Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago

Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago Grüezi, Bonjour, Buongiorno, Bun di! Welcome to the official page of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago.

Operating as usual

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We wish you safe celebrations and a better 2021. Please note, the offices of the Consulate General of Sw...
01/01/2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We wish you safe celebrations and a better 2021.

Please note, the offices of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago will be closed on Friday, January 1, 2021.

HEROES – Only a few days left to nominate your HERO for the American Red Cross of Illinois`s (virtual) Heroes event. Det...
12/28/2020
Heroes Breakfast

HEROES – Only a few days left to nominate your HERO for the American Red Cross of Illinois`s (virtual) Heroes event. Details below!

Each year, the Illinois Red Cross honors local community members for their extraordinary acts of courage, kindness, dedication and service to the community. We are currently accepting nominations for 2021 Heroes.

HAPPY KWANZAA! We wish you warmth and togetherness this Kwanzaa. Image credit: https://cnn.it/3oWY0I
12/26/2020

HAPPY KWANZAA! We wish you warmth and togetherness this Kwanzaa.

Image credit: https://cnn.it/3oWY0I

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Enjoy this special video from Federal Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis and our...
12/24/2020
Weihnachtsvideo EDA

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Enjoy this special video from Federal Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis and our colleagues at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.🎄

HOLIDAYS - Thank you for following our favorite holiday traditions and memories over the past weeks. We would love to he...
12/23/2020

HOLIDAYS - Thank you for following our favorite holiday traditions and memories over the past weeks. We would love to hear from you about your celebrations - feel free to comment below ✨

We wish you and your family safe and happy holiday celebrations!

Please note, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago will be closed on December 24 and December 25, and will re-open on Monday, December 28. Thank you.

HEROES – Everyday people doing extraordinary things. Do you know a Hero who has or is making a difference in your commun...
12/22/2020
Heroes Breakfast

HEROES – Everyday people doing extraordinary things. Do you know a Hero who has or is making a difference in your community? Nominate them by the end of the month, December 31, for the American Red Cross of Illinois`s (virtual) Heroes event in the Spring! Press below for details and the nomination form.

Each year, the Illinois Red Cross honors local community members for their extraordinary acts of courage, kindness, dedication and service to the community. We are currently accepting nominations for 2021 Heroes.

HOLIDAY TRADTIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General:Exchanging gifts around Christmas time goes back to the ancien...
12/21/2020

HOLIDAY TRADTIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General:

Exchanging gifts around Christmas time goes back to the ancient Romans celebrating the winter solstice. In Christian tradition we read in the Bible that the three Magi (Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar in case you forgot their names) brought Jesus gifts of gold, myrrh (an embalming oil) and frankincense (which is not for feeble lungs). In later years small gifts were given to children on Christmas Eve, usually small toys. These toys became much more sophisticated with time, albeit I looked forward to find an interesting book under the Christmas tree. In the US, children must wait until the morning, which shortens the night considerably for the parents. Of course, the best part is the anticipation of the children leading up to Christmas. In the spirit of giving is more blessed than receiving, we should also think of the less fortunate among us during this time.

DIGITAL HOLIDAY EVENT - Join the Swiss American Business Council online to celebrate the holidays not just with music, c...
12/18/2020
Innovation

DIGITAL HOLIDAY EVENT - Join the Swiss American Business Council online to celebrate the holidays not just with music, cheers, and cookies, but with a toast to the innovative responses to the pandemic.

Press the link below to learn more!

For the past two years the Swiss American Business Council in Chicago has presented the SABC Swiss Innovation Award to small and medium sized business for demonstrated innovation in their respective industry. Due to the unusual circumstances the year 2020 has presented, we have decided to shift gear...

HOLIDAY PLANS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:This year, my husband Nick, our cat Gypsy, I will spend the holidays i...
12/17/2020

HOLIDAY PLANS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:

This year, my husband Nick, our cat Gypsy, I will spend the holidays in Chicago. Since I am from Switzerland and he is American, the celebrations will include a nice mix of our favorite things - from a magical Christmas Eve with a nice meal and lots of candles, to an early Christmas Day morning with pancakes and movies including Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel as well National Lampoon`s Christmas Vacation... and of course sprinkled inbetween are many video chats with their families and friends! Happy Holidays!

