Families in Switzerland

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The national composition of Switzerland is quite diverse, the country is still divided into separate regions, cantons, customs there are somewhat different, but traditions and national characteristics are carefully preserved in the family and social life of the Swiss. Sadly, the old traditions do not have the best effect on the situation of the weak half of the Swiss population.

Women are still infringed on their inheritance rights, experience difficulties in getting a job, even women receive less wages than men in a similar position. Until recently, public and political life was outside women's competence, they did not even have the right to vote in elections. Around the seventies of the last century, the situation began to improve slowly and with difficulty.

However, there is also an inflection in the other direction, in areas such as Valais and Tesin, where men from time immemorial have gone to work for a long time, women still occupy a dominant position in family life. Paradoxically, in other regions of the country, women in poor families occupy a better position, apparently a small income equalizes spouses in rights.

Today, of course, you can hardly find large peasant families among the beautiful landscapes of Switzerland. However, echoes of the former plurality of Swiss families can be found in villages where almost all residents bear the same surname, as well as in the size of the preserved old family houses.

Now, however, as in all of Europe, families in Switzerland are not numerous, parents do not want to have very many children, although even in the nineteenth century all estates had six, eight, ten, or even more children in their families. It should be clarified that the religion still divides the country into two parts, Protestants and Catholics.

In families of Protestants, as a rule, there are one or two children, but in Catholic areas you can still find large families with more than a dozen children.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the custom of marrying quite late was formed in Switzerland, and the appearance of illegitimate children does not surprise anyone or shock anyone among Catholic communities. Until recently, among the peasants, there has been an interesting old custom of dividing property in case of divorce, property is passed at the legislative level to the eldest of the married sons, and in some regions everything acquired is divided between all married sons.

According to sociologists, this leads to an excessive fragmentation of land, which entails the impoverishment of the peasants, this is especially noticeable in the mountainous regions of the country. Mountains, by the way, play a huge role in the life of the Swiss, the Alps are a national treasure and a kind of shrine.

Customs and traditions, like the Alps, are honored very zealously, there is probably no family where there would not be at least one folk costume, folklore holidays in the country more than all others.

The same reverent attitude to the national cuisine, Switzerland is most famous all over the world for its incomparable cheeses. There are many cheese dishes, as well as varieties of cheese itself, in a traditionally livestock and agricultural country they know how to get excellent milk, and then make excellent cheese out of it.

In general, food in Switzerland plays a big role in the life of a family; by the way, it is mainly women who cook, with the exception of cheese making. Residents of the Ticino region, for example, gather around the hearth with the whole family to roast chestnuts and sing folk songs in the process.

Residents of some areas still do not eat products that were not traditionally grown in these places, preferring familiar and proven products for centuries. If a Swiss family has a wedding or a funeral, then porridge and cheeses will certainly be on the table; for Easter, the meal will not be complete without cottage cheese, eggs and cheese.

In some areas, the birth of children is usually celebrated by eating "bread soup", and the bride's dowry includes meat and, of course, cheese. The potato used in everyday food does not participate at all in holidays and ceremonies, probably because it appeared in the country relatively recently, and is not an original Swiss vegetable.

Another interesting family tradition is that the division and transfer of family property happens during the life of the elderly spouses, that is, the elderly give way to the young. The old people are left with a separate room or an extension to the house is made, but their children become the owners of the house.

In cities, however, young families are striving more and more to quickly separate from their parents completely, to run their own household, but adherence to traditions is preserved, the relationship between spouses and the upbringing of children is characterized by inescapable patriarchy. Traditions are honored, despite the fact that the ancient rituals have greatly simplified and lost their former significance, but matchmaking, weddings, the birth and baptism of children are whole colorful performances.

A funeral in Switzerland, generally retained some echoes of paganism, so they put several things of the deceased in the coffin, and his family and all relatives are obliged to see him off on his last journey. The families of deceased relatives are remembered, even a number of holidays are associated with the departed.

The desire of young families to live in Switzerland separately stumbles upon one social problem, such as an elementary housing shortage, which is especially sensitive in cities. Renting an apartment or a house in Switzerland is a real problem, it is easier to buy a house, but it costs a lot, and buying is not as easy as in other European countries.

The patriarchy of the family structure is enshrined at the legislative level, for example, a wife needs to get her husband's consent to get a job, where the husband decides to live in the same way. Perhaps these excesses lead to an increase in the number of divorces, Switzerland is almost the leader in the European Union in terms of their number. This cannot but cause concern in government structures and society as a whole.

Watch the video: Family hike around the bluest lake in Switzerland. Oeschinensee

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