“We celebrate both cultures”
Claudio Sandri (40), gastronomy manager, lives in Singapore, comes from Lugano TI
The Swiss National Day and that of Singapore take place in the same week. That’s why my Singaporean wife, our two children and I celebrate with a combination of both cultures – unfortunately this year due to the pandemic on a small scale. Everyone helps to prepare the raclette dinner, Radio Basilisk is playing in the background, because I lived in Arisdorf BL for a long time. The songs remind my children of the summer vacation in Switzerland and the long journeys from Basel to Lugano or St. Moritz. We sing and have a mini dance party. We put on Swiss clothes, hang the flags of both countries and sing the national anthem of Singapore.
«Tryeling at 40 degrees in the shade»
Heidi Soland (64), pensioner, lives in Pinoso (Spain), comes from Seon AG
We have been here for over a year now and I will never forget the last August 1st. It was 40 degrees in the shade and I was pedaling for ten minutes. The sweat ran down my face by the liter. We celebrated the birthday of a Swiss friend together with Spaniards, Dutch, English, Belgians, Germans and other Swiss people. We had a really nice party with lanterns, August 1st flags and fireworks. This year we will hang my husband’s big flag of Valais and of course the Swiss flag again.
«August 1st is not the same without family and friends»
Jana Liechti (22), student of forensic sciences with criminology, lives in London (Great Britain), comes from Beromünster LU
I actually always spend August 1st in Switzerland because it coincides with my father’s birthday and I want to celebrate it with my family. About three years ago, however, I was unable to leave London because of my work. I couldn’t leave it like that and asked my only Swiss friend in London what was going on in the city’s Swiss church on August 1st. When we entered the room, we were surrounded by Swiss-German speaking people and an intense smell of raclette. After all the good cheese, a cold beer was a must. Then came the highlight of the evening: an alphorn concert. When the music filled the room, you could only see smiling and satisfied faces in the crowd. It was nice to be able to meet other Swiss people – but August 1st is simply not the same without family and friends.
“Our 37 huskies don’t like fireworks”
Martina (56) and Andreas (64) Ziltener, commercial employees and auto mechanics, live in Aspliden (Sweden), come from Wägital SZ
We don’t light fireworks on August 1st, just Bengali candles. Not only because we live in a wooded area and it is currently very dry and hot – but also because we have 37 huskies who don’t like the noise at all. Many Swiss colleagues came by ferry or flew here. On the national holiday, we also meet our Norwegian and Swedish neighbors for raclette and fondue, which has become commonplace. Incidentally, for us a neighbor is everything within a 20-kilometer radius. We decorate with lanterns and flags and sit comfortably together. Of course, we also show our colleagues the area – mostly on a quad bike and with the dogs.
“Cozy get-togethers with friends is the best thing”
Hansruedi (71) and Marianne (67) Moser, live in Khao Tao (Thailand), come from Bassersdorf ZH
We celebrate our 1st August with friends on the beach. The small insider bar, which is run by a German couple, always organizes our national holiday in a very traditional way. With cervelats and sausages, grilled directly on the beach over an open fire. There is also potato, croissant and green salad. The fine and high quality sausages come from the Swiss butcher Sämi who lives here. I should know because I (Hansruedi) was a butcher and sausage specialist myself. A cozy get-together with friends from many different countries and cultures, while celebrating an old tradition, is the best thing for us. And then only at 30 degrees in the evening.
“Keep it really Swiss”
Sven Müller (43), chemotherapy department manager, lives in Sydney (Australia), comes from Zurich
Just get out of Switzerland, out into the big wide world and make new experiences. That’s how it was for me. But homesickness came faster than expected. So we found out about traditional Swiss events. Around an hour outside the city, the August 1st celebration takes place every year for Swiss people and their families and friends. I couldn’t stop being amazed. A yodelling club – traveled from Switzerland, Kafi schnapps, Schümli-Pflümli, cervelat and bratwurst with potato salad. Goats, sheep, cows, horses and other petting animals for the children. Keep it really Swiss. The best thing I always think is that I can buy Aromat and Maggi wort there. Like last year, we had actually planned to spend August 1st in the garden with my best friend Alain, originally from Lucerne. With a fire, white wine, fondue and a cherry. Since we are currently in complete lockdown, we have to switch to a zoom celebration.
“Central is a fire for frying sausages”
Ursula Anderson (62), gardener, lives in Traralgon (Australia), comes from Aarau
I have lived in Australia for 30 years and have a daughter with my Australian husband. August 1st is actually still a tradition for me. Australians are world champions in improvising, which is why the festival is usually very spontaneous. Central is a fire for roasting sausages, hash browns from the Aldi, a Kafi schnapps and being with friends – and of course the pride of being a Swiss woman. The mood is what matters and the memory of our roots. You can do that without fireworks, because they are not available here.