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General (and in-house Historian):While Christmas is a Christian holid...
12/16/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General (and in-house Historian):

While Christmas is a Christian holiday (celebrating the birth of Jesus), the Christmas tree has a pagan beginning and was dismissed by the church for centuries. The ancient Romans decorated their homes in winter with evergreen branches and in the middle ages it was believed they keep demons away. Later the trees were decorated with apples, nuts and cheese. In the 20th century, food was replaced with modern decorations and candles. Indeed, the Swiss Christmas tree I recall filled the room with the aroma of fresh pine needles, and shocking today, the scent of fresh candles. Not just one or two, but a dozen or more which would illuminate the tree in a magical light. Naturally, this required careful placing of the candles on the tree and a watchful eye to avoid an accident. American Christmas tress by comparison are often artificial, albeit some people still prefer a fresh tree, and with many lights but without the fire hazard of times past.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:Another favorite part of the holiday season? Mailänderli! My favo...
12/14/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:

Another favorite part of the holiday season? Mailänderli! My favorite cookies for as long as I can remember. Check out the receipe below! Even after years of living in the Midwest, Mailänderli are still in my ultimate favorite, but in strong second place are the holiday-decorated sugar cookies that I now bake with my Mother-in-Law!

What are your favorite holiday cookies?

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Mailänderli Christmas Cookies
(Adapted from Fooby)

Mailänderli are among Switzerland’s favorite Christmas cookies. They became popular about 600 years ago when a delegation from the Swiss Confederation travelled to Lombardy and gave the Duke of Milan some of the sweet biscuits as a gift. Since then, these delicious treats—known as mailänderli, milanais, or milanesini (“Little Milanese” in English)—have become a Christmas tradition in Switzerland.

You Will Need:

For the dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
zest from 1 lemon
4 cups all-purpose flour

For the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water

1. Place the softened butter in a bowl, whisk in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to whisk until the mixture becomes lighter in color. Add the lemon zest and flour, mixing with a wooden spoon, and flatten the dough a little. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out in batches approx. ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice (hearts, stars, etc.). Place the cookies on trays lined with baking paper and chill for approx. 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 390°F. Before baking, whisk the egg yolk with water and glaze the cookies with the egg wash.

4. Bake the biscuits for approx. 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating.

Enjoy!

HAPPY HANUKKAH! Your team at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago wishes you and your family a joyous Festiva...
12/10/2020

HAPPY HANUKKAH! Your team at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago wishes you and your family a joyous Festival of Lights 🕎

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General: Swiss holiday memories always include a Fondue. For those wh...
12/10/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Joerg, our Deputy Consul General:

Swiss holiday memories always include a Fondue. For those who read the most recent history blog, a traditional fondue recipe was included (https://bit.ly/2LpW9Oc). Swiss people of course have a variety of different cheeses to mix together and preferences vary from region to region. In addition, around the holidays in Switzerland we have the Fondue Bourguignonne and the Fondue Chinois. Both use meats and vegetables which are dipped in hot fat or oil (Bourguignonne) or a broth (Chinois) and served with a variety of dipping sauces. The Fondue Chinois became popular in the 70’s and the cooking style comes from the Chinese hot pot, hence the name. For dessert you can make a chocolate fondue and for dipping use fresh fruit (like strawberries and bananas) or for American tastes, marshmallows. En guete!

