Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fête nationale Suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansch: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is Switzerland’s national holiday, set on 1 August. It was declared an official holiday in 1994, although the day has been suggested for the celebration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy for over 100 years. The date is inspired by the early August Federal Charter of 1291, when the Alpine areas of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden swore the oath of confederation, an action which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.This year Switzerland celebrates 723 years of independence. Watch President Didier Burkhalter’s speech to celebrate Swiss National Day, available in German, French and Italian on the YouTube channel of the Swiss Foreign Ministry:Swiss National Day celebrations in NYC were hosted with the Swiss Society of New York and took place at Studio Square beer garden in Queens on July 26, 2014.
In addition to Swiss specialties like cervelat and raclette, we also enjoyed live Swiss folklore music and facepainting for the kids. Check out photos from the festivities on Flickr and don’t miss our interview with the Swiss yodelers who performed at the event, shared below!Meet Swiss Yodelers Dominik Kempf and Katharina Hasler! The interview is in Swiss German, translated by Chris Veit.Happy 1st of August!Jul312014
Whenever we meet newly arrived Swiss in New York, we encourage them to check out the local Swiss societies and clubs. One of the best unofficial networks to join for meeting other Swiss in NYC is the Swiss Drinks meetup. Recently we had the chance to sit down with Michael Smith, organizer of the monthly Swiss Drinks events, to learn what it was like for him when he first arrived in New York and to hear his advice for other Swiss looking to move here.
(Swiss Drinks gathering to cheer on Switzerland in the World Cup)
Originally from Zurich, Mike moved to New York City in 2008 to work for Avon Cosmetics as a Global Brand Manager. After seeing a need for social marketing analytics in China, he co-founded Soshio in 2012 to provide Western companies with market insights on Chinese consumers through real-time analysis of Chinese social media platforms.
Mike is a dual-citizen of Switzerland and the U.S., and also has Peruvian and Chinese roots. When deciding where to be based to launch Soshio, he says that there was no question he would stay in New York. The city is a great place to be an entrepreneur and more and more Swiss are coming here for the startup culture.
Staying true to his Swiss roots, Mike organizes and hosts the monthly Swiss Drinks NYC events, with the purpose of helping new New Yorkers and Swiss discover the city together. The group is not only for Swiss citizens, they also welcome Americans and New Yorkers interested in Switzerland and/or meeting Swiss.
Watch our interview with Mike to hear about his experiences as a Swiss entrepreneur in NYC and to learn more about Swiss Drinks!
Swiss Drinks is hosting their July Meetup as the official after-party for tomorrow’s Swiss National Day celebrations. After the festivities at Studio Square with the Consulate General and the Swiss Society of New York, head over to LIC Landing by COFFEED at 6pm for Swiss Drinks!
If you’re on Facebook, join the Swiss Drinks group to hear about events and news from the community. Swiss Drinks events are usually held the third Thursday of every month. To join the mailing list, email: Mike@GetSoshio.comJul252014
Don’t miss these upcoming events… especially Swiss National Day Celebrations, July 26 at 12pm!Jul242014
On July 11, 2014, swissnex Boston in collaboration with the ETH Zurich Alumni New England Chapter and the University of Zurich Alumni & Friends of Boston Chapter had the honor and pleasure of welcoming Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, a University of Zurich Alumna, and President-elect of…Jul242014
Recently we had the chance to welcome the Twisted Swissters, Switzerland’s team in the Race Across America mountain bike competition, to the Consulate during their visit to New York.
The 2014 Race Across America kicked off in San Diego, California on June 14th. Solo cyclists and teams from around the world peddled over 3,000 miles to the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. The Twisted Swissters finished in 7th place, biking 3,020 miles in 6 days, 14 hours, and 53 minutes.
The team was led by Swiss Champion Ski Skier, Philippe May, one of five men to ski over 250 km/h - 155 MPH. Also on the team were Claude-Alain Gailand, Mountain & Extreme Tour Guide (Switzerland), Ismaël Devènes, Member of the Swiss Speed Ski Team since 2007 (Switzerland), and Steven Beverling, Twice on 4-man RAAM team (Australia). Tracie Max Sachs (Switzerland) was the Crew Chief and is a five time winner of the Speed Skiing World Cup.
These endurance athletes are no strangers extreme sports, though this year’s race was especially challenging with the team leader’s unexpected health scare. Philippe May was admitted to the hospital on June 8, 2014 upon arrival to San Diego and he was subsequently diagnosed with a genetic heart defect, ARVD or ARVC. He underwent surgery and remained at the hospital until he was well enough to travel with the logistics crew supporting the Twisted Swissters across America.
It was humbling to hear Philippe’s story and we were impressed with his spirit and the camaraderie of his teammates, two of which are Suisse Romand. The Twisted Swissters completed the competition with Philippe’s encouragement from the sidelines. The team was also united for Aussie Steven Berveling’s awareness campaign to raise money for 4HIVhope, a cause very personal to him as an HIV survivor competing in the race. RAMM was an opportunity for the Twisted Swissters to raise awareness for both Phillippe’s newly diagnosed heart condition and Steven’s continued activism for HIV hope.We encourage you to read more about the team’s endeavors on their website and invite you to watch our interview with the Swiss racers of Twisted Swissters!
