A survey run by gfs.bern that asked more than 57,000 people what makes someone Swiss was published by RTS this week.
One of the takeaways from the survey is that a person’s behaviour is more important than their origin. 54% said that origin was of secondary importance when establishing Swissness.
The most important behaviour for being Swiss was respecting Swiss institutions and laws. 96% of those surveyed said this was very (74%) ot fairly (22%) important. In second place was speaking a national language, considered by 95% to be very (72%) or fairly (23%) important. Next in line was respecting Swiss nature, something deemed very (64%) or fairly (29%) important by 93% of those surveyed. Respecting Switzerland’s diversity (90%), feeling yourself in Switzerland (88%), knowing about Swiss history and culture (83%) and living in Switzerland (77%) were also key attributes.
Attributes contributing to Swissness that may seem surprisingly low on the list included: holding Swiss citizenship (72%), speaking a Swiss dialect (59%), being born in Switzerland (45%) and belonging to a Swiss religious group (25%).
A fondness for cow bells, fondue, raclette, chocolate, punctuality and Swiss army knives were not mentioned.