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:PART 3 of 3: In the diplomatic life of a modern nomad, we tried to ...
12/06/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:

PART 3 of 3: In the diplomatic life of a modern nomad, we tried to keep the Samichlaus tradition alive for our kids, culminating in a memorable experience in Lima, Peru. When offered by the local Swiss Club the honors of being Saint Nicholas for the members’ kids, I was not really aware what was awaiting me. Dressed in the heavy red Saint Nicholas robe and hat, heavy boots on my feet and a long white beard glued to my cheeks with heavy make-up on the face, I was handed a large book with all the names of the children and the qualifications the parents had written down for me to convey: “Has to eat more vegetables”, “Should study more”, “has to be kinder to his sister” and so on. I took my seat on a podium under the gleaming sun and temperatures reaching the low 90’s Fahrenheit, receiving on kid at a time, taking up these remarks and adding some kind words before each one received a little bag of goodies. Over a 130 kids had lined up and I was soaked in sweat after the first 20. On the other hand, this was one of my most important management lessons. I knew, that despite of the sweat and fatigue, when already four or five dozen kids had looked with expectations into my eyes, that I had to keep dedicating the same attention and kindness to each kid, until the last one had come up to the podium. For me they were many, one after another, but for each kid this was his or her special moment I tried to honor … in 5 languages, according to the language spoken in the child’s home. At the end of event I was longing much more for a refreshing shower than for the glass of wine I was offered.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:PART 2 of 3: While posted to Istanbul in the mid-Eighties I had a c...
12/05/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:

PART 2 of 3: While posted to Istanbul in the mid-Eighties I had a chance to visit the small Turkish maritime town of Kale, later renamed Demre, and better known in ancient Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman times as Myra, where the early Christian bishop Nicholas of Bari served his community in the first half of the 4th century. The kind and generous shepherd built a growing reputation which converted him after his death to Saint Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers and other professions with a rather ill reputation. You can still visit his church in Myra. However, his bones were stolen in 1087 by merchants from Bari, where they rest in the city’s basilica.

Image from Vatican News - San Nicola (© Musei Vaticani)

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:PART 1 of 3: In my early youth, December 6 was the first important ...
12/04/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS -- From Bruno, our Consul General:

PART 1 of 3: In my early youth, December 6 was the first important marker of our Holiday Season: Saint Nicholas Day, Santa Claus, or “Samichlaus”, as we call it in Swiss German. Samichlaus was always the good one who brought goodies as a reward for the well behaved, while his servant “Schmutzli” (or Knecht Ruprecht in Germany) would punish the bad behaved by waving a stick. For the occasion, my mother would bake a “Grittibänz” for each child, using the same dough as for the Zopf, but modeling it to the form of an old man, walking with spread legs. It was handed to the children in a small fabric bad along with nuts, mandarin oranges and some chocolate. These goodies had to be enjoyed over at least a few day, because the wonderful variation of homemade Christmas Cookies were never served before December 24.

Image credit: https://www.besondersgut.ch/

Switzerland. get natural. Winter Hiking in Rigi-Kaltbad.Schweiz. ganz natuerlich. Winterwandernweg bei Rigi-Kaltbad.Suis...
12/03/2020

Switzerland. get natural.
Winter Hiking in Rigi-Kaltbad.

Schweiz. ganz natuerlich.
Winterwandernweg bei Rigi-Kaltbad.

Suisse. tout naturellement.
Randonnees d'hiver a Rigi-Kaltbad.

Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism -
swiss-image.ch/Jan Geerk

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:I was born in St. Gallen and celebrated Christmas Eve on December...
12/02/2020

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - From Roberta, our Project Manager:

I was born in St. Gallen and celebrated Christmas Eve on December 24 at my Grandparent`s home when I was young. My Grandmother, my Grosi, would decorate the tree in the living room and then once the family was gathered, the door to the living room would be opened - signaling the start of the festivities! For me, this moment was magical. The tree, the candles, the decoration, and the "fact" that the Christkindli had just stopped by to deliver presents. Of course, I also always enjoyed the ornaments that were made of chocolate as well... What is one of your holiday traditions?

And so the holiday season is upon us ✨ As celebrations will look and feel different this year, we will reflect on our me...
12/01/2020

And so the holiday season is upon us ✨ As celebrations will look and feel different this year, we will reflect on our memories from past holidays and find the things that bring us light ahead.

To begin the festivities, your team at the Consulate General in Chicago will be sharing stories during the coming weeks about our favorite traditions and plans. We invite you to join us by posting your comments, pictures, and traditions as well! ❄️

Happy #Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! We wish you a restful and safe holiday weekend. Please note, our office ...
11/25/2020

Happy #Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! We wish you a restful and safe holiday weekend.

