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Carola Copland (CC) & Gregor Fasching (GF). Switzerland is somehow a hidden secret within Europe. This is not only because it is not member of the European Union but also because it is a small country with its own way of self-understanding.
No need to shout out loud that it exists – it simply does and this since 1291. Switzerland itself is not to be explained in some short sentences: it is a nation, where Identity is based not on one common language but on various intercultural factors, including being independent but together. This is not an oximoron as it sounds, rather it explains some specific characteristics and behaviour you will experience when dealing with the Swiss. Another very unusual trait worth to mention is a strong combination of direct democracy and federalism which connects people on various levels.
I lived and worked in Switzerland for some years, making my own experiences and observations which I will partly share within this article. During this time I met my co-author, Gregor Fasching (GF), who is not only Swiss national but also used to work in an international business environment and I think therefore quite well qualified to set my observations and comments into context. My personal opinion is that working in different countries broadens your view, makes you able to recognize differences, be more observant and at the same time more distant to immediate judgement.