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SWI swissinfo.ch – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.

Videos by Swissinfo

Two tales of women’s suffrage

Swiss men continued to deny women the right to vote until 1971. This inspired two Swiss-based authors to tell stories of women experiencing the fight for women’s suffrage at first hand.

In The Other Daughter by British author Caroline Bishop, one of the key protagonists, Sylvia, is a reporter sent to Switzerland on a mission to find out the effect of the introduction of female suffrage. Voting Day by Irish writer Clare O’Dea is set on the day that men first voted no to women’s suffrage in Switzerland in February 1959. Clare’s novella examines how sexual inequality affects the lives of its four main characters.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international

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Gabriela Martina – from yodel to bebop

Over a decade ago, Gabriela Martina left her home in the countryside of Lucerne to study jazz in the United States. Today, the vocalist and composer lives in Boston and teaches at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music.

Martina tries to mix her Swiss yodelling roots with jazz, soul, RnB, gospel and blues. Her latest album, Homage to Grämlis, tells stories about the farm where she grew up with her parents, grandmother, two sisters and a brother. Many of the songs are about how they tended animals and the land. It’s bittersweet as the family recently had to give up the farm.

When we first met Martina, the traditional building was undergoing renovations in preparation for the new tenants. She herself was preparing to perform at a local yodel festival.

Later, we met Martina across the

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Swiss circus performer brings her passion to New Orleans

At a young age, circus artist Meret Ryhiner migrated to the United States to study circus arts in New York. She became a professional circus artist and eventually moved to New Orleans.

This is the story of how a road accident and hurricane Katrina changed her life, as well as the lives of the people in her community.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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The introduction of women’s suffrage worldwide

Switzerland was one of the last countries to grant women their right to vote, preceding only 22 other countries worldwide. Today, only one country doesn’t allow women voters to cast their ballot in national elections, just because there aren’t any. In Vatican City, an absolute monarchy, the legislators are appointed by the Pope. Neither male nor female citizens have the right to vote.

February 7, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of Swiss women’s right to vote. Two thirds of the male population voted in favour of women’s suffrage in 1971. A first vote in 1959 was rejected with the same proportion, and a previous petition submitted in 1929 was ignored by the government.

When and how were women allowed to vote in other countries? The journey through time starts in 1776, and is closely

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Travelling to Switzerland post-Brexit


If you’re a Brit planning to visit Switzerland, you might want to think twice about bringing your pets with you! Things have changed since Brexit. ⁠

UK nationals are no longer covered by the EU’s free movement of persons agreement. When the present Covid-19 related travel ban is lifted, they will still be able to visit Switzerland for short periods using just their passports. But from 2022, short visits will require a visa waiver. UK citizens now have had to go through a different passport channel and may face longer waits at airports. ⁠

Travellers from the UK wanting to enter Switzerland with pets or meat and dairy products will also face stricter rules, as we find out in this video. ⁠

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its

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Switzerland’s four languages

The Swiss are known for their multilingualism. The proportion of polyglots has increased slightly since 2014, according to a new report from the Federal Statistical Office. Over two-thirds of adults regularly use more than one language. They need these skills to communicate with each other, either in the workplace or across the four distinct language regions.

The majority speak German, followed by French, Italian and Romansh. The latter is in decline and efforts are being made to ensure its survival. Find out all about the challenges of multilingualism in this Explainer video.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Army takes charge of vaccine logistics

Switzerland’s conscript army is fighting on a new front, providing logistical help in the battle with Covid-19. It’s responsible for the transportation and safe storage of all vaccines, which are kept in secret armed forces installations. Meanwhile, civil protection staff are also helping with contact tracing, virus screening and setting up reception centres in hospitals.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
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A Swiss sausage maker in Denver

Born in Zurich, Eric Gutknecht came to the US with his parents when he was a little boy. Today he runs a sausage factory in Colorado.

Gutknecht did two charcuterie-making apprenticeships in Switzerland. His professional experience includes teaching economics and working as a business analyst. In 2003, he and his wife, Jessica, took over the family sausage business in Denver.

Today, CharcūtNuvo provides grocery stores and Swiss clubs all over the United States with traditional Swiss-style Bratwursts as well as more unusual varieties, like chicken-spinach and mac-n-cheese. The factory uses European production techniques and even some Swiss equipment.

