Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Irish author Padraig Rooney in Basel (© swissinfo.ch)

Irish author Padraig Rooney in Basel (© swissinfo.ch)

Both local and foreign writers have found shelter, inspiration and adventure in Switzerland. In his new book, Basel-based author Padraig Rooney distils two centuries of literature with Swiss connections.

The school day had been long and parking near Basel’s Paper Mill and literary museum a challenge. Author and teacher Padraig Rooney needs a cup of coffee, maybe even something sweet. He follows the waitress to the dessert case with such gusto that I can’t help but tag along.

Tucking into a slab of chocolate cake at the museum café, he recalls how he came up with the idea for his book – The Gilded Chalet: Off-piste in Literary Switzerland – during a visit to the museum in 2008. He had gone to see an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the Earls of Ulster passing through Basel on their way to Rome.

Read the rest of the story on swissinfo.ch.

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Ramadan, snacks

The end of Ramadan means the end to a month of fasting for Muslims everywhere. For the swissinfo.ch podcast, a Tunesian coworker told me what it was like to observe Ramadan in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, it seems that the Swiss are consuming less alcohol. I asked some federal experts to weigh in on some possible reasons for this.

Click here to listen to A measured drop in sipping.

For more details on the alcohol story, click here to read Swiss alcohol consumption declines.

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Scanning for knowledge at the Museum of History in Lucerne

With competition from social media and other online diversions, cultural attractions like museums must find innovative ways to keep the public’s attention. Swiss institutions are experimenting with new technology and special events.

“Swiss museums are trying to become more interactive – it’s only just starting,” notes Brigitte Schaffner. The course administrator for Basel University’s art management programme explains that local cultural institutions are, in part, taking a page from the book of their United States’ counterparts.

“Some museums, especially American ones, have been doing this for quite a while – using social media to let the public become a part of what happens in the museum and even part of the process of what’s exhibited,” she explains.

Click here to read the whole article at swissinfo.ch.

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In this week’s swissinfo.ch podcast, I focused on:

– a noisy Lenten tradition

– happy laying hens

– and a man who found a way to outsmart ovulation.

Click here to listen.

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Prime property in Zurich (© Prime Tower Zurich)

 As the grand opening of Prime Tower in Zurich nears, it seems that skyscrapers are gaining acceptance in the Swiss landscape.

At 126 metres tall, Prime Tower is the highest building in Switzerland – followed by Basel’s 105-metre Exhibition Tower in Basel, which was built from 2001-2003.

Towers are “trendy”, observes Christian Zimmermann, head of undergraduate studies at Lucerne University’s school of architecture.
“There was a time when people vehemently rejected them – saying they weren’t good for a city’s image or its residents – but suddenly people are thinking of making a big investment in something that really stands out,” Zimmermann told swissinfo.ch.

Click here to read the whole story.

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