29 December 2010

*UPDATE* Does Crime Exist in Switzerland? Ja.

A few months ago I wrote a post about crime in Switzerland http://kiki-in-switzerland.blogspot.com/search/label/Crime.  Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.  With a population of over 7 million people, there were only 51 murders in 2009.  That says a lot!  Believe me when I say that I feel TRULY safe in Switzerland.  But of course, being from NJ via Chicago via Atlanta via NJ, I still keep my guard up.  Well, in that post I mentioned that a referendum was scheduled for November which invited Swiss citizens to vote about the immediate deportation of foreigners who comment serious crimes. 

Well here's the UPDATE:
  • 53% of voters approved the initiative which calls for the immediate deportation of non-Swiss offenders after serving their jail time without appeal. 
  • This includes those who may have been born and raised in Switzerland, but never obtained citizenship.  Unlike the US, people are not granted citizenship just because they are born within Swiss borders.
  • Crimes may range from murder to breaking and entry and social security fraud.
  • One in five Swiss residents doesn't have Swiss citizenship.
  • In 2009, 52 % of crimes were committed by Swiss citizens, 29 per cent were by foreign residents, 4.4 per cent by asylum seekers and 15% by illegal residents.

Stories of deportation: two cases of foreigners who grew up in Switzerland

So it has passed.  And believe me the Swiss are serious.  NO APPEAL!  Although, Switzerland is not a part of the EU, the EU and human rights lawyers are pissed. 

We'll see what happens.


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28 December 2010

Basel Christmas Market

Merry Christmas!

I know that I am a few days overdue, but my sendiments remain the same.  I hope you all enjoyed the day we reserve to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.

Below are photos of the Basel Christmas Market.  Word is, it is the largest Christmas Market in Switzerland and the most luminous in Europe.  In one word, Maginificent. 

Happy 2011, Ciao!

03 December 2010

My Busy Life

I have been quite busy, as usual.  I work five days a week and my commute is a killer.  I mentioned this in a previous post.  I'm serious; it's draining.  But thank God, starting next year I will be working less hours per week per my request.  Woohoo!  What a great New Year's gift to me.

So now I am catching up on a few posts...so here I am...Kiki in Switzerland.

It took 30+ years, but I have finally attended a hockey game.  Take in a few drinks and a hockey game can be quite exciting.  And the Swiss are crazy!  They were loud, drunk, and not so friendly to the visiting spectators.  Middle fingers were flying everywhere.  Accompanied by bad language.
We attended the game with my husband's old friend and her mate.  Check out the photos below.

That's me. 

Hubby's old friend.

Räbechilbi - The Turnip Festival
Räbechilbi is an event where children and adults sing songs and walk the darkened streets of Zurich holding beautifully decorated lantern turnips.  A few Swiss equate it to Halloween.  I didn't see any similarities between Räbechilbi and Halloween.  But the kids did enjoy it.  Maybe that's the similarity.

I attended my first Swiss funeral.  It was a beautiful, yet, casual affair.  The deceased didn't want a fuss. 

First, the burial took place.  Then the church service.  Followed by dinner at a local restaurant. 

I met the deceased a few times.  She was a lovely woman; 90+ years old.  She had several children, many grandchildren; and a few great grandkids.  She lived a plentiful live.  What more can you ask for.

Christmas Market
Oh, I love Christmas in Switzerland.

First, it's truly about celebrating the birth of Christ.  In schools, songs are sang and windows are decorated paying homage to Christ's birth.  I love it!

Next, the Christmas Markets are so incredibly alluring.  I think European Christmas Markets are known around the world for their beauty.  I plan on attending several markets this month and will take many photos for your viewing pleasures.

Finally,  Christmas in Switzerland is far from commercial.  Simple, low key gifts are truly appreciated.  Afterall, Christmas is not about breaking the bank to please others.  It's about spending time with loved ones and celebrating the birth of Christ (for believers, that is).

With that being said, I am so upset that I missed Black Friday.  I hope many of you got some great deals.  Haha.
Christmas Market - Zurich Haupbahnhof (Main Station)


Say My Name!

Truth is, I can't pronounce my husband's name. 

Believe it or not, he has one of the most common names in the world...Michael.  But in Swiss German, it is pronounced Mick-ai-el.  When making the ck sound in Mick you must pull the sound from the back of your throat; as if you are gurgling.  The sound is not too hard and there is sort of a hiss to it.  Mi(soft-gurgle, slight hiss)ck-ai-el. 

It's not just me. Americans are known for not being able to make this sound.  My kiddies always laugh at me because of my pronunciation shortcomings.  But I love it when they say my name (soft-gurgle,slight hiss) Ki(soft-gurgle, slight hiss)Ki.  I love it!