Switzerland is one of those under-the-radar countries that, unless you’ve been there, you don’t tend to know much about. It’s a perfectly pleasant place, but it doesn’t tend to make the headlines compared to may other global hotspots – and the Swiss probably like it that way. Like all countries, this nation has its own set of cultural oddities and legal peculiarities that set it apart. Any place that’s known for its holy cheese and triangular chocolate has got to be quirky. Here are a handful of the strangest rules in Switzerland.
Here’s a transcript of the video:
Every country has its cultural quirks and legal oddities, and Switzerland is no different. This affluent nation known for nature, neutrality and luxury has some peculiar rules that are as cuckoo as a Swiss clock.
1. Be Quiet!
It’s considered an offense to mow lawns on Sunday. In keeping with the noise complaint vein, don’t even think about slamming a car door or even flushing a toilet after 10 pm or you might just end up with more than scathing looks.
2. Legally Speaking…
See those large, yellow vending machines in Zurich? They dispense clean, government-subsidized syringes to heroin junkies. As for marijuana, it’s legal to use and grow it but illegal to sell it. This has resulted in approximately 100 tons of hash and marijuana used each year by around 600,000 citizens. Thank goodness they’ve got all that great chocolate and cheese to deal with the munchies.
3. Table for Two?
The Swiss animal rights code is pretty strict. Animals classified as “social species”—such as guinea pigs and parrots—will be considered victims of abuse if they don’t live or interact regularly with others of their kind. By the way, it’s also illegal to flush a goldfish down the toilet there too.
4. Ready For War
Switzerland is well known for being a neutral state during the world wars, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for combat. Switzerland’s gun ownership rate is among the highest in the industrialized nations (over 4 million guns in a population of 8 million), and they’re prepared to defend themselves if need be. Despite the high firearm rate however, gun-related deaths are one seventh the number of those in the USA.
5. Break Glass…
Switzerland’s military’s preparedness systems are outstanding. Not only are there fully-stocked bunkers that can house the entire population, but at least 3, 000 locations are ready to blow at the drop of a hat in case of an attack and the destruction of every major access point into the country is high on the cards. What about landing strips? Remove the highways’ grade separations and they’re all set!
6. I Challenge You!
Switzerland is the only country to practice direct democracy. If citizens can secure 50, 000 or more signatures against a law passed in Swiss parliament within a 100-day period, they can successfully challenge that law!
7. A Cow For Some Magic Cheese
The Swiss take their cheese very seriously. Leasing a cow to restaurants is customary for Swiss farmers, as it’s not only legal to do so, but all the cheese that is procured from the cow’s milk can be kept by the leaser.
8. Please Recycle, But Not on a Sunday
Don’t return clinky bottles and cans to public bins on a Sunday. A woman in Zurich was caught perpetrating this offense and was offered a choice between being fined or spending two nights in jail.
9. So What’s Oddly Legal There?
You can legally download music and movies, no problem, just not share them. Prostitution is legal and so is assisted suicide. The Swiss are okay with public nudity, but draw the line at nude hiking.