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Dear students,
I am writing this letter from Switzerland just to give you an idea of how thrilling and eye-opening it is to live in a different cultural environment and how difficult it can be sometimes to fully comprehend thoughts and perceptions that are not part of our Japanese culture.


What do you associate Switzerland with? Heidi? Cheese? Matterhorn? Roger Federer? Or for those interested in science, CERN?


Well, putting aside these cliched images of the country, I would first like to fill you in with some basic information which can be easily found in guidebooks and on the Internet but which you don't normally bother to look up.


Switzerland is located in central Europe and is surrounded by France, Germany, Italy and Austria. As the figure 1 shows, it is a small country with its land area of about 41,000km2. In comparison, neighboring Germany has land area of approximately 357,000km2 and France 643,000km2. So small, isn’t it. It is only as big as the island of Kyushu.

alps.jpg
Figure 1 Japan and Switzerland In Comparison (c2018 SRF)
Switzerland has an official name which many people here see in the abbreviation form of "CH". It stands for "Confoederatio Helvetica" in Latin which in English is “the Helvetic Confederation”. To me it was a mystery for a long time what this stood for whenever I saw the sticker "CH" at the back of a car.

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posted by キューティマム at 14:39 | 東京 ☀ | Comment(0) | 授業日記
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