- Swiss statistics
Trimmed beards for better security! From 1 November 2020, police officers guarding the Federal Palace are only allowed to have beards of up to 50 millimetres in length. Longer beards are a “security issue”, says the Federal Security Service. Facially hirsute policemen have since been transferred to other posts.
However, length is not the only thing that matters at the so- called International Alpine Beard Festival. Pius Sidler, reigning champion in the “Natural Alpine Beard” category, not only sports a 380-mm beard, he also cuts a very authentic and dignified figure. Anyone who wishes to put up a challenge will have to wait until the next festival on 3 October 2021 in Seewis (Grisons).
Incidentally, a flowing beard made by hand in Switzerland from real buffalo hair costs up to 1,750 Swiss francs and is a product beloved of St Nicholas lookalikes across the country. Switzerland’s many dedicated St Nicholas associations make tens of thousands of visits to families every year, but they had a hard time of it in 2020. Demand for their services fell amid the pandemic. At least they had plenty of time to care for their beards instead.
However, healthcare workers are anything but idle at the moment. “Clapping for carers” is all well and good, but no other profession is currently haemorrhaging as many people as healthcare. Around 46 per cent of all qualified personnel change careers, often at a young age. The main reason that leavers give is that they are chronically overworked due to staff shortages – a situation exacerbated every time one of their colleagues calls it a day.
1 000 000
In these turbulent times, it’s the little things that count. Take the Swiss-invented REX peeler. Dating back to 1947, it is the epitome of frugality, sleek design, and timelessness. Zena Swiss has been producing and selling a million of these patented kitchen utensils every year since 1969. If you want to know how useful this humble peeler is, ask Betty Bossi.
Picture: These men were judged to have the best Alpine beards in 2019: winner Pius Sidler (middle), second-placed Christian Jost (left) and third-placed Arnold Durrer (right). Photo: Johannes Bärtsch]