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Putzfimmel or a Swiss Clean Up

Ready for Cleaning - birgitH  /

Swiss cleanliness and orderliness has been documented, written about, made fun of and even immortalized in the cartoon Asterix in Switzerland. It is truly one of the more stereotypical traits of Swiss people.

It's true that most Swiss people keep their houses and cars very orderly and clean. Also, all Swiss cities, towns and villages are almost always nice and clean. Only after demonstrations, festivities or other big events does the appearance of a Swiss city seem to be a bit less put together. This lasts only until the next morning though, we are surprisingly fast in cleaning things up!

In German there is word that describes this need for cleanliness very well: Putzfimmel! (lit.: obsession with cleaning)

Recently I learned that the cleaning fad of the Swiss has reached a new height: The Swiss actually constructed a satellite that will clean outer space! Maybe we should start with earth and then move to outer space? I guess there simply wasn't enough cleaning to do here in Switzerland.

Cleanliness and orderliness is nice. Don't misunderstand, I do appreciate the look of clean streets and neat houses with gardens. However, it has become such a stereotype of Swiss-ness that I simply have to make fun of it sometimes. I also believe it is a good thing someone is cleaning outer space from old satellites before they fall on our heads!



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