Geneva / Switzerland

Switzerland – A Nation of Immigrants (Whether it Likes to Admit it or Not)

Back when the World Cup was going on, and Switzerland was still in the running, BBC News put out a great article that engaged both my seasonal soccer craze and my curiosity about the Swiss team’s players’ origins.

I became interested in the immigration component of the World Cup after a friend shared another spot-on article on Facebook, which detailed what each World Cup team would look like if immigrants were suddenly not allowed to play. Needless to say, most would have been at a great loss. Switzerland alone would have lost “about two-thirds of its players.”

I admit that I still struggle to understand Switzerland, especially after the outcome of the February referendum on immigration. I was reminded of the BBC article today as I was looking through the notes I’ve written on my phone. I found the phrase below recorded there.

There is something so truthful and poetic about it:

Shaqiri, Benaglio, Inler, Rodriguez, Drmic, Seferovic, Xhaka – this is the sound of 21st-Century Switzerland, where Balkan beat club nights can outsell techno or house, where the supermarkets stock Turkish beer, Serbian biscuits and Portuguese salt cod next to the fondue and Ovaltine.

Split jerseys for those with split allegiances, seen at a local shopping center.

Split jerseys for those with split allegiances, seen at a local shopping center.

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