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Current - 5 facts about Albanians that you need to know

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Albanians themselves say that Albanians have a bad reputation in Switzerland because the Swiss don't know enough about them. Misunderstandings and unfavorable clichés arise. These 5 facts from the input broadcast help to avoid misunderstandings between Albanians and Swiss.

Fact 1: Albanians are not from Albania

An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 Albanians lived in Switzerland in 2015. Albanians are an ethnic group, not a nationality. Because the Swiss migration statistics are compiled by nation, nobody knows exactly how many Albanians live in Switzerland and how many of them are naturalized. The vast majority of the 200,000 to 250,000 Albanians in Switzerland come from Kosovo (approx. 70 percent), Macedonia (approx. 25 percent), southern Serbia and Albania itself. In 2012, just 1,300 Albanians from Albania lived in Switzerland.

Fact 2: Albanians have complexes

Albanians were oppressed in the former Yugoslavia and persecuted under the Milosevic government. Kosovo is considered to be the poor house of the former Yugoslavia. The Albanians felt that they were inferior and discriminated against in their homeland. This feeling accompanies her in Switzerland today.

Hamit Zeqiri, President of the Cantonal Integration Centers, calls on the Albanians to be less sensitive and less thin-skinned. Not every rejection or denial by a Swiss to an Albanian is discrimination.

Fact 3: Bad reputation of the Albanians begins in the early 1990s

The Yugoslav wars brought tens of thousands of Albanians to Switzerland in the 1990s. This was only possible because Albanian guest workers had been involved in construction and industry in Switzerland since the 1960s. They were able to bring their families to Switzerland. This family reunification had to happen so suddenly that it could not be planned. This led to major problems: a large number of Albanians came all at once, children and young people spoke no German, the Albanian fathers were suddenly at home after being separated from the family who lived in Kosovo for years. As an additional burden, many Albanian guest workers lost their jobs as a result of the recession in Switzerland.

The families experienced more frustration than joy. This created major problems for the young people, some of whom also became violent. The bad reputation of the Albanians goes back to the early 1990s. The reason is the very unfortunate coincidence of various negative factors, say the Albanian integration expert Hamit Zeqiri and author Sarah Gretler, who wrote a book about the migration of Albanians to Switzerland.

Fact 4: Albanians will definitely stay in Switzerland

The Albanians, who are now between 20 and 40 years old, no longer want to go back to Macedonia or Kosovo. They see Switzerland as their home because they grew up or were even born here. You are part of Swiss society and want to help shape it. This rethinking should also start with the Swiss so that they no longer tolerate the Albanians as temporary residents, but accept them as roommates and no longer discriminate, demands Hamit Zeqiri, a Kosovar himself, at input.

Fact 5: Sick, old Albanians - the challenge of the future

Old Albanians are sicker than old Swiss and more often in need of care. The Albanian men battered their bodies as seasonal workers in the 1970s and 1980s. Older Albanian women are often overweight due to lack of exercise and have corresponding health problems. In addition, Albanian women and men often have psychological problems due to their experiences during the wars of the 1990s. This is what the Federal Office for Migration wrote in a report on the Kosovars in Switzerland, the link will open in a new window.

Because the Albanians in Switzerland do not live together with three generations as in Kosovo, the old Albanians need institutions to be looked after. Because the daughter in Switzerland is not the Spitex and the son is not the AHV fund, as is common with the Albanians at home. The Albanian integration expert Hamit Zeqiri is convinced that this will be demanded by care institutions and social institutions in Switzerland.

KRESH - «De Albaner»

KRESH - «De Albaner 2»

Alexander Blunschi / SRF 3

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  • Commentary by Blerim Bytyqi, Neuenhof
    We should stop making such a big show. If I weigh everything that has happened so far, I have to say that both sides are exaggerating. Most Albanians are not doing nearly as badly here as some claim. Conversely, there are also far fewer criminal Albanians than is often claimed. Most of the Albanians live here peacefully and are integrated. But the loudest people scream on both sides who have no realistic opinions.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Commentary by B Salihi, Solothurn
    Switzerland thank you! Without you, I wouldn't have got the latest BMW 335i for my starting car, without you I wouldn't have such a new house in Albania, nor would I have the whole lot I have without you! Still, I still don't know if I had grown up in Albania, would I own more or less today? That’s why I’m not necessarily very grateful. Nevertheless, I would like to thank you for the good nutrition and the clean life in Switzerland.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Commentary by Betim Kelmendi, Baden
    That is partly true, but one feels and / or gets to feel that one's own language is "inferior" and thus one's own culture, too, by blaming one's own culture for the historical, political and economic situation There is a common syndrome in refugees in the country of origin. It is complex, but what is important is that you stick with it, don't lose faith and stay true to yourself. Because everything is always changing, including the people.
    Agree agree to the comment

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