Anya Buckley, South Africa

Anya Buckley, South Africa

 

How connected to Switzerland do you feel?

My dad is a Swiss-born Haeusler. A family name that has been dated back to the 1200's. I always say that I wish he didn't move to South Africa where he met my mum and married her in SA and then had us children. Then I think? And I say that, because I would have loved to have been raised in Switzerland. As much as I love my home in South Africa, I always felt I should have been a Swiss Miss. :) It runs in my veins to be Swiss.

 

When was the last time you felt really proud or ashamed of Switzerland?

I always feel proud when i use my favourite kitchen utensil, the potato peeler. Such a simple thing... but I love that a Swiss invented it. Clearly I love to cook but hate peeling potatoes! :)

It was a very proud Swiss moment when physicists won the Nobel Prize in 2013.

I love that Switzerland has such strict laws of keeping pets – social pet laws, having to go on a course to care for your dog etc.

 

How is Switzerland perceived abroad or in the country where you live?

I think Switzerland is always seen as the rich country, the land of the free, the best country to have a passport for. It is a no-brainer :) Everyone wants to be Swiss. It does sometimes get confused with Sweden in South Africa – silly!

 

What do the bilateral agreements and treaties bring to Switzerland? What positive or negative experiences have you had in this regard?

The EU imports Switzerland's chemicals, medicine products, timepieces, chocolate and more - contributing to Switzerland's economy. It also allows for free movement within the EU states not only for Swiss People but for EU country citizens into CH. Switzerland has an older population and low children per couple numbers, and it keeps Switzerland young to have young people coming in.

 

How are these bilateral agreements and treaties seen in the country where you live?

Because I lived in Africa all my life, and we are only around 9000 in a population of 52million, it hasn't really impacted us. Also, I can't contribute to the social system if I don't work in CH, which is a pity... but one day I may relocate. The only good thing is that I can travel to the EU at the drop of a hat – without having to apply for a Schengen Visa.

 

What does the free movement of persons bring to Switzerland? What aspects could be dealt with better here? Are you personally taking advantage of this freedom?*

I think economically it's not a bad thing to have new people in your country. Also, it eliminates problems in the gene pool :) I have lived in Malta for the past 8 months, and they have seen in their population, a number of genetic issues with regards the gene pool, so it's a good thing that there is a bit of movement, especially given the size of the country. Other than skills and economic contributions to the country, it should remain careful to maintain the cultures and religion and traditions of Switzerland as they are very special.

Yes, I live in Malta now, but intend moving on to Portugal and wherever work takes me.

 

What are the benefits of dual citizenship in your view?

The biggest benefit for me, being a South African living in SA – which is politically and economically in turmoil at this time, having dual citizenship gives not only me options to move on in the world, but gives my children – who also have Swiss Citizenship – broader horizons to seek out their place in the sun, or on the slopes (my one daughter studies Agricultural Business Economics) and the other is in Beauty Therapy and Make-up school. Also being Swiss has allowed her to enjoy the benefits of a free education at a public college/university in Malta. So it has really benefited me.

 

 

 

From 10-12 August 2018, the 96th Congress of the Swiss Abroad will take place in Visp on the theme of "Switzerland without Europe – Europe without Switzerland". For the occasion, the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad presents portraits of the Swiss abroad related to the congress theme in order to find out more about their impressions of life as Swiss living abroad and their view of international cooperation between their countries of origin and residence.

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