Saturday, April 16, 2005

Basic Swiss Facts

Switzerland is roughly the same size as Wales or West Virginia. The total population of Switzerland is about 7.3 million people, 5.8 million who are Swiss citizens.

Each of the 26 Cantons (based on regions) in Switzerland have its own constitution, parliment, government and courts along with the 2942 communes. Essentially each canton is its own tiny little governing republic, giving each one its own unique flavor.

Although the Swiss value their identity, they also value their own unique home-town differences from their neighbors.

Local pride is fueled by traditional folklore customs and canival/fasnatch festivals. The most exuberant festivals are located in Luzern, Basel, and Bern featuring bands, masked parades and spontaneous partying for a week at a time.

Watch making, textiles and tourism are the major strengths for the Swiss economy, along with the up and growing medical industry of Basel. IT hasn't been until recently that the Swiss are now entering a multi-ethical existence.

For this small, little guarded country, Switzerland has plenty more to offer than most visitors expect.

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