Another Swiss, Hans-Rudolf “Hansi” Nyfeler, won 1st place in the Solo Race for Men (ages 50-59). A Swiss Father-Daughter team also took 1st place in the 2-person mixed (under 50) group race. For a full list of results, click here.Jul152014
In this series, we’re profiling diplomats, transferable staff, and local employees at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York to give you an inside peek into their daily tasks, professional backgrounds, and personal tastes!
In the Spotlight: Simona Regazzoni KwendaJob Title:Consul, Head of the Consular Section.Hometown:Gnosca, a very small village in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland.Places you’ve lived:I was born and raised in Ticino. After finishing school, I lived in Zurich for three years. I started my career in the Swiss Foreign Service twenty years ago and it has taken me to Lisbon (Portugal), Harare (Zimbabwe), Genoa (Italy), Washington DC (US), Cairo (Egypt) and finally to the Big Apple.Current residence:Harrison NY, in the beautiful Westchester County.Favorite things about the US:The US is like a second home for me and my family. I like the diversity of people and landscapes. The history of immigration to North America has always fascinated me.What you miss about Switzerland:The Alps and the charcuterie from Ticino, especially salamini and mortadella nostrana!Recommended New York hot spot:A nice walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.Where you lunch in Midtown:Any nice Japanese restaurant for sushi. Or if I want a fine dish of Gnocchi, I like to go to the Osteria Laguna on 42nd Street.One thing on your desk right now is:A lot of paper and…more paper (sorry, nothing fancy right now!)Favorite moment or “highlight” since working at the Consulate:Every day in New York is a highlight but I remember my first day at work three years ago as if it were yesterday. When I walked into our beautiful offices, I thought to myself: “yes, that’s exactly where I want to be!”Your daily routine includes:With my team, we take care of 30’000 Swiss registered with us. Every day, we get numerous visitors at our counters, phone calls, e-mails and letters. The word “routine” doesn’t really fit in my daily work schedule!If you could schedule a lunch date with anyone, it would be:Roberto Benigni.Upcoming projects:More trips to New England, a region of the USA that I love.Jul142014
Don’t miss these upcoming Swiss events!Jul092014
The Swiss Consulate General together with the Swiss Society of New York proudly present this year’s celebration. We invite you to join us for a day of festivities as we celebrate our traditions & hospitality.
Studio Square Beer Garden
35-33 36th Street
Long Island City, NY 11106
Saturday, July 26
12pm - 5 pm, rain or shine (covered seating)
$10 per person
Free admission for children under 6
*Tickets are only available at the door, day of the event
Face Painting by Agostino Arts
Available for puchase at the event
- Round trip air tickets for 2, by Swiss International Air Lines
- First Class 8 day rail passes, by Switzerland Tourism
- Luggage Set, by Victorinox
- Swiss Watch
- Nespresso Machine
- And many more great items
About Swiss National Day:
More than 700 years ago, the inhabitants of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden signed a contract of mutual aid and protection, called the “Federal Charter”, which has since been considered to be Switzerland’s deed of foundation. This solemn oath, taken on 1 August 1291 on the legendary Rütli meadow overlooking Lake Lucerne, was mainly an act of rebellion against the Habsburgs, the rulers of the kingdom of Austria, who at the time were planning to extend their sphere of influence as far as the territories bordering the St. Gotthard.
Since 1891, the first of August has been celebrated as Swiss National Day. Every year, the President of the Swiss Confederation gives a radio or television broadcast but mostly it’s celebrated exclusively within the communities. Switzerland Tourism has a great blog post explaining more about the holiday’s history here!Jul082014
Why is everything in Switzerland closed on Sundays? Are there really sign-up sheets to do laundry in apartment buildings? And what’s with all the church bells? All of these questions and more are answered by the English-language online magazine about Switzerland, Newly Swissed.In an effort to explain and promote “Swissness,” the online platform covers the latest trends in Swiss culture, design, oddities and tourism, as well as how to settle in Switzerland. It has become a go-to resource for American expats living in Switzerland and the blog reaches English-language readers from around the world who have an interest in all things Swiss.We had the chance to meet with the founders, Dimitri and Mamiko, during their stay in the city for “Zürich Meets New York”. We were happy to welcome the Zurich-based couple to NYC for the festival, courtesy of Swiss International Air Lines, and it was great to see them attend so many events.In between dada, running in Central Park and Grand Central’s MetroNeXt+ exhibit, we sat down for an interview with Newly Swissed at the Consulate. Watch the video to learn more about their story, how the online magazine wasf ounded, and what they’re planning for the future!Thanks again to Dimitri and Mamiko for attending the “Zürich Meets New York” festival events with us and a special thank you to Swiss International Air Lines for sponsoring their trip to New York to discover all things Swiss in NYC! Check out Newly Swissed’s articles on “Zürich Meets New York”:
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