Switzerland: James Green

Map of country
external image map_of_switzerland.jpg
The absolute location of Switzerland is 56 degrees north and 67 degrees west. Germany, France, Italy and Austria are all bordering countires that surround Switzerlan. Bern, Switzerland’s Capital, is basically the most appealing among the cities in Switzerland. Bern was once voted as the most floral city in Europe. Zurich is known to be the largest and the most expensive. With a population of about 360,000 people, Zurich is considered as the key business city of the country, and is the gold trading city of the world as well.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_Switzerland's_absolute_location

Nations flag
external image Switzerland+flag.JPG

The current Swiss flag was adopted on December 12, 1889, making it one of the worlds oldest flags. The flag of Switzerland consists of a red flag with a white Greek cross in the centre. It is one of only two square sovereign-state flags. Use of the white cross as a military ensign. The red stands for the red ground. In the later 14th century Swiss soldiers were going to battle wearing emblems featuring a white cross on a red base as a sign of their Christian faith and tto distinguish themselves from that of their enemy.
http://www.worldflags101.com/s/switzerland-flag.aspx
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Physical Features
The Alps are the main physical feature of Switzerland. They take up 60%of the country region. The highest point is is Mont Blac and it reaches an elevation point of. 15,744. There is also 10% of the land covered by the Jura mountains. Switzerland has over 300 square kilometers of glaciers. Some rivers that flow through Switzerland are the Rhein, Aare, Rhone, Inn, Thur and Ticino. One of the largest lakes in Switzerland is the Geneva river which is 584 square kilometers. With a 41,000 kilometer area Switzerlan is pretty close to the size of that of Massachusetts. The climate varies depending on where you are, due to the vast majority of the land being mountains how much of an elevation the area is at would depend on if it was warm or cold. Switzerland has a warm climate in the summer and cold winters in the mountains but the winters do not have harsh conditions.
http://switzerland2006.tripod.com/id1.html
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Population
In 2009 a population was recorded at 7,731,167. In 2010 the poplulation density was recorded at 21 inhabitants per square kilometer. Switzerland is a total of 450,295 square kilometers. Switzerland has a population of 7.8 million as of 2010. Its population has quadrupled over the period 1800 to 1990. Every 95 years the population doubled. Switzerland's population was the highest during the period after WWII. modern doubling time is 70 years. More than 75% of the population live in the central plain which stretches between the Alps and the Jura Mountains and from the Geneva in the southwest to the Rhine River and Lake Constance in the northeast. Resident forgeiners and temporary forgein workers make up 20% of the population. The most populated city in Switzerland is Zurich with a city populoation of 965,700. The second most populated city in Switzerland would be Geneva with a city population of 172,800.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Switzerland
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Customs
On January 2nd Switzerland people celibrate Berchtold's Day. Handily placed in the calendar to give an extra day to enjoy or recover from the New Year's celebrations, Berchtold's Day is a light-hearted, family orientated celebration. August 1st is Nationalfeiertag which stands for National holiday and it is declared to be Switzerland's birthday. The second weekend in September is Knabenschiessen which is a taditional shooting contest for 13-17 year old boys and girls. Auffahrt is a holiday in which the date varries but in English it mean Ascension Day and it is the day of Jesus' ascension. December 26th is Stephanstag which mean Stephan's Day. In November, there is a tradition of Zibelimant which is a traditional market fait in Bern. At the end of Febuary there is a carneval in Basel that has become tradition. In Switzerland, they take great pride in their enviroment. They are greatly advanced in recycling for this reason. When you go shopping, they dont give you plastic bags like they do here at the grocery store. You need to have your own bag that you can reuse over and over again to reduce the waste products in the enviroment. Most Swiss dishes consist of fresh products or herbs as much as possible. Most common dishes are usually prepared with fresh herbs and cheese. Switzerland is known for its famous national dish called rösti: grated potato fried in a pancake. It can be found in many different regional varieties. When going out for dinner, you might notice that there are also lots of Italian dishes like pastas and pizzas. It is customary to have a salad as the first course. Little or no vegetables are served with the main course.
http://www.myswissalps.com/switzerland/switzerland-language.asp?lang=EN#top
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Government
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The type of government in Switzerland is Federal State. The constitution was created in 1848 and it was revised in 1874 and fully revised in 2000. There are three branches of government the same as in the United States. Executive- Federal Council, a collegium of seven members, headed by a rotating 1-year presidency. Legislative- Federal Assembly (bicameral: Council of States, 46 members; National Council, 200 members). Judicial- Federal Tribunal. Administrative subdivisions: 26 cantons (states) with considerable autonomy. The head of state in Switzerland is Micheline Calmy-Rey. As far as freedoms go, Switzerland is ranked first out of fourty three countries in Europe for having freedoms. They have a freedom score of 81.9 making its economy the 5th freest in the 2011 index.
