Sat, Feb 15, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Swiss eye national anthem switch

A man throws a Swiss flag in the air as 120 Alphorn blowers perform on a mountain pasture in the southern Swiss Alps on July 26, 2009.

Photo: AFP

Likened to a weather forecast crossed with a church hymn, Switzerland’s national anthem could be binned in favor of a new version if campaigners get their way.

Too heavy on God and Alpine vistas, the anthem fails to reflect today’s values and has never been etched into the national psyche, critics say.

“Nobody knows the words! Anyone who tells you they do is a liar. Or else we manage the first few and afterwards we go ‘la, la, la,’” said Pierre Kohler, president of the jury holding an unofficial competition to choose a new anthem.

Ditching anthems is usually associated with wars and revolutions — think France’s Marseillaise — none of which applies to peaceful, stable Switzerland.

But on Jan. 1, however, organizers kicked off a contest to find a new anthem, open to all and with a first prize of 10,000 Swiss francs (US$11,140). “Personally, I think a national anthem can be changed every 50 or 100 years. It’s not a major problem. On the contrary, it allows people to think,” said Kohler.

The goal is to submit a text to the government by 2016, potentially paving the way for a referendum in this nation of eight million people, renowned for its direct democracy.

“We don’t take issue with the tune, which is quite beautiful,” said Jean-Daniel Gerber, chairman of the Swiss Society for Public Good, the 203-year-old association which masterminded the competition. “The problem is the lyrics. The author had in mind a psalm, not a national anthem,” he said.

(Liberty Times)





1. cross v.

結合 (jie2 he2)

例: It’s a movie that crosses horror with humor.


2. etch v.

鮮明地描述 (xian1 ming2 de5 miao2 shu4)

例: The events remain etched in the minds of all who witnessed them.


3. take issue with v. phr.

提出異議 (ti2 chu1 yi4 yi4)

例: She took issue with the conclusions reached by the study.







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