US pop legend Tina Turner, who has been living in Switzerland since 1995, will soon receive Swiss citizenship and will give up her US passport, Swiss media reported Friday. “I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here. … Continue reading
Name: Patricia Wilder Why is celebrating Black music important to you? I am a black woman who expresses herself thru music. It’s a common way of communicating. What do you think of the current state of the music industry? The … Continue reading
Music can move people. Some songs have been so powerful that the message they carried touched our entire nation. Some popular songs through the decades come to mind that anyone could sing along with. When the message of a song … Continue reading
To understand the Swiss is to understand Switzerland’s history. Yes, when one thinks of Switzerland it is easy to conjure up images of Swiss Banks, Rolex watches, and Swiss chocolate, but there are many other quite amazing qualities this country has to offer. For starters, the Swiss are some of the most gentle and kind people I have ever had the pleasure to meet on this planet we call earth. Their peaceful and neutral demeanor is as common as a Lil Wayne song being played on the radio.
The Swiss population is approximately 8 million people. The largest cities are Zurich and Geneva. Both are beautifully filled with historical buildings and landmarks that are sure to literally take your breath away. The Swiss have not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002.
I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see so many blonde hair, blue eyed Swiss people sporting locks, wearing Bob Marley t-shirts, and blasting the soothing sounds of Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, or The Abyssinians. The Love of Reggae, Jazz and Hip Hop would be an understatement for the Swiss.
There is also a growing African community in Switzerland in where I have made lifelong friends from Togo to Gambia to Senegal to the Congo. Hospitality is the first word that comes up when I think of eating, drinking, and sharing with my African brothers and sisters while experiencing this heavenly country. The music, sounds, and smells are all memories (past and present) that I will forever cherish. In Geneva there is a bustling energy amongst the diverse crowd of people filling the streets whether on their way to work, the lake or a cafe to sit and chat with a friend; it is not uncommon to see men and woman sipping wine in the cafes at 10am because it is not looked at as unusual or odd.
Switzerland is situated in Western Europe, where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. I found it not only convenient but also amusing that when wanting to visit France I was only 15 to 20 minutes from the border. Very convenient indeed! My curious and analytical nature began to get the best of me and questions began entering my mind, such as, “Can this place really be real?” “Why havent I seen one homeless person?” And, “How come when I see people drinking in the am at cafes why do I never see a “sloppy drunk” or person passed out in the streets?”
Then the final question that lingered in my head was, “Why do I not see, hear, or feel racism here?” Josephine Baker and Tina Turner also made this place their home. I quickly learned the answers to my questions.