“We try to get our supplies from within a 500-mile radius,” says Gutknecht, adding that the meat, which comes from smaller farms, is not

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Swiss mom an ‘unofficial cultural ambassador’ in America

She kept dreaming of being on a plane that never reached its destination. Those dreams stopped about a year after moving to Colorado.

“The pilot would drop us off in a desert, or in the Alps, or the luggage would blow away,” remembers Regula Grenier, who has lived in Colorado since 2007. She sees the end of those dreams as a sign that she’s finally found the right place to live.

Originally from Einsiedeln in central Switzerland, Grenier quips that she was “made in Germany” since that’s where her parents conceived her.

“My spirit of travel and adventure started in the womb,” she says, explaining that her parents – both of whom had lived, worked and travelled abroad – passed on that interest in seeing the world. “Switzerland is such a small place; you have to explore.”

At 16, she moved

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A Swiss Rifle Club in America

Swiss rifles were coveted during the American revolutionary and civil wars. Today they’re used for fun by the Swiss Rifle Club of Minneapolis.

In the late 1980s, a group of Swiss expats living in Minnesota – all employed by food technology company Bühler – decided to form a shooting club to maintain a tradition from the homeland.

They made a deal with a local club willing to share its facilities, and got the green light from the Swiss military, which continues to supply the guns and bullets.

In late 1991, the club received its first batch of gear: ten rifles, five pistols, ammunition and other equipment; they were able to start shooting in 1992.

Since then they’ve participated in various Swiss marksmanship competitions each year – mostly remotely. Since 1995 they’ve also sent

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Can 3D printing save the coral reefs?

The oceans produce one in every two oxygen atoms. Coral reefs are like the ocean’s rainforest. But it’s disappearing, and fast. Ulrike Pfreundt has made it her life’s work to find a solution.

Pfreundt is a marine biologist at the Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich who gets emotional when she talks about coral death. Through 3D printing, she’s found a way to make artificial reefs and replace some of the coral that’s being lost by providing structures for new coral to grow.

She’s now testing the structures in the lab to see how to get coral larvae to start growing on them. Ultimately, she hopes to be able to deploy her printed inventions in the ocean to help grow new coral and support the vast ecosystems that depend on it.

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Why the rock band Queen loves Montreux

The quiet lakeside town of Montreux has become a mecca for Queen fans.
They make pilgrimages here each year to leave messages at Freddie Mercury’s statue and join in the annual birthday celebrations for the late star, who died in 1991. Now there’s even a Freddie Tour – you can follow in the footsteps of the flamboyant singer and visit the Studio Experience in the town’s casino. That exhibition is based on the recording studios Queen owned, where the group recorded seven albums. swissinfo.ch visited Montreux to find out why one of the most famous rock bands of all has such a lasting appeal in a sleepy lakeside town.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

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Skiing in Switzerland: is it good for your health?

Some Swiss ski resorts are open for Christmas despite pressure from neighbouring countries on Switzerland to close its pistes until the latest coronavirus wave passes. Germany, Italy and France pushed for Swiss resorts to close until January but Switzerland is reluctant to further damage a sector worth billions to their economies. From December 22, all ski resorts will have to prove they have met strict safety standards to obtain cantonal permits to remain open.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch

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Skiing in Switzerland: is it good for your health?

Swiss ski resorts are open for Christmas despite pressure from neighbouring countries on Switzerland to close its pistes until the latest coronavirus wave passes. Germany, Italy and France pushed for Swiss resorts to close until January but Switzerland is reluctant to further damage a sector worth billions to their economies. From December 22, all ski resorts will have to prove they have met strict safety standards to obtain cantonal permits to remain open.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Swiss to make space squeaky clean

Did you know that Swiss are so good at tidying up on earth that they’ve now won a contract to clean up space? ⁠The Swiss start-up – ClearSpace – is using technology developed by engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Their four-armed robotic junk collector will be launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2025. A lot of debris has accumulated over six decades of low-orbit activities and ESA hopes the mission will pave the way for a wide-reaching clean-up operation.⁠

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube

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Swiss footsteps in New Orleans

As a child, John Geiser III was surrounded by Swiss people in his grandfather’s adopted city of New Orleans. After the Second World War had ended, John was a young adult when his father took him to Switzerland for the first time.

We met John in June 2019, when he gave us a tour of New Orleans. Over the course of a hot and humid morning – mainly on foot – he energetically showed us the traces of Swissness dotted throughout this city famous for its music and mardi gras.

