Monday, October 20, 2008

Bring some (more!) culture to Berne, Indiana!

Photos from Berne, Indiana's Swiss Heritage Days!

I get emails from time to time from readers, commenting on the blog and asking specific questions about living in Switzerland. I love them. Keep them coming.

I most recently got an interesting email from Doug, a volunteer on the Swiss Day Committee in Berne, Indiana, USA, as he calls it "a very tiny American town founded by the Swiss in the 1850's." Doug had an interesting request that I thought Swisstory blog readers could definately help out with... Doug writes:
"I'm looking for things we can do in our town to relate back to Switzerland. In other words I'd love to get some ideas of Swiss culture from you...

Berne is in a transition mode that is trying to start a tourist economy. Heritage tourism is the goal, but some things we are doing are really not Swiss. I don't think there is a well known distinction here between German and Swiss...

I volunteer on Berne's Swiss Days committee, a celebration that coincides with the Swiss Unification but always in the last week of July. I have to say it is very hard to come up with ideas, or come up with entertainment and then get everyone on the same page about what that Culture is...

As you are an Expat, the same things you find interesting or unique could easily help us. I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks for listening,

Doug"
Here are some of my ideas...

1) Raclette.
Doesn't get more Swiss than this. I would buy a couple of the fancy raclette machines and a few wheels of cheese and do the traditional Swiss cheese meal. It certainly drew a crowd at the Cheese Festival I went to this last weekend and will blog about tomorrow. I think it could work for Berne, Indiana, too. It will just be hot out, so perhaps this is something you can do to raise money in the winter for the Summer event?

2) Bake off.
Distribute a traditional Swiss baking recipe - perhaps Lebkuchen or Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) and then give out awards for the best tasting cookie, best decorated, etc. etc. That way you can introduce traditional Swiss baking to the area and enjoy the results!

What other ideas do you have for Doug? Check out what the Swiss Heritage Society in Berne, IN does already on their website: http://www.berneswissdays.com/festival_schedule.htm

Other links:

2 comments:

Bluefish said...

Excellent ideas! Which part of Switzerland are they from? Maybe they can promote the languages.

SwissGuy said...

-Swiss seasonal festivals like carnival, 1st of august (swiss national holiday), the yearly onion market in berne,...

- Swiss cuisine like fondue, racelette, roesti...

- Traditional Swiss sports like Schwingen (Swiss wrestling), rock trowing, Hornussen,...

- Folklore: traditional Swiss costumes, cantonal flags, yodelling and flag-trowing, alp horn playing and mountain prayer calls,...

...and so on.

 

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