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Homogeneous?! Switzerland is a confederacy and home to three distinct linguistic/cultural populations.

4 official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh


Three distinct European cultures.

Compared to the United States, this is very homogeneous.

Statistics disagree:

    Rank Country 	Ethnic Fractionalization Index 	Cultural Diversity Index 
    63 	 Switzerland 	0.575 	0.418
    85 	 United States 	0.491 	0.271
    159  North Korea 	0.002 	0.002

    Ethnic, Linguistic and Religious Fractionalization
     Switzerland 	0.531400 	0.544100 	0.608300
     United States 	0.490100 	0.564700 	0.824100
     Korea, North 	0.002000 	0.002100 	0.660400

Statistics don't represent the whole story. How many indigenous groups are in Switzerland? How many language families are native to Switzerland? By my count, two, where in the United States it is over twenty. When's the last time Switzerland had a civil war (I mean, war between the cantons)? Is there a deeply ingrained bias against other Swiss depending only on how they look?

Even in the supposedly mainstream culture, I have almost nothing in common with "Red Tribe" Americans. Just because we share a language, ethnic identity, and religious category does not mean we are homogenous by any means. I often have much more in common with people of a different ethnicity and religion than those statistics would indicate.

I'm sure you are right.

I don't know anything about language families native to Switzerland.

The census in Switzerland counts over 40 main languages spoken in Switzerland. 64% German.


In the US the census only counts 32 languages spoken at home. 70% English only.


Probably these are not comparable and this doesn't really prove anything.

> When's the last time Switzerland had a civil war

1847, but I don't understand how that's relevant.


> Is there a deeply ingrained bias against other Swiss depending only on how they look?

Sadly, yes. Immigrating and becoming Swiss is difficult, but it does happen. Swiss with a migration background suffer a higher rate of racial discrimination.


I don't know how this compares to the US.

I live in Switzerland.

A lot of these questions are extremely US-centric in worldview. I'll try and answer them anyway.

Firstly, how do you define 'indigenous group'? Switzerland is in central Europe, it wasn't colonised in recent times. There are a lot of people from all across Europe here, and in particular lots of immigrants from places like Turkey and the Balkans, i.e. Muslim. I don't know if they'd count or not.

Language families is again a vague term, but there are at minimum four: German, Italian, French and Romansch. However the reality is much more complex. German is only used in formal and written settings, the daily spoken language is a mishmash of what are euphemistically called "Swiss German dialects" but in reality are almost entirely different languages to German. German people cannot understand them, for example. Imagine trying to understand medieval English and you're in the right general area but 10x worse. These dialects also vary significantly across different cities. Oh, and of course English is both widely spoken and used in daily life due to the huge foreign population that has never got to grips with the chaotic language situation.

Switzerland had its last civil war in 1847, so roughly in the same time period as the USA did.

With respect to 'deeply ingrained bias based on only how they look', this is exceptionally US centric. There have been ethno-religious conflicts all over the world and throughout history between people who look identical. Just look at the history of the Troubles in Ireland, or the state of Africa. The USA is actually quite unusual in having such serious racial tensions based purely on skin colour. There's nothing special about Switzerland in not having those problems, it certainly doesn't make the society "homogenous".

Thing is, Swiss are a purely civic nation, not an ethnic one - just like Americans. So your complaint that you "have almost nothing in common with the Red Tribe" is important to understand in context - the American civic nation is no longer a thing as a single entity, but it wasn't always the case. And for Swiss, it is the case today, but it is not necessarily the case tomorrow. What keeps a civic nation together is its politics, and if you get a sufficiently broad rift in the populace, that can kill it.

Switzerland has a population of 8 million. The US has 38 million black descendants of slaves, 34 million descendants of Mexicans, 5 million Puerto Ricans, 4 million Chinese, 3 million Indians, 2.7 million Filipinos, etc.

US people seem to underestimate how homogeneous the US is. It's quite a thing to know that you won t have to change habits when you travel across.

I guess you haven't visited the East or West Coasts of the U.S.?

at least from central all the way to the west, it doesnt feel like you re among very different people. You can find similar or bigger differences by going from south to north italy. And this is just 1 country

Let's just consider a single city in the United States: Los Angeles. The population of Los Angeles metropolitan area is 13 million people (so, larger than all of Switzerland). Here are some interesting demographic stats about Los Angeles:

Less than 60% of people in LA were born in the US. There are less whites (<30%) than hispanics (47%). There are also 10% asians, 10% blacks. On top of that, I can tell you that there are neighborhoods in Los Angeles where specific ethnicities are so concentrated that the street signs are largely or entirely in foreign languages. This is true for the following languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Armenian, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish.

yet they all eat at mcdonalds, shop at 7-elevens and have thanksgiving parties. Here is another test: do you see many satellite dishes in immigrant neighborhoods?

Right, so because the whole world drinks Coke and buys furniture from Ikea, we're all just one global monoculture, right? I get that Switzerland is not a monoculture. But to pretend that it's more diverse than the US is just a joke.

I've moved from the East coast to the West coast and there's basically no difference in my view.

White and Christian, white and Christian, and white and Christian. That's all that matters. :)

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