John has served as the Honorary Swiss Consul in the US state of Louisiana, and he is still an active member of the Swiss American Society of New Orleans. In fact, nobody in the club has been a member for as long as he has.


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Swiss drones to the rescue!

Drones are widely used to take amazing aerial photos, or to inspect infrastructure and crops. But in the future it is hoped they can increasingly be deployed to help firefighters or search and rescue operations in emergency situations.

Swiss researchers are at the forefront of drone research. The Swiss rescue agency REGA is testing an autonomous rescue drone to find people lost or in difficulty in the mountains. It should be operational next year.

Scientists are also working on small autonomous drones that can fold up to squeeze through collapsed buildings or super-agile bird-like robots that can fly through forests or buildings independently for use in rescue operations.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report

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Making prosthetic limbs from recycled bottles

Recycling plastic to make new bottles is one thing, but using the material to create prosthetic limbs? That’s another. Two Swiss designers are using their skills to improve the lives of amputees.

Fabian Engel and Simon Oschwald travelled to Kenya, where they heard about the indignities people with prosthetic limbs faced in everyday life. Due to the high number of traffic accidents, amputations aren’t rare.

The cost of an artificial limb is prohibitively high for many people, and the restricted mobility that living with one leg brings, makes finding work difficult.

The two designers set themselves the challenge of coming up with a prosthesis that would be available at a fraction of the normal cost – using local labour and recycled materials. A visit to a vast rubbish dump in Nairobi

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What is a Swiss multinational company and what’s their role in the economy?

Switzerland is home to big players in the raw materials, food and chemicals industries. The alpine country boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of multinational headquarters. You might wonder: where does its attractiveness come from?

Switzerland offers many advantages to large businesses: economic stability, a strong financial sector, qualified workers, a geographic location at the heart of transport networks – and an advantageous tax system and flexible regulations.

With more than 500 companies active in the sector, the small Alpine nation is a leading global platform for trade in raw materials, such as petrol, metals, minerals, and agricultural products. Switzerland is home to the headquarters of the sector’s world leaders — Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria, and Gunvor

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Swiss start-up generates electricity from wind power

Switzerland produces less wind power than other European countries but has ambitious future targets. A Lugano start-up is developing drones to generate electricity from high-altitude winds.

Winds, especially at high altitude, offer huge potential as an alternative renewable energy source to help solve the climate crisis. 

In Switzerland, the main source of energy is hydropower. Building large wind turbines, especially in Swiss valleys, is controversial.

Aldo Cattano and Nicola Mona, the inventor and chief executive officer of the start-up firm "Skypull", want to contribute towards finding cleaner energy sources by making best use of the winds on Switzerland’s mountain tops. 

The small Lugano-based team is developing a system using an autonomous drone connected by a tether linked to a

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A defender of Eritreans’ human rights

Immigration affects everyone in Switzerland, but some people more directly than others. Veronica Almedom, who arrived from Eritrea as a baby with her family, is now an activist for the human rights of Eritreans.

Almedom grew up in Martigny in French-speaking Switzerland and is now a student at the University of Geneva. Since 2016 she has been a member of the Federal Commission on Migration.

Since 2017 Switzerland has steadily tightened its admission criteria for Eritrean asylum-seekers, who represent the largest foreign community seeking asylum in the country. However, having visited asylum-seekers sleeping rough, Almedom is angry and also critical of the Eritrean government.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to

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Meet me at the the online ‘piazza’!

A woman living in a southern Swiss town noticed that people around her felt isolated and wanted to connect and share things but didn’t know how. So she created the "smart village": a virtual town square.

Monica Rush Solcà from the Italian-speaking region of Ticino set up a platform where people can meet and share things. The concept was later used in other towns in the region, with group members hosting events to advertise the service.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Living with disability in Switzerland: sometimes tough, sometimes comic

Comedian Eddie, who has cerebral palsy, shows us around his city to get a glimpse of what everyday life with disability looks like in Switzerland. Access to jobs, education, or even a good night out can be difficult, but being in a wheelchair isn’t all bad, says the Zurich man, who was born with cerebral palsy.

Because of how people jump apologetically out of his way, his friends now call him “Disco Moses”, parting the seas of dancers. This, and the strange condescendence people address him, are something he exploits to the full in his stand-up comedy shows.

Around 1.8 million people in Switzerland live with a disability, and though they’re treated equally in the eyes of politics and the law, the reality of daily access to the things the rest of us take for granted can be complicated.

