Swiss Film Selection

The Swiss Miracle: Love

How do you make a Swiss woman laugh? Ask her whether Swiss men are good lovers, apparently. In the second of an eight-part weekly series on the Swiss identity, we take a light-hearted look at the evolution of love, sex and relationships in Switzerland between the 1960s and the 1990s.

This content was published on February 24, 2023 minutes

The Swiss Miracle, presented by Martina Chyba, takes a humorous stroll through the archives of Swiss public television, RTS. The eight issues under the microscope are fashion, love, food, cleanliness, nature, tranquillity, humour and money.

In this episode we discover what couples used to learn in marriage preparation classes (women, get those cook books out) and why the Swiss find it so hard to say “I love you” – “wild romanticism isn’t our cup of tea”. Or as someone else put it, banking secrecy might have been taken away from us, but we’re hanging on to emotional secrecy.  

There’s also the art of chatting someone up Eighties style, and the difficulty of finding a partner in the 1970s if you were gay, or “homophile”, as the Swiss apparently used to say.

Bearing in mind that women didn’t get the vote in Switzerland until 1971, the archive footage contains many social attitudes “of their time”, i.e. jaw-droppingly sexist.

(Subtitles translated from French to English by SWISS TXT)

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