Heidi had the good fortune of growing up between the enchanting Swiss Alps. In Spyri’s book ‘Heidi’, the young girl drinks goat’s milk and larks around the gargantuan mountains and valleys all day. A truly delightful life.
It was this notable children’s storybook that ignited my avid engrossment in Switzerland. Snow topped peaks towering above, with lush grassy green valleys, awakened in the early morning by the tweeting of the birds and what a wonderful feeling knowing that the irritants of urban life are faraway, ugly skyscrapers sprouting up faster than plants, traffic and air pollution all so distant.
In April 2015, Switzerland was awarded the title of ‘Happiest nation in the world’ by the World Happiness Report, maybe this is because they consume the most chocolate than anywhere else.
But for myself, there is more to Switzerland than just its splendid natural beauty and its classic works of literature.
Switzerland’s neutral standing in the world is to be applauded, it hasn’t been in an international state of war since 1815, this is a vital piece of information compared to many other western states. It’s the country where the Red Cross was born and of course where the UN meets.
The Swiss federation is also home to the World Heath Organisation.
Obviously the reason for these internationally known organisations being here is thanks to the unique neutrality of this state, so unlike many others…
Currently infamous for its far from neutral position, FIFA also has its beautiful, all black and glossy HQ here. FIFA’s gardens represent each continent with plants and trees grown to represent that region.
http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/01/28/72/70/hof-ee.pdf (Link for FIFA’s brochure)
It really is a marvel of a nation.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1827-1901) was written in 1880. One of the world’s best selling books having sold approximately 50 million copies. It has been suggested that the author may have received inspiration from the 1830 book called ‘Adelaide: The girl from the Alps’, which has a very similar storyline. Heidi is one of the best works of literature to have come out of Switzerland.
The quote I have used for the title of this post is from the book ‘Heidi’.