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How the CHEOPS space telescope learns about exoplanets

CHEOPS is a space telescope, whose name stands for ‘CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite’. Unlike other missions dedicated to searching for new planets, CHEOPS points at bright stars already known to host planets.

It uses ultra-high precision photometry to observe planets while orbiting their stars and accurately determines their radii. Combining the radii with the planets’ masses, which have already been estimated by ground-based surveys, the scientists can draw conclusions on what these exoplanets are made of; whether they are rocky like Earth or rather made of gas like Jupiter.

CHEOPS is a joint mission of the European Space Agency, ESA and Switzerland, led by the University of Bern. Instrument scientist Andrea Fortier has been with the Center for Space and Habitability at the

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Jorge Viladoms brings musical education to Mexico

Jorge Viladoms, a Mexican pianist and professor at the Lausanne Conservatory of Music, could have turned his back on his youth without music education. Instead, his life in Switzerland inspired him to help bring music back home.

First he created a foundation, Crescendo con la Musica, then he set up training concepts and collected unused musical instruments in Switzerland, to give them a second life in the hands of Mexican children.

In a conversation at the Lausanne Conservatory where he teaches piano lessons, he explained what drives him, his wishes for the future and what he learnt from living in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international

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What is it like to work in Switzerland?

Switzerland has a strong economy, low inflation, low national debt and a low unemployment rate. It’s hard to believe that only a few generations ago, Switzerland was poor and many had to leave to find work abroad. In this episode of ‘Switzerland Explained’ we look at how the job market has dramatically transformed since then and continues to change.

In the 19th century, the country’s textile and chemical industry started taking off, followed by the machine industry and the banking sector. But it was only after World War II that people living in poor cantons stopped seeking work in other countries as a matter of course.

Today Switzerland has become an internationally popular workplace, with jobs in information services, finance, or pharmaceuticals as well as in the clothing or gastronomy

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The Catholic Swiss nun who wants to end celibacy

Florentina Camartin is a retired catholic nun who took a vow of celibacy. When a young priest in Brigels, her eastern Swiss community, had to leave the church for love, she began her crusade for celibacy reform.

She collected over 5,000 signatures and got the petition translated into Italian, so that she could send the bundle to Pope Francis in Rome.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
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Heard the one about the Swiss sense of humour? switzerland

The Swiss have a reputation for being rather humourless – a stereotype many say is unfounded. How much is comedy linked to culture, politics and language that perhaps isn’t understood by outsiders? 

"Witzerland", an exhibition at the Swiss National Museum in the central canton of Schwyz, runs until the end of January 2021 and sheds light on what tickles Swiss ribs. ("Witz" means "joke" in German.)

Historical jokes and puns about Swiss society and neutrality feature alongside blonde gags and cracks about the foibles of wives and husbands, as can be found in any culture.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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A conversation with Thikra Mohammed Nader, exiled Iraqi journalist

Thikra Mohammed Nader, a Baghdad native who worked there as a journalist for a quarter century, fled to Switzerland in 2006. Decades ago, she was honoured by the Iraqi government for her work and was one of the first journalists on the ground of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. But throughout her career and especially following the arrival of American troops in Iraq in 2003, she was targeted and threatened for her writing which contained ideas that ran counter to the agenda of the ruling regime and various powerful fundamentalist groups.

Now exiled in Switzerland, the award-winning Iraqi writer met us in a park in Geneva to discuss new life here and how it is different from the past.

In Switzerland, she says she has found a place where she can live "as a human being." She praises the

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The Alptransit project – Lötschberg, Gotthard and Monte Ceneri tunnels through the Alps

The Lötschberg, Gotthard base and Monte Ceneri base tunnels make up the Alpine rail link project. The idea to dig the three tunnels under the Swiss Alps was approved by Swiss voters in 1992. Twenty-eight years later, the project is symbolically completed, as the last tunnel, the Monte Ceneri, was handed over to the Federal railway company, SBB CFF FFS, who will exploit it.

The three tunnels have significantly shortened travel time between the two sides of the Swiss Alps. Journey from Bern to Milan now takes one hour less, and from Zurich to Milan 30 minutes less.

The Gotthard base tunnel gained international interest, as it’s the world’s longest railway tunnel ever build. The Lötschberg tunnel, when first inaugurated, was the third world’s longest.

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