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Some Interesting Facts about Switzerland

Switzerland Specialties

Some Interesting Facts about Switzerland

Switzerland is nestled between five other European countries: Italy, France, Germany, Australia, and Liechtenstein. It has a total area of 15,942 square miles.

Population and Language

As of the time I am writing this, the current population of Switzerland is 8,470,375. If you want to check out the latest numbers, go to http://www.countrymeters.info/en/Switzerland/

There are four official Swiss languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansch.  German is spoken in over 70% of the country.

Government

Over many centuries, the Swiss government evolved from a loose alliance of self-governing towns and states to a federal state. The 1874 constitution established a strong central government that still gives large powers to each of its 26 cantons.

Swiss Bank Accounts

Its banking system became the world’s leading repository for international accounts.

Watchmaking

Switzerland is world renowned for its watchmaking. I am sure you recognize a lot of these brands.

Swiss watchmakers logos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an explosion of a multi-function watch that has 573 pieces and pictures of some unusual watches.

Exploded view of Swiss watchFour dial Swiss watchSwiss watch with diamonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swiss Army Knife

In 1890, the Swiss designed a small tool for their soldiers to carry to open cans and help in cleaning their weapons. It had a red handle to be visible if dropped in the snow.  Inside were just four tools: a knife blade, flat screwdriver, can opener, and sharpened punch.

In 1969, Buzz Aldrin carried a Swiss Army Knife with him on the moon. In the mid-eighties, the Swiss Army Knife was McGyver’s go to tool for his magic tricks.  I haven’t seen the new McGyver, does he still use one?  If he does, it probably sports a laser pointer, MP3 player, USB drive, and fingerprint scanners.

There must be hundreds of variations on the old classic, but don’t you agree that the one on the right might be carrying things a bit far? You would need some big pockets and maybe some suspenders to hold up your pants. It would take me five minutes to find the tool I wanted. 

Ten blade swiss army knifeEighteen blade swiss army knife
Forty-eight blade swiss army knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swiss Chocolate

The Swiss are not only famous for making the world’s best chocolates, they are also the largest consumers. They consume an average of 23 pounds a year, twice the US average.  You probably recognize Toblerone and Lindt.  Here is a website ranking the top brands of Swiss Chocolate.http://www.ranker.com/list/best-swiss-chocolate-brands/ranker-shopping.  While you are voting, check out the vote on the best things to dip in your chocolate fondue. http://www.ranker.com/list/best-things-to-dip-in-chocolate-fondue/ranker-food?ref=collections&pos=6&ltype=l&l=1049701&g=1&collectionId=729

Did you know that Nestlé is a Swiss company?

Here is a partial list of their products:

Libby’s, Toll House, Carnation, Butterfingers, Crunch, SweetTarts, Raisenets, Nerds, Taster’s Choice and Nescafe coffee, Hot Pockets, DiGiorno, Stouffers, Lean Cuisine, Ovaltine, Nesquick, Dryers and Haagen-Dazs ice creams, Puring pet food, Poland spring, Ozarka, and Perrier waters.

For a more information, cruise around this website: http://www.nestleusa.com/brands

Ricola

Ricola

Everyone has probably seen the advertisements for these throat lozenge candies and herbal supplements. The horn they blow is called an Alps Horn.   Check out this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p40JKimMINQ

 

 

 

Yodeling

A complex form of singing, yodeling is thought to be tens of thousands of years old. It probably started as a way that cow herders called their animals between mountains. This encyclopedia article explains yodeling in great detail.  http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Yodeling

 

 

 

Kathryn

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