Secrets behind the Walls

Ever seen that 007 film where James Bond discovers the underground base of Dr. No? Science fiction? Well, when I first heard about the secret fortresses hidden everywhere in the Swiss mountains, that’s what I thought of.

13 Facts about the Swiss Guards

I wrote a version of this article originally for  Newly Swissed Online Magazine and was published on May 6, 2016, on the day of the Swearing-In Ceremony of the Swiss Guards in Rome. So this is my take on some interesting facts about the Swiss Guards. A fan of traditions of all sorts, this little list…

May 6 is a Swiss celebration in Rome

A short history lesson on the origins of the Pontifical Swiss Guards for the curious. This year, the Pontifical Swiss Guards celebrate 510 years of loyal service to the Pope. On May 6, new recruits will be sworn into service in the Vatican, an event witnessed by thousands of visitors. When I first saw the…

The Gift of Language

When we deny our own mothertongue, don’t we deny our own heritage? Last autumn, while enjoying an afternoon in a forest playground with my two sons, I met another mother with three boys tailing her. She greeted us with an imploring smile. I was speaking to my eldest in my mothertongue, Tagalog, urging him to…

A Child-Proof Explanation of the Easter Bunny Tradition

Before heading out for an Easter Egg hunt with your kids, don’t you ever wonder where this unusual tradition comes from?  A Swiss children’s song goes: Ig ha n em Has es Näschtli gmacht im Bungert hinderem Garte; es si die schönschte Blümli dra, es si dei schönschte Blüemli dra, die fyne und die zarte……

Where Midwives are Worth Gold

Before moving to Switzerland, I never really imagined myself being a mother, let alone birthing naturally without any pain killers, with only the assistance of my husband and midwife, and delivering both my sons in public hospitals…

Why Swiss toddlers learn skiing before spelling

It’s not uncommon that Swiss children start to learn to ski before they start going to school. Maybe a few of the parents dream of honing a potential Olympian in their offspring, but more likely they simply prefer to be able to bring their children along when they themselves go for a day out in…

TV? No Thank You!

  There’s been an endless debate about what the right amount of digital media exposure for young children is. The first article I remember reading about such “detrimental” effects was written in the late nineties about Japanese children. In the report, the young children were losing their social skills to TV and video games, and…

A Bridge Language: Baby Sign

I have always been fascinated with sign language already as a child, so when I first told my husband about Baby Sign Language while I was pregnant for the first time, he was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped. „It’s too alternative“ he claimed. What?! I wanted to push the subject but I imagined…