Please note, our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Thank you.

Friday Fun: What do aluminum foil, Antihistamines, velcro, and milk chocolate have in common? They originate from Switze...
11/20/2020
20 Awesome Things Switzerland Gave The World

Friday Fun: What do aluminum foil, Antihistamines, velcro, and milk chocolate have in common?

They originate from Switzerland!

Everyday household items, recreational drugs and the shady world of banking secrecy; just some of the best things Switzerland has given the world.

HISTORY BLOG: Cheese – formerly used as common means of payment back in middle ages; very delicious as fondue; a strong ...
11/19/2020
Switzerland & Midwest connections: Cheese Heads

HISTORY BLOG: Cheese – formerly used as common means of payment back in middle ages; very delicious as fondue; a strong link between Switzerland and Wisconsin; and much more!

This month, Joerg shares with us the stories of how Swiss emigrated to the United States and settled in Wisconsin back in the mid-19th century, the skills in cheese-making they brought with them, and our connections through today. Enjoy!

Welcome to the newly created History Blog featuring the connections between Switzerland and the Midwest. I am Joerg Oberschmied, Deputy…

#SwissTech Tuesday: The electrification of shipping is gaining ground and making an important contribution to emissions-...
11/17/2020
Full speed ahead thanks to Swiss batteries

#SwissTech Tuesday: The electrification of shipping is gaining ground and making an important contribution to emissions-free transport. Naturally, among the global leaders in innovative e-transport solutions are Swiss companies such as Leclanché.

Read more about the company and the future of transportation below!

ll aboard Ellen, the world's largest fully electric-powered ferry. As it makes its regular crossing, there is none of the noise or the fumes and smoke of a diesel engine. Without a single drop of heavy fuel oil, Ellen has paved the way for further advances in electric maritime mobility. The electrif...

11/10/2020

Choose Switzerland, it’s time to do it right.

#whySwitzerland #chooseswitzerland

Back in the early months of the pandemic, the Matterhorn in Switzerland was illuminated with the flag of the United Stat...
11/06/2020

Back in the early months of the pandemic, the Matterhorn in Switzerland was illuminated with the flag of the United States of America to signify unity and strength as we all entered these difficult times. We are re-sharing this powerful image as a reminder that we continue to stand strong to fight the spread of COVID-19. Your team in Chicago sends strength and health to you and your loved ones. Be safe 🇨🇭🇺🇸

10/25/2020
Settimana della lingua italiana - EN

Viva la Svizzera italiana! Learn about one of the four official language of Switzerland from Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and our italian-speaking colleagues. Parliamo Italiano! #SettimanaLinguaItaliana

This is "Settimana della lingua italiana - EN" by House of Switzerland on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Mark your calendars for Monday and register below! Our colleagues in San Francisco have organized a special conversation...
10/23/2020

Mark your calendars for Monday and register below! Our colleagues in San Francisco have organized a special conversation on tech and governance with Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft. Enjoy!

Free registration & details: https://bit.ly/3ohNMmX

Geneva Talk Series with Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.
Join Consul General Benedikt Wechsler and Gioia Deucher, CEO of swissnex San Francisco, in a conversation on tech and governance with Brad Smith on Monday, October 26, at 8 am PDT.
The third event of the series commemorates the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations' Charter in San Francisco.

ℹ️🇺🇳Free registration & details: https://bit.ly/3ohNMmX

ICYMI: In the land of delicious raclette and fondue (and an annual per-capit cheese consumption of 22kg...), Swiss Start...
10/22/2020
Swiss startups driving vegan innovation

ICYMI: In the land of delicious raclette and fondue (and an annual per-capit cheese consumption of 22kg...), Swiss Startups specializing in vegan food, science and gastronomy are joining forces to revolutionize what we put on our plates.

Vegan cheese will be certainly never be refered to as "fake cheese" when the Swiss are creating it! Read more below:

Switzerland is playing a leading role in research and innovation in the fast-changing food sector.

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i moved and want to give my new address to the cosulate, where can i do this?