Switzerland is small. That sentence seems redundant, but people forget how small it is. I come from a country that sits “from sea to shining sea” and takes up a huge portion of a whole continent. We have people who have black skin, white skin, red hair, dyed hair, people who have Japanese bone structure but blonde hair.
Americans define themselves by blood. Everyone in elementary school loves to say that they are half-Cuban, a quarter Italian and a quarter Hungarian, and there is always one kid that divides his blood into sixths and shows everyone up. I have never met anyone in America who is a sole nationality, or whose great grandparents did not have a foreign accent.
Switzerland is different. If you are a true Swiss person you say that you are Swiss-French, Swiss-German, or Swiss-Italian, and normally there is not much variation from that. If you are Swiss-French, it means your entire family tree from what you know is Swiss-French.
Today in 20 Minutes, a free daily publication, I read an article about Miss Suisse, named Alina Buchshacher. She is from Bern, and is Swiss through and through–she is relaxed, polite, direct and of course, has the perfect figure. She has perfect milk chocolate colored skin with dark hair and eyes the color of the softest brown a painter could create. Her mother was originally from Tridad-and-Tobago, and immigrated to Switzerland when she married a Swiss man. In French the word for her is métisse–a beautiful mixture of dark and light blood. She is beautiful.
But the far right political party here in Switzerland seems to disagree. The extreme right party said that their new Miss Suisse is an example of “the multicultural decomposition of our (Swiss) society.” Alina ignored these comments and remains calm.
I am shocked. I would not be calm if I were her. I would be beyond angry.
How can a country that has 4 out of 5 people as immigrants and four national languages let such a racist comment slide? Everywhere I go I see bright red signs on the bus stop that say “Stop massive immigration” with black boots walking across the white cross in the middle of the red. Does everyone feel this way? Do the far right extremists control the media to plant ideas in people’s heads? This country is so small, that it blows my mind to think that there are people who have the Draco Malfoy mindset of “pure blood” and “mud blood.”
Switzerland is supposedly Utopia. But so was Hogwarts–and look how that turned out.