Here is the “Q” installment of my abc collection. I choose about three words and write something regarding them trying to relate them to Switzerland or the Swiss or my life in Switzerland. This week’s words start with “q”. “Q” is for question, Queen and quinoa.
is for question
The most persistent and urgent question in life is, What are you doing for others?
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Swiss charities are numerous and are efficient in collecting money. In 2015 they raised a total of 1.8 billion Swiss Francs for charitable causes.
The Zewo foundation is an umbrella organization that sets standards and certifies Swiss charities. They look at different aspects of each charity, including transparency, fundraising, ethics and integrity. Charities that receive their seal of approval are trustworthy charities. Not all charities have applied for seals. That means there are some dubious and not-so-transparent organizations out there asking for money.
Using this site you can easily find out about the organization that you give to or are thinking about giving to.
A few pages are written in English on this site. The majority of the information, although is in German, French and Italian.
Like probably most Swiss, we have a charity that we regularly donate to: Krebsliga (Cancer league). That is how, on a larger scale, we try to help others.
is for Queen
If you want peace and quiet come to Montreux.
~–Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991), Queen
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara) was the lead singer of the rock group “Queen”. His family moved to England when he was 17. His talent for singing was recognized early and after being a part of different bands he founded “Queen” in 1970.
The singer was known for his amazing voice range and astonishing singing technique. Queen gave over 700 concerts all over the world. So there is no getting around the fact that Freddie Mercury had seen a lot of different places. It is a humbling fact he thought Switzerland so peaceful that he bought a home and spent time here.
Mercury bought a lake front chalet in Clarens around 1978. Clarens is a small village in the municipality of Montreux. The recording studio Mountain Recording was bought in 1979 by the rock band. His last album “Made in Heaven” was recorded there which was released in 1995, 4 years after his death.
Montreux has more than one tribute to the rock star to commemorate his time there. In 1996 a 3 meter high Freddie Mercury bronze statue was erected overlooking Lake Geneva. His birthday was September 5th so the first weekend in September is designated the “Freddie Mercury Montreux Memorial Day”.
Last year (2016) Freddie Mercury would have been 70 years old. Imagine all the great songs he could have created in that time…
One of my favorite songs that was written by Freddie Mercury in 1975 is Bohemian Rhapsody.
is for quinoa
The success of additions such as the Filet-o-Fish, the Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie and Egg McMuffin…each evolved from an idea of one of our operators. So the company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small businessmen.
~ Ray Kroc (McDonalds founder)
I had to look hard and long to find a connection for Switzerland and quinoa. For those of you who don’t know, quinoa is a flowery plant that is grown mainly for its editable seeds. It originated in South America. The united Nations declared 2013 to be the Year of Quinoa. And, yes, we actually do have quinoa in our kitchen cupboard. It is supposed to be healthier than rice and noodles, have a lot of nutritional content and is gluten free. It can be used to help lower you cholesterol levels and sink your blood glucose levels. Sounds like some wonder food.
It doesn’t have a strong taste itself so it can be used in many different dishes. It can be used in things like salads, as a base for a casserole dish or in puddings, muffins or cookies. Now for my Swiss connection… the Swiss franchise of McDonalds created a Quinoa Curry burger this past summer.
Unfortunately, as far as I know it didn’t take off like some of the other menu additions. And, if I understood correctly is was extremely heavy on the curry and that was about it. But we do, however, have to give them points for trying.