady – actually make that a grumpy old man. If there were characteristics to summarily dispense on the Swiss it would be: opinionated – because being neutral does not mean you don’t have a strong stance on issues, traditional and change-adverse, a wee bit stubborn, quiet and modest. We believe our actions will speak for themselves, no need to go shopping with them and no fear that others will if you don’t.
We are of course very punctual (you kind of have to if you sell the watches we do), quality driven, reliable and dependable and yes, to a Swiss person those are two different qualities. I would like to add a great sense for esthetics; maybe that’s why so many Swiss are gifted designers. The Helvetica font was created by a Swiss: Max Miedinger in 1957. It was an instant hit. The documentary Helvetica about the font is very cool.
Happy Birthday Switzerland: I wish that you could loosen up a bit and find a way to combine the old and true with the new and exciting and that you can remember that change can be good! You are the “awesomest” country in the world, but you need to learn to participate in it and accept the change you invite by doing so.