http://www.heritage.org/index/country/Switzerland
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Economy
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Switzerland’s economy is based on a highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work. The main areas include microtechnology, hitech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. The service sector now employs the greatest number of people. Most of the people working in Switzerland are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises, which play an extremely important role in the Swiss economy. The age of unlimited economic growth in Switzerland is over. Fear of unemployment has been one of the main concerns of the Swiss for several years. In 2008 the median house hold incom (PPP) was 47, 297 dollars. Switzerland has an increasingly dependent economy on a steady tide of forgein investment. One of the main reasons being the small size of the country and the high labor specialization, idusty and trade are keys to Switzerland's economic livelihood. Switzerland has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with low unemployment rates and a low budget deficit.The gross domestic product of Switzerland is 491.924 million dollars. The GDP per capita is 63,629 dollars. This is good because it is one of the highest GDPs. Export oriented machine and electrical manufactures (high precision motors, generators, turbines, textile and tool machines, mills, watches and many innovative high-tech products) including automation equipment and engineering of whole power or industrial plants. The focus is on niche products with a high proportion of complex engineering but rather small series. Switzerland should be considered a developed country, because they have a great economy and its economy has continued to rise for the last 50 years and doesnt only depend on one resource for its money.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income
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Culture
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In Switzerland there are a couple different languages spoken. The main reason being is the bordering countries such as Germany and France. German is spoken by a larger percentage of Swiss people, however the French spoken in Switzerland fluent and very similar to the French spoken in Paris. Italian and Romanish are also spoken in southern Switzerland. With Switzerland's rough landscape, due to the Alps, there is a large variety or sports and activities to take part in. There are many mountains for climbing and hiking and suspension rope parks. Popular sports include football (also known as soccer), handball, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming, orienteering, street hockey, ice hockey, skiing, snow board riding and many more.. One in four people in Switzerland are a part of a sports club. The most important group being the Federal Office of Sport and the Swiss Olympic Committee (Swiss Olympic). As far as clothing in Switzerland goes, they are pretty much the same as that of the United States. Business men usually wear dark suits and ties, other workers wear jeans, same brands as in the USA, and t-shirts or sweat shirts. Being as how there are four languages in Switzerland book publication is a little bit more complicated. They have many different genres of books like anyone else does but some of the more famous books in Switzerland are Heidi (Kingfisher Classics) by Johanna Spyri, Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner, The Bells by Richard Harvell, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. They have many actors in Switzerland that are famous in Switzerland and in their movies. That would be why we may not have heard of actors like Yul Brynner, Ursula Andress, and Lea Fazer. There are a lot of popular movies such as Clean, Grounded Heidi and Before Sunrise. The traditional music of Switzerland has alwats been that of folk music, but in the modern ages it has began to start mixing with new styles, such as metal and many more genres. Twentieth century composers such as Othmar Schoeck, Ernest Bloch, and Frank Martin are some of the most famous. Examples of music would be scottisch, mazurka, waltz and polka. In Switzerland teenagers are encouraged to be as active and individual as possible, and they are, being popular is not the most important thing to them being as they are all pretty much the same social class. Teenagers dont drive in cars nearly as much as the ones here in the US do, instead they stick to good old bike riding. So hobbies include just about anything active.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Switzerland
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/article/Switzerland/Languages-in-Switzerland/223
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Ethnic/Religious Makeup
The percenatges of ethnic backround in Europe consists of 65% German, 18% French, 10% Italian, and 6% other. The percenatges of religion in Switzerland consits of 42% Roman Catholic, 35% Protestant, 4% Muslim, 2% Orthodox, and 11% none. Romam Catholic being the largest perventage of the populations religion state that it is led by the pope and it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and excersising charity. The only big problems that religion has seemed to have an effect on in Switzerland is the reformation of the churches. In the 16th century when some followers rejected the pope's authority and split into what is now called Orthodox.
http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0108012.html
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Problems