Swiss Independence Day – Good Reasons for Celebration!
On August 1st, Switzerland will be celebrating its national Independence Day and the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291…over 700 years ago! The long tradition of Swiss independence and direct democracy has remained Switzerland’s foundation for success and resiliency in a world of rapid change.
There is no such thing as a perfect world, or a perfect societal system. There will always be room for improvement and progress. And life in Switzerland, like everywhere else, is never free of hardship and challenge. However, the Swiss model has served the Swiss people very well, for many years. And even though life is never perfect, living in Switzerland does come close in many ways.
The Swiss system of direct democracy entails a high level of political awareness, of personal influence, and responsibility. It was built on the inalienable rights of individuals and their sovereignty. The preamble of the Swiss Federal Constitution, the first version of which was proclaimed in 1884, sets the tone and says much about the core values that have provided the foundation of Switzerland’s values, culture, and ultimately its success as a free, prospering, and innovative society.
It is worth reading the entire constitution of Switzerland. However, the preamble in and of itself is worth savoring and considering. It has served us well here in Switzerland. The 1st of August should be a day to reflect on where we came from, what we have achieved, and where we want to go from here. And, first and foremost, it should be a day of gratitude and celebration.
In the name of Almighty God! The Swiss People and the Cantons, mindful of their responsibility towards creation, resolved to renew their alliance so as to strengthen liberty, democracy, independence and peace in a spirit of solidarity and openness towards the world, determined to live together with mutual consideration and respect for their diversity, conscious of their common achievements and their responsibility towards future generations, and in the knowledge that only those who use their freedom remain free, and that the strength of a people is measured by the well-being of its weakest members, adopt the following Constitution1:
PS: The following video was shared by Chargé d’Affaires, Eva Weigold Schultz, and the U.S. Embassy last year. It reflects on what makes Switzerland special, as well as the common roots and long friendship shared between America and Switzerland. It’s worth listening to…even in 2022 as well! Click on the picture below to watch the video.
With that in mind, Happy Independence & Freedom Day!!!! To all of our Swiss friends…and to all of our international friends too!
Your BFI Team