Photographers, artists, poets: show us COUNTRY.
Where do I stand with my patriotism? To be quite honest, nowhere. I lived the first twenty years of my life in London, England and the rest, now approaching 47 years, in Switzerland. Do I stand up and do what English do when I hear the British National Anthem – No. I do not even know what the British do when they hear the National Anthem, except for standing up. If I hear the Swiss national Anthem, do I sing along. Although I really like the tune, I still do not know the words, a bit complicated for my English brain. Mr. Swiss finds I am not patriot and I admit it, I am not. If England and Switzerland play against each other in soccer game, who do I support? Basically I do support the Swiss, although they rarely have a chance of winning: just a fact that you have to support someone somewhere along the line.
I just do not do patriotism, I do tolerance. I have my likes and dislikes in the world. We are all human. The British prime minister, what’s his name, wanted to go to war – again against a country somewhere near Israel (that’s a problem for a start), but the majority of the members of parliament said No, so a very disappointed prime minister went home with worries if he might be re-elected in the next election. I am not discussing whether this was right or not, but I am sure that David Cameron’s (yes that’s the bloke I mean) main problem was getting things organised to his idea.
So not being patriotic, I do not have a lot to say. I pay my taxes in Switzerland, because I live here. I even paid taxes in England for a couple of years before I left. I have a pension from Switzerland and even a small amount from Great Britain (thanks to the advice from the Swiss government telling me how to do it). I know I can be counted lucky living in a safe, bank friendly Switzerland where you only know it exists if same rich people in other countries decide to hide their money there, when it can become a little embarrassing for the Swiss politicians, as they are not used to making international decisions.
So for a while I will bury this patiorism thing. Today is the first day of the Swiss Wrestling championships in Burgdorf. You have never heard of them – that is where patriotism starts in Switzerland – no-one has ever heard of them. OK, you have a circle of sawdust, two grown men dressed in a patriotic shirt with edelweiss embroidery, wearing strong trousers and training shoes. Over the trousers they wear a sort of special short trouser with a belt (the belt is important), made again of strong material. The idea is that one of the men land on their back on the sawdust when the other man grips them by the belt and pulls them down. The man on his back loses. The top winner of the game goes home with a bull. Not just a bull, but a bull that he can use to breed other cows. A special bull with mega dangly bits.
This is a short version of the whole patriotic fun. Burgdorf is in Emmental, where my husband’s family have their origins. Before you ask, he is not a Swiss Wrestler, he prefers to play drums in a modern jazz group. Anyhow here is a patriotic film all about Burgdorf and the dialogue is about the Swiss Wrestling, known in our funny German as “Schwingen. You will not understand a word, I do as this is the language I speak, but have fun.
And now I am sure you are longing to see a Swiss wrestling match. Who knows your country might want to do it as well. We carry out our fights on sawdust.
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